Saturday, May 12, 2018


It’s funny looking though pictures posted online, I see more and more vans popping up with bikes, I have a ton of old photos with bikes and vans (from back when we had to get photos developed). That’s not surprising, bikers have love vans for years whether it was hauling motorcycles, parts, party favors, or a chase vehicle vans seem to be a big part of the biker life. What’s so cool about vans and van people is, they like to custom and party just like bikers do. I’ve been drunk in a van a few times in my life sometimes at rally’s sometimes around a campfire. Vanners call them self’s 2%ers as bikes go with 1%ers. All the great builders over the years always had a van! It’s cool to see the young guys picking up old vans and fixing them up just like an old chopper, vans are freedom! I’ve always used a van as a shop truck; I used to use a ¾ ton chevy to haul all my parts to the Detroit. I would load a 26 foot trailer with everything in my store and we would all ride in the van down to the swap. Later on that van finally dead I bought a little astro van and wrapped it in vinyl to match the paint job of the old van. Josh and I hauled a ton of stuff with that little 6 cylinder. I can remember on more than one occasion over loading the van, it would be so full the doors would have to be strapped shut! It never left us stuck anywhere. The little van was still running great when I found the black ford we used today. The ford was a lot bigger and had the cool front bumper on it. It was time to sell the little astro and step into something bigger. I once had a 82 chevy that was a high rise van. T.G. Speed and took all the seats out of and fitted it with two wheel chucks. My Ironhead chop and his big twin Flat Head chop fit in there perfectly. We drove that old van to Dayton that year and had a blast I love using vans as shop trucks but I also have a full blown custom from the hay day of custom vans. I found it by luck; I was out riding my motorcycle with my wife sandy, when I look over to see this old van sitting next to a barn with no wheels on it. I locked my brakes up and rode right though the ditch around a gate to go check this van out. The interior was all taken apart but it was all in the van. I tried to knock at the door but it was just an old garage no house in sight. The next day I went back to the little garage and luckily the gate was open. An old man answered and I asked if the van was for sale. He replied with “yes it is but its not mine let me call my buddy.” Turns out the guys had a little drinking club and this was their hang out. The guy that owned it had parked the van there because his wife didn’t want it at his house. (funny sandy told me that to, but I’ve never been that good at listening). I made him a deal and called a wrecker. I made sure to put it in Josh name so when I got that phone call (which I did that day) why is that van in our town I can say “Josh bought it” and I wouldn’t be lying. My buddy Jeff hill put the whole van back together, cleaned it inside and out and put a killer sound system in it. That was over ten years ago and I’m still driving it today, people always go crazy when they see it. The van bug didn’t just catch me, Josh loves them too. His first was a 77 ford with thrush side pipes on it. But money got tight with him and he had to sell it (it was that or his chopper, he chose the chopper.) He ended up picking up a $600 van that needed a motor and the fun began. With my help (and a ton of help from friends) we got that van looking good we now call it Midnight Run. It now has a wood floor and a fire place in it. With Josh and I always talking about vans and motorcycle my wife broke down and found a 1977 ¾ ford van that was customized back in 77 it’s called Country Sunset. It’s a blast, the whole interior in it is custom too just like the outside. With Josh having a baby girl, it cool that he can now take his whole family to the party, it’s hard to carry a car seat on a chopper. But it doesn’t look bad when a full size custom Chevy van pulls up, it’s better than a mini van. Josh, Sandy and I have all been to rally’s and van in’s, it’s what we love. We work hard and our toys show it. ~Boomer