Here's Gary's story as told a while back, about his great van:
I always wanted to do an early Econo, so the time was finally
right. I started to look in Nov.-Dec. "01." I could
not find one in good enough shape. I was getting frustrated,
Dave (Pres. of our van club) asked me if I looked on ebay? I
didn't know anything about e-bay. So this is where it all started.
The first day I looked, I found one in L.A. Calif. 10 Days later
I owned the van & 10 Days after that it was in my garage.
The first thing we did was the back half the van with a 4-link,
9" ford with 4-11 gears & stretched quarter panels.
Then I spend 40 + hours to strip the paint. Re-finished the body
and prep for paint. The calif. body was in great shape. This
took 9 months. The white paint is house of colors with blue pearl.
Then Greg Felix in Erie, Pa applies the PPG graphics it is now
may "03". I took the summer off from van work &
went to some truck-ins & all ford events. We picked back
up in Sept & tore it all apart again to complete front chassis,
interior wiring & most of all was a stroker 302 (347) 400
H.P. with all the goodies with a 3 speed manual tranny. My friend
Bill owns a high performance shop (Dynamics Service Center.)
All the work was completed there, The van was fully done June
The summer of 04 July and August were 2 very exciting months.
I went to as many events as I could within 400 miles, Van Nats
in Michigan was 500. I won everything in 3 months that I could.
Update: It is now 2020, this feature was originally done in 2004.
Since then Gary has taken home many trophies including the most
coveted Best of Show Awards at the 35th and 38th National Truck-Ins
Truckin Magazine feature - by Bob Ryder July 2009.
Here's Gary's great looking Econo, photos taken by Superbeast,
Geoff, Mr Peabody, Jessica and myself at events all over the