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!

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).

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!

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!

Sponsored