The last few years I've been visiting this site as I really love the early Econoline vans. So now I decided it might be a good thing to join Vintage Vans myself!
My name is Thijs (pronounced as Tice in English), a 30 year old guy living in Utrecht, The Netherlands. That's right, in Europe! We don't have much of these early vans driving around here, and I don't own myself yet. But that will change, and that is also why I joined. I'll tell you something about my plans.
For years now I've been thinking of buying my own early E-van. I've been an American Classis Car enthusiast for since I was about 16 years old, visiting meetings in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, the UK and Sweden over the years. I'm quite into early hot rods and custom cars, but I also think some cars are great as they are.
So now I've been living in some Dutch city's (The Hague, Amsterdam and now Utrecht) for some years, and the streets and parking space isn't really made for these big American classics here. So I decided to a classis that was a bit smaller in size, but still had a great classic feel. I bought myself a 1972 Volvo 142 Deluxe. It also helps these cars are quite affordable and parts are good to come by overhere. I've been driving that car for some time, had a lot of fun but also had to repair a lot. After a while I decided it was getting to rusty and it needed to get restored. I'm now in the proces of restoring it. It needs a lot of body work done, but replacement sheet metal is available for most rusty parts. At this moment, I'm getting the body totally striped down to get it to a company which will sandblast it to get all rust gone. After I will start replacing the bad parts.
So, back to my plans of buying an early Econoline. As I said I've been thinking of buying one for years now. Here in Europe, these cars are really hard to find, and if you find one, it is a fully restored one selling for 10k minimum. No option for me, plus I don't like a car that is "finished". That's where the plan came up to buy a van in the USA, as that is where the cars are from. So I started searching the internet, and found this site. Great to see people are posting all these vans for sale! Now I could find nice looking vans, but I think it is hard to tell a car is a good car on only pictures and words. You have to be able to inspect it yourself. Now I started thinking that if I wanted to buy a van in the US, it would be good to go there myself, inspect the van and then buy it.
While talking to my girlfriend about this, showing here pictures of Econoline vans, she also started to be exicited about getting such a van. She used to go camping in a van with her parents when she was young, and also did some surfingtrips in vans, so she could totaly see herself driving in this van. While talking about it, plans started to get more serious, but why travel all the way to just buy a van. It would make more sence to make it a holiday. And if it is a holiday, and buying a van we intend to go camping with, wouldn't it be awesome to buy a van and go camping with it?! It would need some extra planning, arranging things and money, but it sounds like an adventure!
So here we are, planning our trip. We have started saving for this trip almost a year ago. Rough plans where there already, but getting finetuned now. We intend to go in May 2016 for a 3 month trip, taking full advantage of our tourist visum. I'm thinking of starting a topic on this trip, with details on our preparations of this trip.
I will probably have questions or need suggestions on my trip and the van I want to buy, so I hope you guys can help me with good advice!