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Old 04-10-2008, 10:50 PM   #1
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Resurrection of a Sportsmobile

Short story about how I came to own my SMB.

I had been coveting and searching for the right rig for a while when a came across a very interesting post on Craigslist. It seemed that a gentleman, who will remain anonymous, was driving through dense brush when his van decided to take a nap.



It took two large tow trucks to right the rig.





It sustained substantial body damage on one side , but was fairly untouched on the other side. There was no engine, frame or suspension damage.

As fate would have it, I have a friend who’s been in the business of buying wrecked F-150s and rehabilitating them for over 50 years. I’ve purchased two trucks from him, put 109k miles on the first and 60k and counting on the second without any problems at all.

Among other things, he replaced the three doors, straighten the cab and replace the rear panel of the van. He was able to “skin” the entire rear panel of another salvaged van and rivet it in at the door seams. The van looked GREAT after a fresh paint job. I could not have been happier with their work. There are very few indications that it’s been involved in a wreck.

The most difficult part of the process was shipping the van, waiting for it to be ready, and dealing with the shop (which too will remain anonymous) that was storing the van for the previous owner.



This anonymous shop was storing the van for the previous owner (their repeat service costomer) in a vacant fenced parking lot at a rate of $150 a month. We discussed his storage arrangements while negotiating the purchase. I arranged for shipping, but had problems with the original carrier that I made the arrangements with. Who would have thought that shipping a 23 foot long, 11,000 lb van cross country would be difficult? Anyway, so I had to find a shipper with a flat bed truck to haul it from the West Coast to NOLA. As you may imagine, this isn’t going to happen overnight.

Upon realizing that the original shipping plans fell through and that I was having difficulties making other arrangements, this anonymous shop decides that the storage fee for me was going to be $50 a day!!! They wouldn’t budge when I protested, but offered the solution of moving it to the street. Thanks guys, I can’t even lock it. The previous owner even tried to reason with them on my behalf, but they were holding firm to their price gouging methods. After all was said in done, this unscrupulous establishment extorted a large sum of bribe money from me. Sorry if I’ve offended anyone, but those are the facts. Rant off.

So, here’s a finished photo.



She’s fully up and operational, with just the normal farklizing and projects to do. Hopefully you’ll see more of her in action, and/or see her in person soon.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:13 AM   #2
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Re: Resurrection of a Sportsmobile

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Originally Posted by 2much8ntenough

She’s fully up and operational, with just the normal farklizing and projects to do. Hopefully you’ll see more of her in action, and/or see her in person soon.
Good for you and her! Btw, how do you know that it's she and not he?
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Old 04-11-2008, 06:09 AM   #3
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Re: Resurrection of a Sportsmobile

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Originally Posted by YellowFella
Good for you and her! Btw, how do you know that it's she and not he?
Should be obvious from the photo...







...She's wearing a bra.
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:00 AM   #4
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Re: Resurrection of a Sportsmobile

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Originally Posted by YellowFella
Good for you and her! Btw, how do you know that it's she and not he?
Because of my feelings for her. By the way, I'm a fan of your photos of YellowFella.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowracer
Should be obvious from the photo...

...She's wearing a bra.
Thanks Lowracer, I was starting to feel insecure. "Not that there's anything wrong with that..."
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:21 AM   #5
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Why do you have to keep the unscrupulous storage business' name secret?

If I were checking out the reputation of a shop by Googling its name, I'd like to read about your experience.

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Old 04-23-2008, 07:50 AM   #6
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Good point Geoff, I guess my smart arse photo above wouldn’t return Valley Pacific Frame and Suspension, or Valley Pacific Frame & Suspension in a Google search.
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:40 PM   #7
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can you tell us what was your purchase and fix it price?
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:37 PM   #8
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Glad it all somewhat worked out. Hope you didn't have to pay an arm and a leg to get it out of the yard. The work looks great.

So whats the story behind the roll?
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainsaw5vent
can you tell us what was your purchase and fix it price?
That one was for sale when I was buying mine, but I felt like I would be getting in over my head with the whole interior removed and damage to the windshield frame, in addition to the time it would take to be roadworthy.

After 2much popped up with it fixed I talked to him about it, trying to compare his purchase to my own. I'm sure it depends on finding a trustworthy shop, and having a serious commitment to ressurect one of these vehicles, but the savings was enough that anyone who comes across such an opportunity would be wise to seriously consider it.

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Old 10-28-2008, 03:21 PM   #10
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I have had no problems or regrets so far, but Jage is spot on...
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