Rye French might exhibit a tough-guy exterior, but he has no issues with getting around in a vehicle that looks like something a life-sized Barbie would drive.
French, who sports a bald head, a grizzly beard and several tattoos, recently won a contest that involved having his vehicle repainted the shade of his choice.
He opted to have his blue 1995 Jeep Cherokee transformed into a vision in pink.
An unusual choice, yes, but French will do anything when it comes to his two kids – Eden, 8, and Heaven-Leigh, 13. In this case, it was all about Eden.
Eden is a “unique kid,” according to French and his wife, Jamie. Eden loves the colour pink and everything Strawberry Shortcake.
He has already been teased a bit for his tastes.
French came across a contest on Facebook that was being held by Troy Imbach and Derek Moore, the owners of Country Tire in Abbotsford.
A few months ago, the business partners started a side venture called Dip My Ride, which paints vehicles, wheels and emblems using a product called Plasti Dip.
They decided to promote the business by holding a Facebook contest inviting drivers to submit a photo of their vehicle and their reason for wanting it repainted.
French said he wanted to have his Jeep painted “Barbie pink” in honour of his son.
“I figured what better way to support him than have his bald-headed, tattooed, bearded dad pick him up from school in a pink Jeep,” his submission stated.
Moore said French’s entry stood out, and he was selected as the winner from among about 30 submissions.
“It started as a contest to promote our business, but it has turned into something amazing and wonderful like this,” he said.
The paint job was completed by Dip My Ride’s Dave Brown last Friday, including the words “anti bully pink” displayed in white print.
French and his family picked up the vehicle that afternoon from the shop.
“It’s really pink – really, really pink,” French laughed of his reaction to seeing the transformed Jeep for the first time.
“I think they did a great job and I have no difficulty driving it around.”
Eden was also pleased with the results.
“I like it a lot,” he said.