Boogey Van was a 1995 Ford Aerostar monster truck currently owned by James Trantina. It was previously owned and driven by Pam Vahle, and then owned by Paul Shafer. Since its creation in 1993, Boogey Van was one of the earliest monster trucks to be driven primarily by a woman. The truck was also a staple of various monster truck events in the 1990s, including those hosted by both USHRA and PENDA. It has also been featured in various merchandise and video games.
Boogey Van was originally built in 1993 and began competition later that year with Pam Vahle behind the wheel. At the time of its creation, Vahle and the truck competed alongside her then-husband Michael Vaters. Boogey Van would compete throughout various USHRA and PENDA events throughout the 1990s, finding most of its success in the latter.
In 1995, Boogey Van was involved in one of the most infamous crashes in its career. During an event at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, the truck was unable to stop following a long jump attempt and crashed head-on into the stadium wall. The resulting impact resulted in two tires breaking off the truck and Vahle being injured in the process. Vahle and Boogey Van would eventually return to competition, with the truck receiving a new paint scheme the following year.
Vahle continued to operate Boogey Van under her ownership until 1999 when she sold the entire operation to Paul Shafer. Although Shafer became the new owner of the truck, Vahle continued to drive it until her retirement in 2001. Following her retirement, various other drivers including Amber Walker, Sherry Harwood, Brian Townsend, Rodney Tweedy, and Charlie Miller would drive Boogey Van until the name was retired in 2005. Afterwards, the chassis was converted into Captain USA, being driven by Rodney Tweedy. It would also run as Monster Patrol before being sold overseas to Mark Gilbert out of Australia, where it is still performing to this day under the Monster Patrol name.
The Boogey Van name would be absent from competition for seven years until 2012 when Zane Rettew of Rettew Motorsports leased the name for use in competition. Boogey Van would return to competition under Rettew’s ownership later that year, serving as the teammate to his truck, Stinger. However, the truck would only compete for a few months before being retired and sold to Mike Harper.
On January 27, 2022, James Trantina III would buy the name from Paul Shafer and has expressed interest in running it in the future, albeit with no official plans yet.
Video Game Appearances
- The original Boogey Van featured parts from the previous Auto Value King Krunch.