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Vans R Back

'71 Dodge Tradesman

Vans R Back
Posted January 19 2011 10:37 AM by Bob Ryder 
Filed under: Editorials, Observations, Opinions, Tech Tips, Opinions, Truckin' Etiquette, Dodge, Classic Truck Trends

'71 Dodge Tradesman 2000

As the old guy on the Truckin' staff,  I am always asked by the younger Truckin' staff about the old days of Truckin'.

In the beginning
body work....
House of Kolor base coat and clear
Flames laid out...
Steve Vandemon weeding...
Flames laid out and masked ready for Vandemon to do his magic...
Vandemon's magical touch...
Delivered to Go EZ where Art and David installed the airbag suspension...
cut, buff, and polish...

When Tom McMullen launched Truckin' back 1972 it was during the Van boom. Full size Dodge Tradesman, Ford Econoline, and ChevyVan G-Series were everywhere. It was common to see hundreds of vans rolling down the interstate on their way to another "Van Happening". The 70's van invasion became a cultural lifestyle for the free lovin' generation. Many vans received wild paint schemes that were highlighted with colorful murals and branded with clever names, their interior decor featured shag carpet, wood paneled walls, and mirrored ceilings. The rock 'n roll vibes came from 4 and 8 tape decks (Muntz Blue Light). Van clubs became a large part of the social scene, I belonged to West Coast Vans, that met at Me and Ed Pizza parlor located on Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach.

One of my buddies Ron Cambra is in the process of bringing those kaleidoscope days back. He is currently building a '71 Dodge Tradesman 2000 van, "Octopus's Garden". It is powered by a 318 engine that is exhausted by a pair of chromed Patriot side pipes. The van's sheet metal was straightened and prepped by Garrett Leakes, then was given to Stefan Amann and his crew at Eightball Customs, where Steve Vandemon proceeded to lay out and spray custom wispy flames, and airbrush some wild graphics. The van was then delivered to Art Gomez, and the Engle bros David and Greg at Go EZ for suspension and airbags.  It was then cut, buffed, and polished before it debut at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

Ron's Octopus's Garden will be on display at the Grand National Roadster Show at Pomona, CA Jan. 28-30 2011.

Stay tuned to Truckin' for future tech articles on Octopus's Garden.

Checkout these teaser pics.....          

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