Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Twofer Tuesday returns with a couple of lunchboxes from out of state

The rides I'm posting today came from opposite sides of the country and have as much in common as they do differences. Both started life as utility vehicles earning their keep before driveway customizations re-imagined them for a second life. We'll start on the West Coast:
What we have here is a totally awesome and heartwarmingly earnest 1975-'78 Ford Econoline 350.
I don't think there's a drop of spray paint on this ride! Brush work throughout in various styles tells the story of a group of hippie friends each taking an area to create whatever they want. Leafy mermaids, circus patterns, and even a beautified gas cap make the scene.
This is a curious choice for a hippie van as it is the heavy duty E350 which can carry up to a ton of cargo without issue. The trade off is fuel economy and lower gearing, You can see from this shot the 8 bolt super stout rear wheels and massive axle.
I've got to hand it to whoever these sweet Oregon kids are. This was parked on the far edge of my sisters neighborhood so maybe I'll be able to check in on it and see if the murals have changed. Incidentally I took these pictures last year on the very day recreational pot use became legal in Oregon.
Now on to something totally bizarre!
This is a 1963 International Harvester Metro Van in Whitecap White. It also happens to be as charming as a vehicle can be. This is like the stuffed animal of vans!
I mean come on; a butterfly shaped grill? Every aspect of this ride is rounded and gentle. The roof alone makes it look like a big marshmallow.
At some point in its history the owner decided to replace most of the chrome trim with wooden pieces. The headlights turned out remarkably well. The turn signal base seems a bit of an afterthought.
This thing is so friendly and disarming it's ridiculous!
The door slides back into the side wall on a track like that of a UPS truck. That rectangle behind the mirror is a push-out vent for the driver. I'm fairly certain that a/c was not available for what was meant to be a delivery truck.
The seats were replaced with some overly plush leather jobs from a malaise-era car (I'm guessing late '70s Cadillac with the "button tufted pillow seating"). I'm sure it's comfortable but you'd be hard pressed to find a more bizarre choice for this rig! Originally this would've most likely come with a single uncomfortable drivers seat that could be folded away for the option of driving standing up. Where's your safety regulation now?
When it rains you might want to pull over.
This beast would be powered by an inline 6 cylinder mated to a 3 on the tree manual transmission. You can see how basic it is by the tacked-on speedometer.

The screw is coming out of this homemade woody. Without constant upkeep the addition of wood to the outside of any vehicle is a folly.
 SUSHI? Alright these were indeed designed to be delivery trucks and were enormously popular choices for bread and milk routes but I would NOT buy sushi from a van, especially where the driver is sitting on a burgundy leather Cadillac seat!
Combination taillight/turn signals are all you get on the back of SUSHI.
Looks like the wood gave up on this side.
These were built from 1938-1975 overall with this particular model going from '63-'72 with little change. They made it to all corners of the world looking either like this or with a flat front. How this one ended up in Providence Rhode Island wearing SUSHI plated and a New York registration sticker is a mystery, but hey! Keep on bringing the smiles SUSHI!

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