The Mitchell Mystery Machine

MITCHELL, S.D.-For more than 20 years a van resembling the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine has been a part of the Mitchell community. To many, it brings up a feeling of nostalgia, but for the owners it has an even deeper meaning.

In the Butterfield household, they’ve come to have quite the Scooby-Doo collection. However, their most prized possession will always be their Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine. It was designed by their son Chad, a boy who even into his late teens loved to eat kids meals at Burger King.

In 1996 Burger King came out with five Scooby-Doo toys, including the Mystery Machine, which is what sparked the idea in Chad to create his own.

“It was his dream and my wife helped him along with it and it came out pretty nice. We were really proud of it,” said Gary Butterfield.

Chad enjoyed driving the van for a little over a month before he died in a car accident on September 27th, 1997 at 18-years-old.

Now Chad’s memory lives on through the van. It’s not quite a replica to the mystery machine, but will always have a part of his personality in it.

“It holds a lot of memories and everyone came together to share those memories. They all came together and were there for us and that means a lot, so the van means a lot to everyone in Mitchell,” said Sandy Butterfield.

For 20 years Chad’s parents have driven it in the DWU homecoming parades as well as brought it to birthday parties. It’s even appeared in magazines.

“People in Mitchell will ask if we don’t have the van out for awhile, ‘do you still have the van?’ And I tell them it’s always going to be in the family,” said Sandy Butterfield.

Now the Butterfield’s two grandsons are about driving age and get to enjoy their Uncle Chad’s van.

“They’ll drive around town with the van and blare the music and they love it,” said Sandy Butterfield.

It’s something the Butterfields know Chad would be proud of.


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