Cosmo gets a new set of wheels

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    By Lisa Dernick

    Cosmo”s closet of toys – motorcycle, electric bike and go cart, to name a few – may get lonely after he receives his newest and most gigantic toy of all.

    Brick Oven is donating a van to Cosmo and Cosmo”s Kid”s Club, to be unveiled July 12.

    “It”s a portable office,” said Brett Eden, director of Cosmo”s Kid”s Club and Cosmo operations. “The van allows us to go in the public, to schools and in parades.

    “Our mission with Kid”s Club is partly to support the athletic department,” Eden said. “And partly to reach out to the populous that isn”t reached out to, which is the kids.”

    Cosmo is a popular mascot. According to ESPN, BYU”s Cosmo is the “most athletic mascot in the nation.”

    Eden said he wants to keep that reputation and go even larger. He came up with the idea for the van and contacted Brick Oven with the proposal.

    Eden said he approached Brick Oven was because of the business” reputation.

    “Anything they are assigned to, they do it top-rate,” Eden said. “We knew if Brick Oven said ”yes,” they would do a great job.”

    Brick Oven agreed to buy the van as long as its logo appeared on the side.

    “We saw it as an opportunity to become associated with Cosmo, the university and the athletic program,” said Glee Zumbrennen, owner of Brick Oven.

    Zumbrennen said he felt the van was what Cosmo needed for his new role with Kid”s Club.

    “They”ve expanded Cosmo”s role and he needs to be in many more places now,” Zumbrennen said. “The van will make it so Cosmo can do a lot more and be in a lot more places with his props.”

    Brick Oven”s list of values posted on its front entryway wall explains its reasons for supporting Cosmo and his new van, Zumbrennen said.

    One of the values reads, “We value involvement in our community. We are a respected business and make a positive contribution to our community.”

    Zumbrennen said this is Brick Oven”s way of supporting and being a part of the activities and events involving the community.

    Eden, Zumbrennen and Nate Hill, employee of Boyer”s Car Audio, are working as a team to design and build Cosmo”s office on wheels. However, each is involved in a different stage of the van transformation.

    The first stage is ordering the van itself, the second is installing the audio equipment and the third is decorating the outside of the van.

    Eden called Ford to make a special order for the 2001 navy Ford Econoline.

    On the outside, Cosmo”s van has only five windows, four short of the regular Econoline. The five include the windshield, a driver and passenger seat window and two backdoor windows. There are no side windows.

    However, a sunroof was added at the very back of the van for Cosmo to climb out of for shows. A fog machine will be installed to add to the effect of Cosmo”s surprise entrance and exit through the sunroof.

    A special platform rack cover made with marine plywood was assembled to go on the roof of the van for Cosmo to do flips and stunts on top.

    The tires will be replaced with BF Goodrich wide, low-profile tires to give the van a sporty look, Eden said.

    A basketball hoop comes out of the back hitch.

    Inside the van, only the driver and passenger seats exist. The rest of the van is entirely empty for Cosmo”s private quarters.

    The van was recently delivered to Boyer”s Car Audio for Hill to take over.

    “The audio installation process should last two weeks,” Hill said. “More things have been added that weren”t originally quoted.”

    Special parts were ordered to ensure everything installed is the color blue. The headlights and speakers are blue, and even the brand labels on the speakers are blue.

    “What can I say,” Eden said. “We”re blue all the way through.”

    Hill will install blue and white police lights, strobe lights, neon tubes, sirens, a cordless microphone, an alarm system, power inverters, an extra air conditioner and much more.

    Besides special parts, the van came with special instructions. All speakers on the outside of the van will be removable and all audio wires will be hidden underneath the carpet.

    “We”re trying to make everything inconspicuous so it doesn”t look like there is a bunch of junk all over it,” Eden said.

    All the wires run into a 16-switch control pad located on the middle consul between the driver and passenger.

    When all audio is installed, interior design will take place.

    This will include installation of a closet pole, a front and back curtain, carpet, a padded bench for storage and metal shelves with doors.

    The third stage involves the outer-d?cor of the van.

    An animation studio is creating a 3-D Cosmo. Decorators will put the image of Cosmo playing basketball on one side of the van, and another of Cosmo playing football on the other side.

    “Lots of opportunities could come from this, maybe cartoons,” Zumbrennen said. “Ultimately, we could have Cosmo cartoons.”

    When Cosmo”s van is finally ready to hit the road, two members of Team Cosmo will drive and maneuver the van.

    The scheduled date for the van”s unveiling is July 12. Another student unveiling is planned during the annual Watermelon Bust in the fall.

    Students interested in enjoying the van themselves have the chance to become Cosmo. BYU is looking for a new Cosmo and tryouts for the role will be Aug. 14.

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