Because Life Without a Custom Van Isn't Worth Living!S

With the 20R Sprite project awaiting its new rear suspension at Evil Genius Racing and a lot of unused parking space at my new home in Denver, I was feeling the Project Car Hell Jones something terrible!

Because Life Without a Custom Van Isn't Worth Living!S

So I've gone and bought the '66 Dodge A100 Sportsman Deluxe we saw in the Warehouse Of Renault Overload a couple weeks back. It's got a death-rattly 318 installed and a good 318 on a pallet in the back, an automatic transmission with the world's coolest dash-mounted shifter, and a solid nearly-rust-free body. As an added bonus, I was born in 1966 and thus this van qualifies for entry in the Year Of Your Birth Rally (the Sprite is one year too new).

Because Life Without a Custom Van Isn't Worth Living!S

My plan is to customize the A100 as far as I can without destroying its ability to haul greasy Traction-Avant drivetrains, rain-soaked particle board, etc. That means it won't have a waterbed or purple shag carpeting in the back, but it will have a wild paint job, lake pipes, big fat tires, and air shocks in the back so's I can get that 1977-style stance. It's got a 318, which means I'll have the V8 rumble covered, and I plan to do the seats in 1964-bowling-alley-grade metal-flake vinyl upholstery. Still agonizing about wheel selection, but I think I've narrowed it down to Cragar S/Ss or the slot mags as seen on the Little Red Wagon back in the day. I've already bought this Midland phone-handset-equipped 23-channel CB, and my next purchase will be an appropriate underdash 8-track player and mid-70s-correct speakers.


Fortunately, I've already got "Montrose" on 8-track, which means I'll be able to hear pre-downfall-of-Van-Halen Sammy Hagar doing what he once did best: Custom Van Soundtrack music!

Because Life Without a Custom Van Isn't Worth Living!

The news of my van purchase comes as a shock to Jalopnik founding father and 0-60 Magazine editor-in-chief Mike Spinelli, because he and I agreed on a Custom Van Suicide Pact several years back. That means if one of us buys and builds a custom van, the other must follow suit. I've been recommending a Thames Freighter for his van choice, but I suspect he's more of a traditional Malaise Era Chevy Van guy. Your move, Spinelli!