I paw through a lot of Facebook groups and forums looking at modified vehicles belonging to people I don’t know. (If you also think this is fun, we could probably be friends.) But a modern chassis, drivetrain, and dashboard swap over to a classic body project always piques my interest. In this case, the body is especially cool: A righteous Grumman delivery van from the ’60s.
This 2017 Ford F-150/1966 Grumman Olson van mashup was shared to the Off Road, Overland Expedition and Camping 4wd Vehicles Facebook group by a Chris Nakayama, who wrote that the vehicle was put together by Likuid Kreations. That’s a custom vehicle shop out of Chino Valley, Arizona and I know nothing about it besides what could be gleaned in a casual perusal of its website and Instagram page: It looks like they do a lot of hot rod-type stuff.
I wouldn’t call this van a “hot rod” but there’s definitely some hot roddish America to its aesthetic.
If you’re looking for a precedent in hot rod step vans, they’re definitely a thing. Racing commentator/Ex-Top Gear host Rutledge Wood has one! But I especially dig that this one on account of its off-roadiness.
It’s cool because it’s kind of silly and simultaneously badass. I can’t imagine anyone looking at this thing and not, at least a little, feel warm and fuzzy and impressed. As an off-road overland build, it’s functionally awesome. A big and tall van like an Olson has so much room for activities, after all.
These vans were ubiquitous decades ago and their successors are still operated by delivery companies today, though more car-like vans such as the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter have also become quite popular with the shipping biz. Still, the old-timey delivery van is an image ingrained in pop culture, and seeing one punked out like this just feels fun.
Likuid Kreations, which I have to triple-check the spelling on every time I write it, has uploaded some specifications on the build along with images to its Facebook page:
There are a few in-progress pictures of the build too, but make sure you check out this shot of the F-150 cab inside the van:
How cool is that?! You’ve got to love to see this level of creativity in the custom car world. Here are some pictures that reveal more of the Grumman’s character:
While looking through these, the only big question I found myself wondering was: Just how closely did the F-150 and Olson van’s wheelbases line up? It’s kind of random to imagine them being similar, but then again, it’s critical for the project to make sense.
Lo and behold, somebody else was wondering the same and Likuid Kreations revealed in a comment: “The wheelbase was within about 2 inches. The front wheel arches had to he radiused anyways to fit the 35" tires so I just made them fit the front axle centerline.” There you go.
I was also mildly curious about which F-150 engine resides in the Olson, and jumped into the builder’s thread myself to ask: Likuid Kreations’ FB account replied that it’s the naturally aspirated V6. So, no screaming EcoBoost or torquey V8, but more importantly the modernity of the engine and platform swapped under the van body should make the vehicle much more drivable and reliable than its original.
I hope we get some high-quality images of this thing in action soon, and it’d be sweet to see what’s going on with the interior once it’s fully built-out. For now, I just had to shout it out as a unique and interesting restomod.