POLAND — After his 1999 white stretch limousine sat for sale for years, Tim Morin sold it to four guys who wanted something flashy to drive cross-country to Los Angeles.
The four — two from Oklahoma, two from Missouri — were in Maine on Monday to buy the Lincoln Town Car limo and start their adventure: “Four guys, across the country, 48 states, limo, Ellen,” and sharing videos of people and places they meet on Facebook Watch.
Their web page is called, “Ellen, We Bought A Limo.”
They hope to arrive in Los Angeles in September. They also hope to get on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and share tales from their adventure.
“We’ve always been inspired by the vibe of the show,” Ty Gatewood said as the group sat outside of Shaker Hill Outdoors, where they bought the limo for $2,000.
They like the way DeGeneres connects with strangers, “interacts with communities in a positive way,” Gatewood said. “We think she’s a source of positivity for everyone. We want to model our principles after that.”
So, they could not just drive cross-country and get on the show in an ordinary vehicle.
“We had to take it to the next level,” Jake Triplett said.
While motoring through the United States, they plan to meet everyday people, and highlight good people and places by posting video every day.
“We get excited about walking up to strangers, introducing ourselves and finding out their stories,” Triplett said. “Showing off good places and a lot of good people is where a lot of the heart of the trip comes from.”
The four wanna-be “Ellen boys,” as they were called Monday, come across as down-to-earth, curious and friendly.
• Gatewood, 22, from Edmond, Oklahoma, an economics major. He is supposed to start school in August. He might not make it this semester.
• Triplett, 26, from Missouri, who is a full-time content creator.
• Kyle Brown, 22, of Edmond, Oklahoma, who does odd jobs and travels.
• David Sosna, 23, who is a full-time videographer in Kansas City, Missouri.
Over the weekend, the four took the limo to New Hampshire and Vermont, cruising on the Kancamagus Highway (three out of 48 states, check.) When they drive by, “heads do turn. And it’s being driven by people who look like us” which doesn’t quite go (with the car), said Brown, wearing a smile and Hawaiian shirt.
By Monday, the limo’s brakes were repaired; the car’s exterior featured a photo of Ellen DeGeneres with the words, “Ellen, we bought a limo!”; and the car had a license plate that reads, “4uEllen.”
The plan was to leave Maine and drive through Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and end up in New York on Monday night.
After buying and repairing the limo, they have $1,000. The limo gets 20 miles per gallon on the highway. They plan to exist (eat) on the kindness of people they meet, Gatewood said, and by doing odd jobs and selling advertisements on the limo. It already has a couple of ads.
Since there is no money for hotels, they said they hope to be taken in for a night by people they meet. If that does not work, they will sleep in the limo. Each has his own “designated sweet spot.”
Tim Morin, co-owner of Shaker Hill Outdoors, said his limo was for sale on Craig’s List when he was contacted by Gatewood and Triplett. At first, he said, “I thought it was a scam. Then they sent me a deposit and I knew they were serious.”
While in Maine, the four guys interviewed a waitress at Denny’s in Auburn, and a woman working at McDonald’s in Lewiston who wants to get her GED. They played a board game, “So You Think You Know Maine.” They were drinking Moxie and drinking in the Maine culture, mastering the use of “wicked” in sentences.
For Tim Morin, the best part of the story “is selling the limo,” said the former star of the History Channel’s Down East Dickering show.
Even cooler, he said, is what the four guys are doing.
“I love the message, I love the adventure. That’s what my brother (Greg Morin) and I (as Shaker Hill Outdoors owners) are all about,” Morin said. “If I wasn’t 46 years old, married with two kids, I’d be with them in a minute.”