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Old 10-09-2017, 10:55 PM   #1
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The 808Van Build

Hey All,

I've had my van now for a good 6 months and with the full interior build underway I thought I would start a thread for progress updates.

This is my second SMB customization, the first being the CANDYVAN. Earlier this year I was searching for a 4x4 van and came across the most unique Sportsmobile I've ever seen: a 1971 Ford E-300 4x4! I quickly reached out to the previous owners to get a full run down on the van and purchased it before anyone else could - I know many of you saw this van on EBAY or Bring-a-Trailer. It was originally a barn find in Minnesota where it was then shipped to Hawaii for some restoration mainly of the exterior and driveline. It was then purchased by a collector in Palm Springs who could not climb into it, so it sat for about a year until I picked it up in March!



The overall condition of the van is great. The previous owner took care of the minimal rust and repainted the exterior. The interior (all original) was decent but appliances were not functional. The 302 V8 purred all the way back from Palm Springs to SF, with a brief stop at SMB in Fresno to show it off.



I have big plans for the build, as I plan to use this van extensively for adventures. I'm keeping the name "808Van" that it received while on the islands - 808 is the area code for Hawaii - and it just so happens I'm a haole who loves Hawaii so it fits. So there will definitely be a retro island theme going on with the build. I'll be playing catch up on this thread for a while but you can also follow progress on Instagram via JoeArlo.

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Old 10-10-2017, 06:53 AM   #2
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Great move pulling the trigger on that rig!
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:55 AM   #3
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Nice van. I saw it at Gary's shop in San Jose a few weeks ago when i was picking mine up.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:24 AM   #4
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Very cool survivor! This will fun to watch
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wl1193 View Post
Nice van. I saw it at Gary's shop in San Jose a few weeks ago when i was picking mine up.
Ah did you have the white high-top? That rig is a beast! I loved the light-colored wood had me re-thinking my cabinet choice.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:04 PM   #6
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Thats my van. Went from cherry cabinets to the light colored cabinets. We like the color change.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:58 PM   #7
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Wow that thing is great! Congratulations
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:10 AM   #8
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Garage
Awesome. Look forward to following along.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:53 AM   #9
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Now we're talkin'........so cool......
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:50 PM   #10
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A few more details about the van and picking it up.

As I mentioned it was located in Palm Springs after having traveled from Minnesota to Hawaii. The previous owner from Hilo had documented all his restoration work on YouTube so I was pretty familiar with the van and what I was getting into. Taking a test drive I was really impressed with the driveline and how straight and smooth it was. It was love at first sight.









The trip home was an adventure - but not every adventure is perfect! Passing out of Joshua Tree National Park on the I-10 the van suddenly popped into neutral and I coasted to the side of the road. Issue was in the transfer case and unfortunately I did not have any tools with me. Luckily I was able to get a tow to come out and bring me back to Palm Springs. Previous owner was awesome and helped me with the fix and compensated me for the tow.



The rest of the trip went smoothly back to SF. Given the van was from Hawaii I doubt it had ever driven 500+ miles in a day and the motor was perfect all the way home. I knew the guys at SMB Fresno would get a kick out of the van so I stopped in and made a bunch of new friends at the factory while drooling over the newer rigs.





The van cruises fine at 70mph with no overheating. It could definitely benefit from a larger gas tank so I put that on the list of "to do's." Parking the 808 next to the CandyVan I could sense a little jealousy in 'ol Red.

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