"GO BIG OR STAY HOME"-- Coby Gewertz
"GO BIG OR STAY HOME"-- Coby Gewertz
But here’s something you may not know. Despite its jaw-dropping ride height and pristine paint, Coby takes pride in driving his Econoline regularly. He isn't the least bit reluctant to haul merchandise for his brand, "Church, Cars Not Culture" around in it. In fact, one could argue that what Coby has really created is the ultimate divining rod for attracting people to his magazine and merchandise.
|Art by Bomonster.|
|Art by Gewertz.|
|Art by Allison.|
Van Go has an uncanny knack for attracting all sorts. Surfers.
Bikers. Highway patrol officers. Galpin Ford car salesmen. Skate punks. Hippies. Nuns. Old timers with memories to share. No matter where you park her, an impromptu crowd assembles.
Which is ironic in retrospect, because Coby hid Van Go's build from most of his buddies. At the time, he didn't want to suffer relentless ribbing for choosing such an odd canvas to perpetrate a custom build.
Who’s laughing now?
It all began at KA Custom with this innocuous lil' stocker.
|The FORD letters were removed from the nose and the blinkers.|
KA Custom installed the front end, Clear Steer steering unit and the Ididit column. Not to mention the drivetrain.
Welcome to Conder Customs. This is where the magic happens.
I was going to the shop at least every other weekend, and probably getting in the way more often than not. I soon discovered that I could gauge Tim’s frustrations by how many discarded Hostess fruit pie wrappers were on his desk. He would loosely draw something up in two or three minutes on a scrap of paper, never real tight. Just enough so I could visualize his thoughts.
Reminds us of a life-size Revel model.
Pablo at work. Notice Van Go is pre-graphics.
The circular rings on the dashboard are AC vents.
COBY: Being a graphic designer, proportions are everything to me, and the size wheels I wanted to run was extremely important. Had I gone in a different direction with the style of the van, my wheel choice would likely have changed. I dig Astros and Cragars, but there was never any real consideration other than chrome reverse wheels.
Jimmy and his cohorts at Rally America custom-made my rims and they did a stellar job. Considering that I’m running disc brakes up front, making these wheels fit was not easy. Plus, I wanted to hide the fact that I have disc brakes.
Van Go has electric fans and an aluminum radiator. We also ran ducting to force air into the radiator. Realizing that cooling an early van can be an issue, it was incorporated into the design from day one. I think the main obstacle we’re trying to overcome now is a lack of airflow over and out of the engine compartment. Since the engine cover is a bit tight it’s not allowing airflow to easily exit. Making a new engine cover is an option, but I'd really rather not go there. Starlite Customs created a louvered belly pan that doesn’t give airflow the option of passing beneath the van and that’s been a big help. The louvers also allow heat to dissipate when it’s at a stand still.
|Even the horn cap is custom. The wheel is from an early Corvette.|
QUESTION #9: You’re running a 290-hp V8 with an overdrive tranny. How is it having the overdrive? What kind of gas mileage are you puling down? Does it chirp? And how does it stop given the V8’s power and weight?
COBY: The majority of people seem to know the van for two reasons. One, its altitude adjustment, and two, the wooden interior. Not many people call me out on having Chevy power, although it does happen occasionally.
Even Van Go's Show Car Sign is a total custom.
III: THE ENGINE COVER -- It has 3 aluminum layers, with 2 layers of Dynamat sandwiched in between. For cooling purposes, it's probably a bit too snug for the engine. A little more breathing room might have helped VanGo run a bit cooler.
If there’s one thing that distinguishes Coby in my mind, it’s that everything he does, he does with a deep level of craft, the skill of an accomplished designer, and the heart of a custom car aficionado. The man is a class act.
That said, if you’re a fan of class acts, great graphic design, automotive photography, custom cars and/or traditional hot rods, get your mitts on a copy of Coby’s magazine, Church, Cars Not Culture. And while you're at it look at his other goodies, too.
(CUE THE GOSPEL MUSIC AND ROLL THE CREDITS.)
KUDOS TO THE BUILD TEAM: