Archive for the 'Custom Autos' Category

Model Kits: `Vanpire’ Chevy Van (Monogram, 1978)

Vanpire 1978

Drac is in back. With your girlfriend.

The Lord of the Rings Custom Vans, Circa 1978 – 1980

LOTR Van 1980

LOTR Van 1980-2

Old Man Willow holds the wet bar and TV, folks, and the bed is “upholstered in gold crushed velour.” Those are real tree stumps leading up to the bed.

Here are two more specimens, with art and titles based on the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit animated movies of 1978 and 1977, respectively.

More custom vans here.

LOTR Van Circa 1978

Hobbit Van Circa 1978

(Photos via Phoney Fresh, Pinterest, and Rollin’ Heavy)

Model Kits: ‘Xtasy’ Chevy Custom Van (AMT, 1977)

Xtasy-1

Xtasy-2

Xtasy-3

“Get yours together and get into the van scene NOW!”

Star Wars `Space Fantasy Sweepstakes’ Entry Form (1977)

SW-1

SW-2

I mentioned the Star Wars Celica last year on Facebook. No one knows what happened to it, although urban legend dictates that the airbrushed beauty collects dust in a garage somewhere, waiting for the day when one special nerd will start her up with a special key (passed down through the nerd’s family for generations) and launch her into the stars to face yet another catastrophically engineered Death Star.

In the promotional art, Chewie appears on the hood, but the final version is a riff on the Star Wars poster by the Brothers Hildebrandt.

The photo below, taken on the 20th Century Fox lot, is a detail from the cover of the October 1977 issue of Toyota Today. The poster in the background is the billboard version illustrated by Tom Jung.

More background and photos at the Star Wars Collectors Archive.

SW-3

 

Dodge ‘Alien’ Custom Van, 1981

Alien Van 1981

How am I expected to quit my custom van obsession when I keep finding specimens like this one? It’s like it emerged from a slimy, leathery egg and attached itself to my face.

(Image via Cosmo Lutz/Flickr)

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Van Art, Circa 1981

CE Van 1978

“Close Encounter” van art by Shelby Goode, scanned from from Air-brushing Techniques for Custom Painting Vol. II, by Badger Air Brush Co. and Carl Caiati, Franklin Park, IL, 1981.

Lost in Space

“Lost in Space” van art by Shelby Goode, scanned from from Air-brushing Techniques for Custom Painting Vol. II, by Badger Air Brush Co. and Carl Caiati, Franklin Park, IL, 1981.

Skeleton Caiati

Van art by Carl Caiati, scanned from from Air-brushing Techniques for Custom Painting Vol. II, by Badger Air Brush Co. and Carl Caiati, Franklin Park, IL, 1981.

I found these bedazzling specimens (and captions) at an amazing Tumblr called Public Collectors. It’s maintained by Marc Fisher, who also runs the main Public Collectors site, publiccollectors.org:

Public Collectors is founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible…

The purpose of this project is for large collections of materials to become accessible so that knowledge, ideas and expertise can be freely shared and exchanged. Public Collectors is not intended to be used for buying and selling objects.

Fisher also has a Flickr dedicated to intriguing arcana such as MS Paint Album Covers and Anti-Car Barriers in Chicago.

You can also follow Public Collectors on Facebook.

Model Kits: `The Wizard’ Ford Custom Street Van (MPC, 1981)

Wizard 1981

Wizard 1981-2

The decals were designed by California-born Harry Bradley, who created 11 of the 16 molds for the first line of Hot Wheels.

File under: best place ever to keep your dice bag and minis.

Chevy `Warlock’ Custom Van, Circa 1975

Warlock-1

The van was built by Gene Gamet, Terry Dodge, and Gary Glenn in Michigan in 1975, and Glenn, an airbrush legend, handled the paint job. Soon thereafter Gary took the van to Southern California, where it became a car show hero and one of the most famous custom vans in the country. Here it is in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979):

Warlock-4

Warlock-5

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And here’s the little addition Gary made after the movie: “Twinkie Patrol” – ‘We’re coming for your daughters’.

Warlock-4

There’s a long conversation about the van and its creators and history at Michael Poulin’s Flickr.

Gary Glenn passed away in 2013.

(Images via Cosmo Lutz/Flickr and the Gary Glenn Memorial Page)

‘Loads of Livin’ Room!’: Custom Van Ads (1975 – 1980)

Van 1975

Van 1976-2

Van 1976

Van 1976-3

Van 1978

Van 1976-4Van 1976-5

Van 1979-1Van 1979-2

Van 1980

From the GMC ad:

You’re a vanner.

Which all by itself tells us something very important about you: You’re an individualist. A free thinker. And you absolutely abhor the idea of driving what everybody else does.

(Images via eBay)


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