Citroën Berlingo Grand Angle by Sbarro

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If there's one thing you should do, it's to take 10 minutes and head over to Camden Thrasher's gallery of photos he took at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. Our mutual friend (and amazing photographer in his own right) Nick Busato linked to Thrasher's gallery on Facebook and I was instantly blown away.

It's art.

It's also not necessarily the type of photographer Citroën and Sbarro had in mind when trying to sell the photography community on a van-based camera-toting, go-anywhere machine. For taking shots of lions, yes, this would work nicely. For most photographers? Probably not. Though not good enough at photography for people to want to pay me to do it, earlier in my career I did do a fair amount of racing photography.

It was quickly a lesson in frustration (a Canon Rebel and kit lens will only take you so far…) and more frustration (if you miss the shot, it's not exactly like they'll restart the race). I learned a lot, and gained tons of respect for those who can capture moving photos.

You may have noticed its crow's nest-like chair that raises a photographer into the air with ease—this was first developed, apparently, for falconers in the Middle East. And in a nod to making sure the shooter will always get the scoop, Sbarro took the liberty of installing a 3.0-litre V6 engine with 200 horsepower. Not Nightcrawler levels of power, but surely enough to keep up with migrating geese.

Blacked-out glass concealed a mobile office built into where the rear cargo section would have been fitted, to help reporters on the road file their stories on time. Today, a Ford Transit Connect, EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, and 4G LTE connection would be a useful alternative to the Berlingo Grand Angle, wouldn't it? Neither would be fast enough to keep up with a Porsche Cayenne camera car, but for a small town reporter or skate park aficionado, the Grand Angle would probably be overkill.

To announce the then-new Berlingo, Citroën asked a number of companies to create something special using its new van, and the results ranged from a 6x6 Berlingo-based off-road rig to a Berlingo that was treated to a number of very strange promotional photos.

Sources