Bear Down with the ultimate tailgate vehicle: The Fanbulance!
For Chicago Bears fans, tailgating is an art form at Soldier Field. It’s a preparation of food and beverages, the camaraderie among other tailgaters, determining what time to leave to fight traffic for the best spot in the lots and showing off your tailgate setup.
Mike Jacobs, Tom Perkins and Elmer Martinez are diehard Bears fans who have the ultimate tailgating vehicle. They purchased a fully functioning ambulance and turned it into ‘The Bears Fanbulance.’
“It had started probably seven or eight years ago,” Jacobs said. “We had seen a couple come down here and I’m like ‘That is the coolest thing I have ever seen.’ The more we got into it, it’s big, it has a lot of compartments for everything that we want to do and really when you put a nice wrap on it, it is really the ultimate tailgating vehicle.”
Then Jacobs and Perkins were on the search to find a company that was able to wrap an ambulance with Bears decals. In that process, they were able to find Martinez.
“When we bought the ambulance, we needed to have it wrapped. I didn’t even know what wrapping was until Mike explained it to me,” Perkins said. “So Mike did some research and Mike was the one who identified G Media Wraps. [He] reached out to Elmer and called me and said, ‘We found our guy. This is the guy to do it.'”
Martinez, the owner of G Media Wraps, was thrilled about the opportunity to work on this project and couldn’t pass this chance up to work on wrapping an ambulance.
“When somebody came up with an ambulance, I’m like ‘these guys are crazy.’ Then they told me the story and I was like ‘Me and my buddies have always wanted to do that.’ So right off the top, I was like, ‘I want to be involved on this project. It’s something that I would really like to do,” Martinez said.
On Sunday mornings, the tailgating crew determines when to meet by Jacobs’ house, making sure everything is packed and ready to make the trip to Soldier Field.
“This guy [Mike] is laser focused. At his house in Libertyville, wheels rolling, 7 a.m., if you’re late, you’re gone,” Perkins said. “Our goal is to be one of the first 50 cars or so, first ambulance, in the parking lot and we usually achieve that.”
Whether the Bears play on Sunday afternoon, Monday night or Thursday night, tailgating is something that is as important as watching a Bears game.
“We’ve been tailgating down here for probably about 10 years now. For me, this is as much a part as watching the game because you get to sit around with a bunch of fans, really talk about the game, cheer for the team before we even start and just enjoy camaraderie and all our friends and some food before you get to go in the game,” Jacobs said.
Watch the full video above about the Fanbulance!