Follow VinVanCo

Wednesday, September 4, 2013



photos: Dennis Dahle
In a perfect mash-up and filed under the “Shit We Love” category comes an email from Nomad Dennis Dahle. Turns out, Dennis was butterfly-collar-deep in the Florida custom van scene in the late Seventies/early Eighties: ISCA shows, Playboy Playmates, hotel room parties, van parties, parking lot parties, party parties…
And he had the wherewithal to snap a few photos of what was going down when he ran into the one-and-only Candy Loving.
Now, we’re not only big fans of Playmate Candy Loving, but we’re also old enough to remember the custom van movement of that era. We were stoked on ‘em in the same way we were stoked on KISS: it was good theater, son. And while we’re not totally convinced that a new build retro custom van is the right thing for the AUTOCULT headquarters parking lot, we do love the theater of it all.
And here’s a good example of why: Dennis was good enough to jot a few lines down about what it was like in those hazy, bong-water-in-the-shag-carpet days of vanning…
“Photos taken in Ft.Pierce, Fla.’74 Dodge van powered by a ’70 (balanced) & blueprinted 340, (estimated) H.P. 400, a Fairbanks Racing 727 Torqueflite trans, 3K stall converter, Mopar 8 3/4 rear with 4:88 for strip & 3:23 for street. Ran 14.20 @ 105 mph. & weighed over 2 ton. Owner-built engine & interior. The interior consisted of 26 yds. of orange crushed velvet & 1382 real buttons. This I know for a fact as I made them all. The upholstery shop refused to do it and pointed me towards the button machine. Exterior was 7 coats of Hemi iridescent orange, gold pearl, candy apple tangerine flames. More gold pearl, then cleared. It was bright in the sun!!!
After the show in Ft. Pierce, it was party time back at the hotel. Candy & her handler/bodyguard/stud for the evening. Bob & Cindy Brazen from Miami (who showed a ’67 Datsun pro street p.u. that scared the crap out of me on a test run. It was bad ass!!). A couple from Jax, Fla. (she had never partied Candy L.-style) and I who was down for some hard core fun. I lived local and glad I did, for Candy could party you under the table. WOW!! She was present at most ISCA shows in ’82 & ’83. The ISCA show in Miami was a blast. Private concert for entrants by Paul Revere & the Raiders, free beer, Big Daddy Don Garlits doing a burn out with the Swamp Rat II in front of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Fun Fun Fun…”
Like we said: theater. And by the way, ‘theater of the mind’ is sometimes even better!

NOTE: This thread was pulled in its entirety from Dan Stoner's excellent Autoculture blog.
Please check it out and subscribe if you dig it. Autoculture

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Found a nice blog with lots of great pics of this fine 8-door.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


If you are putting it in a pickup it won't fit without major modification. It's too long. Best way on a pickup is to use the original Ford box and weld the flared sides from the Chevy box to it. You only need to widen it from the radiator support back so you'll have to cut and shorten the Chevy sides. The inner seat support will still work but you will have to switch them from side to side to get the correct offset. Also the flared sides on a Chevy box are about 1" taller than the fenderewerll on the Econoline so if you bolt the seat to the Chevy box side it will be to high. Here's a photo of a set of Fiero seats installed in my old 65 pickup. I used the original Ford box and welded the Chevy sides to it. I cut the sides down 1" in height and only shortened them 1". After I had it all welded I felt that it would be a much cleaner look if the sides only came to the radiatior support.


Photo is a reference shot only. 
Once in a while I come across a person who is so intelligent and informed in their opinions, I don't dare attempt to paraphrase. With that in mind, here is an excellent series of tips taken from E66PU on the site: V8 conversion cooling tips

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


 The Shiner Premium beer van with a pretty friend. Photo by Randal Ford

SIDENOTE: If you're familiar with Poochie, the 1961 Ford Econoline Vinvanco adopted a few years back, you already know a bit about Brian Jordan. His grandpa was the original owner of our seafoam green Econoline panel van. Brian's the guy responsible for putting her in our stable. But that’s another story for another time. Today's story is about the Shiner Beer van, and the masterminds who brought it to life. Brian Jordan and John Tullis are a writer/art director team at McGarrah Jessee in Austin, TX and the creators of the Shiner Premium van, which was completed recently and just featured in Rolling Heavy Issue #3. Vinvanco tracked these boys down to talk about this very cool 1974 Chevy G10 van.
John Tullis and Brian Jordan pose with their creation.

I: How did you convince your Shiner client to build a beer van?

BRIAN/JOHN: The van idea was one piece of the puzzle for launching Shiner Premium back into the market. Shiner Premium is the beer that put Shiner on the map and it did so in the early 1970s amidst a groovy music scene that was goin' down in Austin at the legendary Armadillo World Headquarters and other local venues. We wanted to pay tribute to those places, that period, and the overall vibe in everything we did. We pitched the van as a rolling billboard for Shiner launch events, showing our client examples of vintage van lifestyle imagery online. Dudes and chicks laying around on the beach. Chopper bikes parked next to vans at campsites. Bikini clad babes laying in the grass. Airbrushed murals, bell bottom pants, thick mustaches, etc.

II: What was the client's reaction to the idea?

BRIAN/JOHN: We rolled into the meeting thinking that the van was an easy thing for a client to say “no” to. They could’ve easily spent their dough on other aspects of the launch. But Shiner's smart, they have guts and they could see how the van would play a cohesive part in the relaunch of Shiner Premium. They dug it. 

III: What does Shiner think of the finished product?

BRIAN/JOHN: They love it and are always willing to help put promotional miles on it. 

IV: What did the van look like before the transformation and where did you find it?

BRIAN/JOHN:After a lot of searching, we found it on craigslist in Des Moines. The exterior was blue, pretty simple. But it had a couple of things going for it right from the get go. The Cragar SS mags were already on it as were the vintage portholes. It was a good basis for what we had in mind. 

V: What did you have in mind?

BRIAN/JOHN: We’d originally planned to paint a mural of the Shiner Brewery on the van. But after a walk around the van with Bryan Jessee (one of the head-honchos at our agency) we were encouraged to consider “an eagle flying with two beers in its talons.” That’s creative direction that you don’t get very often and we flat out loved the idea.

We hired Darren Wenzel of Gasoline Art to airbrush the murals and they turned out incredible. We rounded out the eagle motif with a rattlesnake on the opposite side of the van. 

VI: Who else was involved in the build?

BRIAN/JOHN:Josh Rodriguez of Rodriguez Rod and Cycle did the majority of the work for us, including the paint job. And he did it right and fast. In fact, the paint was barely dry when we rolled it out on a sandy beach for a photo shoot for our print ad.

VII: What has the general public's response been?

BRIAN/JOHN: It’s a head-turner. Everywhere we go, people snap pictures of it, or ask about it. It’s hard to miss something so big and gold.

VIII: You were contacted to have the van appear in Rolling Heavy. Seeing as it's not the most politically correct van magazine out there, how was that broached to your client?

BRIAN/JOHN:After initially talking to Matt at Rolling Heavy, it was clear to us that he was leading the push for the custom van resurgence. While his publication is the real deal and a little racy, we nonetheless thought it would be good publicity for Shiner. So we asked Shiner, figuring the worst they could do was say "no". After two times of them saying “yes”, we sent a scan of one of the photo spreads in the actual mag, just to be safe. After the third “yes”, we were good to go.

IX: What is a typical day in the life of the Shiner Van?

BRIAN/JOHN:The van lives at the agency in Austin and in addition to lots of local music/film/beer events, we’ve driven it in parades, on Shiner sales calls, and just to lunch. It also followed the cyclists from Austin to Shiner in the 90+mile Shiner Gasp race.

X: Any funny stories you'd like to share? Is there anything you would have done differently? 

JT: I took the van out one day at lunch and when I got to the exit of our parking garage, the Austin Beerworks van was right in front of me. I nudged up close and let the side pipes do a little trash talkin’.
BJ: As with any older vehicle, it’s a continuous work in progress. We’re proud of where the van is currently, but are excited to keep customizing it. We haven’t touched the interior yet, but are formulating an approach to that now. That’ll be Phase II, hopefully coming soon.

XI: You’re both gearheads. Before I let you go, tell us a bit about your own projects.

Brian: I’ve got a Fleetside 1959 Chevrolet Apache that I’m just now getting back on the road after a 17-year hiatus. I drove the truck in high school but since then it sat under a tree at my parents place. It’s a great old truck and a fun project to have back in my life.

John: I have a 1955 Buick Special that’s mostly all original except it sits a little lower and is all shaved and clean (see it at the 1:30 mark of the Hill Country Cruise video embedded in the next section). I'm also getting underway on a Buick-powered ’27 Ford roadster project. That should just about cover slow and low and fast and loud. 

XII: You guys are ad dudes. It only seems fitting that I ask you if there's anything or anyone either of you'd like to put in a plug for?

Brian: Sure! You can check out the band that I’m in, The Cold Irons. If you dig back on our timeline a bit you’ll see a post about some tracks we did recently as a father’s day gift to Steve Earle, one of our heroes. If you search “The Cold Irons” in the iTunes store, we’ll come up in there, too.

John: If you’re in Texas, check out the Meatheads. We're a car club that shares a love of oak-smoked bbq and all things hopped up. Bring a van out for one of our Hill Country cruises

Thanks for playing twelve questions with Vinvanco, fellas. Be sure and send us some shots once the interior comes together and keep up the good work on Shiner Beer at McGarrah Jessee.  

If you're a vintage van lover, check out our vintage van merch at and like our Facebook page.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


As Debbie and I ventured to the Good Guys Car Show in Loveland, Colorado yesterday, we couldn't help but wonder if we would see any early vans at the show. There weren't many. Only a couple, in fact. But what we did stumble upon was nothing short of remarkable.

Mark Patterson was seated among the throng of hot rods with the most original example of a second-generation Chevrolet van that I've seen in ages.
The story behind the van was just as remarkable. Mark's father drove this van on the job, back in the day. And with the blessing of his employer, he would borrow it to take his family on outings. Mark had many memories of tooling around in the van as a kid and it held a special place in his memories.

Factory equipped 283 ci.
Mark has quite a collection of original materials.
Mark never forgot all the great times he and his family had in the Chevy. Years passed, and Mark found himself working for the same company that his father had, and one day he innocently inquired about the whereabouts of the van. Turns out, the company still had it and Mark told them that if they would ever consider selling it, he'd be very interested. His employer must have realized that the van couldn't have had a better second owner, so they made him a gracious offer. If Mark was willing to make the van mechanically sound, they would give it to him. The rest is history. As Mark entered the gates of the Good Guys show, he watched the odometer turn 58,000 miles.

That's 58K original miles, folks.
As the crowd milled about the fairgrounds, little did most of them know that one very appreciative grown man was recounting his youth. As the proud caretaker of this gorgeous low-mileage Chevy, Mark intent on keeping it as original as it was back when he rode around in it as a young whipper-snapper. You've got to love the fact that Mark's employer saw fit to honor the many great memories that Mark had with this van, and allowed him to continue to create great memories with his family in it.

Meeting Mark made our day, and his story reminds us that there are still some fantastic employers left on this planet.
Two old friends, reunited.

Thanks for sharing your story, and your van with us, Mark.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


We're excited to have out new HouseoSpeed/Vinvanco shirts coming. The artwork features a first generation van peeling out as the female passengers screams.
Any resemblance to my lovely bride and the day-to-day contact at HouseoSpeed, is as they say, purely intentional.


We had Johnny Jalopy add the Vinvanco name to one of his killer illustrations. We're hoping to negotiate to use this sweet-ass artwork for t-shirts, patchs and maybe even prints. We'll keep you posted.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


In case you were wondering WTF happened to this blog, we're pretty much doing all out communicating on Facebook these days.
Feel free to join us: