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Thursday, December 8, 2016


Q#1: How did you find your van? Does it have a name? 

A: Someone re-posted a for sale link on the Van-List FB page. I've picked up a lot of good deals there. I wasn't looking to buy another van but it was just too pretty to pass up. It was already bagged and you could have barely done the paint job for what I paid. As far as the van's history, all I know is that it had a Hot Rod Magazine calendar on the front seat that featured the van in it.

Q#2: Your paint job is one of my all-time favorites. Tell us about it.

A: The paint is exactly how it was when I got it. It's a unique take on the Econoline’s body lines and something I would never have thought of myself, which is probably why I love it so much. I do plan on repainting it one day, after I retire it from being one of my tattoo supply vans. I won't be changing the paint scheme though! [EDITOR: We couldn't agree more.]

Q#3: So it’s set up as a work van? Tell us about that.

A: I really wanted a full-custom wood interior, but I knew it was going to have to be a work van. So I decided to embrace that aspect and planned out wood shelving that fits the tattoo products we deliver in it. The woodwork is trimmed out nicely, so I get the custom look I wanted, but it still makes sense & money. 

Q#4: What size are those awesome wheels you're running and what are they?

A: They’re 17X8" Ansen slots. I dig the way they look. When I retire Agent Orange from being a work vehicle, I plan to get a set of wires wheels for it. I've always wanted wire wheels on it because it reminds me of a vintage guitar and the wire spokes would look like strings. 

Q#5: Do you have any changes planned?

A: Funny you should ask, because the drivetrain is currently going out on me. That’s one of the reasons I plan to retire it from work next year. So, any recommendations or advice from your audience would be much appreciated! 

Q#6: Are there other custom vans in your area? Can you tell me 
about your club?

A: Yeah, there are a few custom vans in my neck of the woods. A few years ago, I didn't really know of any. My buddy Chris has always been into vannin', and we were always looking at his old van mags and getting hyped up. About ten years ago, I had a badass 76 Chevy shorty, but I was broke as shit and had to sell it for cheap. So, when I finally had my business going good and had some extra cash, I kind of went nuts and ended up with like six vans. Haha. Now I'm down to a more manageable three.

My van club here in the OKC is called Vanarchy. It has 6 members. Due to running multiple businesses, I’ve been slacking on organizing events, but soon my family and I are moving to Tulsa and we’re planning on merging Vanarchy with Tulsa Time Van Club, which is very active. That’ll be a lot of fun!

Q#7: You drive your van daily, which is damn cool. What are the challenges? 

A: There have been a lot of challenges, actually. Airbag troubles and u-joints, steering column and electrical issues. And now there’s the drive train. I have no doubt that an older van can be completely rebuilt and run solid for any task. However, since this one needs to be on the streets daily to keep revenue coming in, it's been really hard to get it in a garage long enough to fix more than one problem at a time. 

Q#8: Do you plan to take it to any big shows? 

A: I'm going to try and take it to the NATS next year!  I have plans to get a new suspension, front end, and a completely new interior next year. Something my wife and I can drive to nationals and have fun in. I also plan to redo the paint. Like I said, I won't change the paint scheme, but I might make it a bit more sparkly. I'll keep you posted.

Q#9: If you could do anything differently, what would it be? 

A: The wood interior. It's pretty, but it's just not holding up that well to the weight of the stuff we need to put on it. If I could do it over, I would fabricate it in metal, with rolled edges and tack weld it all in. Then I’d paint it or chrome it, and maybe have some engraving done. Man, just thinking about it, it's hard to not spend all the business profits on the van!

Q#10: What’s the best story you have that involves your van?

A: My wife driving it. Now you’re prolly thinking this is a "woman driver" story, but no way. My wife’s a pro. When I started driving the 3-on-the-tree, it took me forever to get it down smooth. I still kinda suck at it. We were having a van meet-up one night, and my wife decided she wanted to drive the Econoline, so I drove my Dodge. When we arrived, everyone had to back their vans into these tight spots for a group photo. I could tell that all my friends were just waiting for her to fuck up, but she killed it! Everyone was like WTF, how did she learn to drive like that?” I said, "she's a badass". Every since then, It kinda feels like it's her van. 

[Dennis and that badass van-parking wife of his.]

Q#11: Any props you’d like to give? A plug for your company or a shout out to peeps who’ve worked on your van?

A: Oklahoma Tattoo Supply is our family business. We deliver the gear that Tattoo Artists use to make their clients happy. 80% of our business is delivering to tattoo shops, and the using vintage vans makes it more fun, no doubt! I’d like to give a shout out to my buddy, Eric Fisher, who did the build out on the interior, and to my good friend, Alvin Estes, who keeps the van running and on the road making money. Also, Josh Henning, who's a fellow Vanner and the daily delivery driver for Oklahoma Tattoo Supply. Yeah, the dude actually gets paid for vannin'! 
[Friends, Kito Talbert  & Austin McCullough getting a delivery at their shop!]
[Josh Henning at the helm. Lucky stiff.]

[How's this for ironic? Dennis is also the proud owner of this Econoline tattoo, inked by Drew Surtleff, owner of "The Ink Hub" in OKC. It's based on a Jeff Lahti illustration that Dennis saw on a van blog. Months ago, we saw the same illustration and commissioned a portrait of "Poochie", our Vinvanco project van, shown below. It's hanging proudly in  the Vinvanco tiki lounge. Great minds think alike, Dennis. Ha!]

Q#12: What are your future plans for Agent Orange?

 A: I have some out of the box ideas planned that I hope won't change the overall look, at least on the outside. My dream is to take it down to Marty Sooby in Texas, the greatest van builder ever, and have him rebuild it from the ground up, including my crazy ideas. I'm sure he'll either improve upon them, or tell me I'm crazy. Regardless of how much is completed by then, look for me at Nationals in 2018! -Peace

THE WRAP-UP: There we have it, folks. Another "Twelve Questions" has come and gone. We'd like to thank Dennis England for taking the time to share his sweet Econoline with us and sending us pictures. If you need tattoo supplies, reach out to Dennis at Oklahoma Tattoo Supply. And you might just want to snag one of their cool Econoline promotional tees while you're at it. But please don't order the last XXL until I've placed my order. And since we're on the subject, don't hesitate to snap up some Vinvanco merch for stocking stuffers. You'll find original art by Ger Peters, Zombie, John Bell, Von Franco and Dirty Donny, to name just a few. With that outta the way, we’ll say sayonara 'til next time. Keep the boxy side up!

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