Brubaker Box at Carlislse ’06
Along with the Laser 49er, the Brubaker Box (which debutted in 1972 and was made on an off by various companies until the mid/late seventies, and even briefly re-entered “production” dreams in the late nineties — these days, the molds are sadly decaying and few originals exist) is arguably the true birthplace of the mini-van. Inspired by dune buggies and surf culture, and a car-designer with no interest in joining a big corporation, it had features like the sliding door (to say nothing of the general “mini-van” concept) long before the big players ever considered building them.
Oh, and ironically, it was largely resistance from the car companies (VW in this case) that killed off the original company…. but I’ll tell that story in more detail as I find time to write the Encyclopedia entry on it.