Steve Kantor admits that he likes to travel in style. He is an affable investment banker, concerned about flaunting his wealth, but he drives around Manhattan in what looks like a simple black delivery van.
Of course, most vans do not have chauffeurs, as Mr. Kantor’s has. Or a built-in office, custom installed.
“I have two big-screen televisions; I have a couch in the back that goes into a bed,” Mr. Kantor said. “I have four chairs that go back and massage you. It has a desk, a table and an intercom so you can have meetings in there if you want to.”
As the economy limps along and more attention is paid to the so-called 1 percent, some of the richest New Yorkers have taken to driving around in vehicles that ooze neither wealth nor privilege. But on the inside, the vans may be as lavishly decorated as the private railroad cars owned by turn-of-the-century industrialists.
Some owners use them as mobile offices, outfitted with fine leather chairs and Persian rugs; vans may also double as a child’s playroom on wheels, complete with a built-in vacuum to clean what the children dirty.
And while some owners say they are drawn to the vehicles’ vanilla exteriors, their outsize profiles cannot help but draw attention: at more than 22 feet long and nearly 9 feet tall, they look like cargo vans on steroids, their high roof lines dwarfing nearly all that surrounds them on the streets of New York. And that’s before the satellite dishes are raised.
OZHOUSE EDITOR – Now we can play spot the banker! I love the internet. Keep on the lookout for suspiciously tall/large delivery vans.