Think of a Volkswagen van. Chances are, it has a surfboard on it. The connection is obvious to artist Kevin Butler of Rad Cars with Rad Surfboards, who’s been drawing cars with surfboards on them for more than five years. A disproportionate number of the cars are VW vans, which he’s loved since childhood. He’s even owned several of them. “For me it’s a total reflex.”
In addition to the art, Butler sometimes collaborates to draw rad cars on consumer products, like his latest project with Igloo coolers. Igloo approached Butler and offered creative freedom. “The idea came quickly,” Butler says. “One glance at the cooler and I saw the shape and color scheme of an old split-window.”
If the iconic plastic cooler and old Volkswagens share the same space in your head, it’s because they both come from the same era. Igloo started with plastic coolers in 1962, 12 years into the original VW Type 2’s 17-year production run for Europe and America.
We can’t really state it better than Butler: “I think my art elicits feelings of happy, cool, chill, nostalgic beach vibes, and nothing states that better than a classic bus. These are also the feelings I think the Playmate cooler brings. The iconic two-tone brings back memories of going to the beach during the summer.”
Clearly, Butler and Igloo are on something—the raddest version of the red-and-white cooler sold out on the first day, prompting additional production. It’s available again (at least for now) for purchase on the Igloo website. The 16-quart capacity unit costs $46—or $18 more than the plain version.