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  1. a bit of info, from the owner / builder:

    My family has always been a Ford family and some time in high school I decided I wanted a first gen. Econoline. I ended up buying this one a few years later after someone broke into my daily driver, took a chunk out of the paint and put a dent in it. The insurance company cut me a check to fix the window and have the body work done, but I was taking the paint and body program at Renton Technical College. So I decided to buy a new window, fix the paint and cash the check.

    I found this ‘61 Econo on Craigslist for $800, and I now had the means to buy it. I went down to Olympia with my dad to look at it, he had some vans in the past so he had a better idea of what to look for in terms of mechanical problems. I test drove it and knew I had to have it. It wasn’t much more than a month before I started tearing into it. I knew exactly what I wanted to do to it. I told the guy I bought it from: Gold flake, yellow windows, Astro Supremes. My final year at RTC I was allowed to bring in a project, so I decided to build the van. I had dry secure storage, a nice paint both, and 6 or 7 hours a day every day for 5 months to work.

    Here is a short list of mods, forgive me if I forget some ( its been a while since I did them): Molded door hinges, shaved windsheild squirters, ‘59 Buick grill and custom surround, shaved handles, shaved body seams, lake pipes, stainless nerf bars, the louvers on the rear pan came from fire locker doors, ‘60 Pontiac tail lights with cabinet knobs, relocated lock cover for rear handle, and license plate mounting chains.

    The van started out life as a school bus. It’s still running a 170 c.i. 6 with a 3 speed on the column.When all of the paint was being stripped I found the old lettering for the Olympia School District, and I found a hole in the side where a fold out stop sign would have been mounted. There are still a few places on the inside where if you look real close you can see some of the original school bus yellow. When I painted the van it got 3 coats of custom mixed pearl yellow base, 13 coats of DBC 500 and gold House of Kolor mini ball flake, and 3 coats of clear. Then it was all wet sanded flat and I masked out the panels. Then I sprayed a mixture of House of Kolor brandy wine, tangerine, and rootbeer candy… followed 3 more coats of clear. I went with the plastic window because when I was looking at window tint colors their yellow wasn’t vibrant enough but the plastic was, and I thought Hell if its good enough for a drag car it’s good enough for a van.

    I have a small welding and fab company called Kehrer Co. - I specialize in custom metal working for any application. I make custom alloy and exotic wood shift knobs, knife handles, and tool handles. I have an affinity for very expensive things, but since I can’t afford them I make them. If folks in the Northwest are interested in me doing some work for them, my business email is Kehrerco@gmail.com.  Oh and the TV does work. It has a digital converter box on it you can actually get a picture.

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  2. Murals are never done this well. Usually, you get up close to check them out and… brush strokes and a lack of detail slaps you in the face. On Deathstar, you can get close enough to see your breath in the clear coat, and there’s still more detail. It never ends. The mural is so good the only thought is, ‘How the hell did they do that?!’ Answer: Coop, not the one in Los Angeles, but the one in Columbus Ohio. 

    http://coopstripes.blogspot.com/

    The interior doesn’t slack off either - it’s good enough to be a movie set.

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  4. I’d bet this guy wins ‘best paint’ all the time. Flames + dragons + van = I’m happy.

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  5. I stumbled on this Ural while on the ferry ride home. I had a couple of minutes, so I pulled out the flashes and tried to capture a little of what makes these bikes so awesome. Just look at that fairing! It looks as if it was conceived and bent by a teenager in shop class. Looking at this bike is like looking at the past - but this isn’t ‘retro’ styling that masks modern tech - this is actually old shitty technology. Some might call it “simple” and thus easy to work on. I call it intentionally outdated and fragile; don’t go faster than 55 - you’ll kill it! 

  6. Towards the end of our shoot, a firetruck passed by, sirens blaring. A little while later, it came back - the guys just wanted to check out the van.

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    Fred has owned this van since new. A while ago, he had given up on it and had his employees using it in his business as a contractor - then the damage they were doing it started to hurt, so he decided to bring it back. Fred is the type of guy who spent a year working on the underside - stripping, repairing, cleaning, painting. He made the door lock knobs by hand, shaping and filing each on until it was perfect.

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  7. it’s for sale:

    http://www.chopcult.com/VonZacho73/classifieds/51944/

     

    You just wish it was for sale still, don’t you?

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  8. Rodney has owned this Econo since he was 14, and 30 or so years later he’s pulled it out of the garage, tuned it up and is rolling with it again. He’s got plans to fix a few flaws in the body work, replace the windshield and repaint the whole rig.

    He built it himself, with the help of his old friend Jay. He’s thinking of taking off the rear fender flares and going back to the original design: the original fender lip is still there, under the flared out one. Why didn’t they cut the fender lip way back when? For just a moment like this. The van is called “Knights in White Satin,” and is running a 302 and a C4.

    The Vista Cruiser roof is just about perfect, and the interior upholstery on the gullwing door mirrors the roof upholstery perfectly. It’s a comfortable, fast, clean van that got thumbs up wherever we drove while we were looking for a place to shoot. As a mile-long train passed us by, from he locomotive we heard the engineer scream, “Nice VAN!”

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  10. It’s Sunday: email and cell phones are irrelevant.

  11. Jim decided he wanted a metal flake paint job with a lace detail around the belt line, so he painted it himself. He also tooled the leather panel that’s on the glove box door.

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    Early on a Sunday morning, coffee comes first. Our rendezvous was at a Starbucks in Newcastle Washington, where we would get maps of the day’s tour. And though this was a Northwest Citroen Club meet, the parking lot soon filled up with Ferraris, MGs, Porsches, and - most interesting to some - a Lada. 

    Following the Driver’s Meeting, 26 cars left from the parking lot, eager to tour the area’s beautiful twisty roads. I accompanied the tour’s organizer, Paul, in his Panhard. Paul comes from a long line of Panhards; his father and grandfather collectively own eight. You’d be forgiven for drawing a blank on Panhard cars, but the bar they invented should ring a bell. Citroen dealers sold them in the US, briefly.

    Paul tells me that this 1960 PL17 has the 850cc 2 cylinder motor, so I figure we’ll be bringing up the rear. I’m completely wrong: three of us in the car don’t seem to phase it - the boxer motor growls with limitless ambition.

    We quickly make our way through a suburban subdivision nightmare to the promised land of twisty roads. Paul doesn’t treat the car with kid gloves - immediately we’re zipping through the corners. There’s no tire squeal, TONS of body lean though. There are no seat belts in the rear - so I hold on. Paul is having a blast, so am I.

    It’s clear that this car isn’t in concours condition, I ask Paul what his future plans are for the car, is he going to restore it? Certainly not, he replies, “Patina is nice.”

    The tour pulls in for a break at Lake Wilderness Park in Maple Valley. It’s a perfect setting for photos of the Panhard. The peaceful park makes a great backdrop for all the cars there.

    I start talking with the owner of the Lada, who tells me he bought the car after seeing some pictures online. The email; ‘You want to sell the red one?’ was met with a ‘Yes.’ A few thousand dollars and few weeks later, the Lada arrived on US soil from Germany. There’s a lot of Peugeot 505, Volvo 144, and other 80’s boxiness in it’s design, which is entirely Fiat 124. The Lada we’re looking at is a Riva, with a 1300cc motor.

    The owner of a 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 invites me to join him on the next leg of our trip. It’s classy and far more masculine than the Dino parked next to us. It’s just a little more Clint Eastwood. I take a few photos, and notice I’m sweating a bit. Nerves? No - it’s the heat, pouring through the firewall. But it’s a “good heat,” as it comes from this elegant ship’s V12. Kerry, the owner, bought the car in boxes in 1980 for a pretty good price from a co-worker who got frustrated with the restoration he undertook.

    Kerry took auto body classes at a community college, got the body prepped for paint, had the engine sorted and then reassembled the car. The investment of time and money paid off - these cars now go for six figures.

    But Kerry’s not about the money, he’s about the car. He demonstrates a few times just how much torque this car has. Does it pull like a freight train? Maybe, I’ve never been on a freight train. But I can say that it’s torque that I’ve only experienced in electric cars. And it’s absolutely magical, pulling us up sizable hills from 20mph or so, in fourth gear.

    It’s hard not to love this car: it has the sound, power and speed that only exists in childhood imagination. I spent a bit of time considering selling my house, and everything I own, just to own a machine like this.

    The tour makes a right, rejoins the world of suburban weekend traffic. Daydreams evaporate as I look from the back end of a Citroen DS-21 wagon over to the coarse, blunt plastic back end of a Chevy Colorado. It’s a bit saddening - why can’t new cars be more whimsical, delicate, and elegant? As everyone parks and heads in to have lunch at our final tour stop, a quick glance around the parking lot reveals that it’s an argument no one in this group would dispute.

  13. Paint, wheels, little custom touches, and your van - though technically just like every one else’s  - becomes yours. I shot a calendar of vans not too long ago, here are some of my favorite shots from that series.

  14. The 2013 One Motorcycle Show, Portland

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