Friday, September 3, 2010

That 70's Car Show

It might seem hard to believe, but I see signs of a major 70's icon coming back, and it's not a TV rerun. At first it was just rumors, then grumblings here and there, next a few words were written about it in a major car magazine (half serious and half joking), and finally a report that the trend was is full swing in Japan and spreading rapidly. What is this object I speak of? Well, brace yourself, because it's none other then the Van. That's right folks, the classic 70's shaggin' wagon is making a comeback, and I think I am starting to see what could be a major trend taking foothold. A little bit of research on craigslist confirmed some of my suspicions. Late 60's to mid 70's short wheel base vans seem to be selling like hotcakes, most of them within a few days of being posted. Either people are looking for storage containers to put in their yards or they are buying them to fix up.

Here is a prime candidate I found recently. It was dirt cheap too. Check out the U.S. Indy mags...

Of all the vehicles that I have bought over the years, I have never owned a van. It's not that I didn't like them, it's more like they just disappeared. Besides, I was much to involved with muscle cars to pay much attention to vans. I do recall during the van craze that a lot of the fully customized vans had names on their sides. My cousins was no exception and I clearly remember it. His van was a Blue Ford Econoline that he named "Hotel California". I think it made it into a few magazines back in the day, as it was pretty trick. For the uninformed, clueless or anyone born after 1979, I have rounded up some classic examples of the types of vans that you would have seen in the 70's...

 Here you have your classic Dodge van. Note the tinted plexi-glass "port hole" windows. These were all the rage during the van scene, that and "tear drop" windows. You may also notice the mural, CB antenna, side pipes and stamped steel mags, which I use to refer to as "sheet metal mags". For some reason Dodge seemed to be the van of choice for many. This must have been a true traveling van, hence the luggage rack, roof ladder, and trailer hitch.

Up next is the iconic mid-70's Chevy van, my personal favorite. This one is sporting a bitchin' burgandy paint job and is complete with a mini slider window, extra wide Cragar SS mags, and fog lights. Although it could really use a flare kit and maybe some side pipes!

Finally we have the fabulous Ford van, along with it's proud owner and his girlfriend. How do I know this? I don't, it's just a wild guess.. I think. This example has it all: Two tone paint with custom graphics; extra wide sheet metal mags; raised white letter tires; fog lights (they're there, trust me); chrome side pipes; tinted port hole window; CB antenna, and radiused rear wheel openings. Extra bonus points were awarded for the 70's belt buckle, matching T-shirts, and cut-off shorts!

Even the dealerships were into the van craze, check out this inventory!

Man, now I'm really jonesing for a van. Imagine the looks you would get driving one of these down the street. Hey, disbelief is considered a look, unless it's followed by upchucking, then it doesn't count. The only problem with me getting a van would be that by the time I got it on the road, hybrids will be considered classics! Maybe I'll stick to the reruns...

 Ok, I like never do updates unless something FUBAR happens or I am simply blown away. Well, put this in the latter catagory and be prepared to be blown away. The burgandy mid-70's Chevy van pictured above, the one I called "my personal favorite", has been totally fixed up and has now become my all time favorite. It had come to my attention that a certain van blog referenced the Amberlight Garage and of course this post. That's when I spied photos of this heavy Chevy all tricked out. Feast your eyes on this beauty...
For more pictures and info on this bitchin' machine check out the owners blog at

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crazy 'bout a Mercury

So I figured it was about time that I posted a picture of my latest project, a 1962 Mercury Monterey Custom. This was one of the top-of-the-line models that Mercury produced that year. In fact, the only other model above this one was the ultra rare S-55. My Monterey is equipped with the 330 horse 390 big block with a Merc-o-matic transmission. Other options include factory air conditioning, power steering, and power brakes. The Monterey needs a few things, like a tune-up, and I need to look at the brakes, but overall it is in pretty good shape. The '59 Caddy taillights don't look too bad either.

Behold Das Boot

This is the largest 2 door car that I have ever owned. You could literally lay four adults side by side in the trunk! Moonshine anyone? For all you Mercury lovers out there here is a video that I ran across. Enjoy!