VintAGE-Vans

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BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


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dix
rekbender
69
Russell
Keith D
9 posters

    Would you do it again?

    Keith D
    Keith D


    Number of posts : 405
    Location : El Dorado Hills, Ca
    Registration date : 2016-11-25

    Would you do it again? Empty Would you do it again?

    Post by Keith D Sun Dec 05, 2021 9:02 pm

    I have restored / modified vehicles since I was old enough to ride dirt bikes / drive vehicles.

    A few years ago, I realized that I’ve gotten to the point that I can’t keep doing it too much longer, so I sold my 57 Chevy delivery a few years back and I embarked on one last project… A 67 Dodge A108.

    Why a first gen Dodge van… Three reasons.

    I went to high school in 73-75, the height of the van craze. My vehicle that got me through the three years of high school was a 1969 Ford van with a 302. I fixed it up the best that I could with my limited budget, I thought it was cool.

    So, my first reason to get the A108 was nostalgic, I have some good memories of that van (some memories of things that I did in the van are a little fuzzy, it was the 70’s after all).

    Second, I wanted something different, something more challenging than a Camaro, Mustang, tri5 Chevy, etc.

    Third, No one ever accused me of being the sharpest tool in the shed.

    This project has turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought, between lack of aftermarket A108 parts, the price of the parts if you can find them (some parts ounce for ounce seem to be more than gold). Lack of company’s that can restore certain A100 parts, and the fact that it nothing that I do will make it ride / handle like anything made in this century, and the blank stares from my hot rod friends when I told them what I had bought, got me questing my wisdom in choosing this as a final project.

    I started to ask myself if I knew then what I know now when I was looking at the van would I still of bought her?

    After deep thought and looking at her many times in the garage, I concluded the answer is YES.

    Despite all the problems she has really grown on me and I can’t imagine a better project to bring back to past glory.

    I was wondering if anyone else had second thoughts about buying / restoring/ modifying a Dodge A100 / A108 van?

    If you knew then what you know now would you still have bought her or passed?

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    Russell
    Russell


    Number of posts : 697
    Location : Chula Vista, Ca.
    Age : 63
    Registration date : 2015-12-09

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    Post by Russell Mon Dec 06, 2021 1:17 pm

    I feel your pain. I also enjoy bringing dead vehicle's back to the road. I used to buy and build VW Bus's when nobody made parts for them, now you can get every part you need if you have the money.
    I love having a Van for camping, sleeping or hauling stuff inside. I started doing Chevy's a few years ago when I bought a '65 Sportvan Deluxe. of course then I had to buy a parts Van to get what I needed. I sold both of those and got a '66 Sportvan Deluxe and enjoy driving it daily. When I go to local shows rarely is there another Van there, most people who ask about it has a comment about when they were younger and they were all over.
    I bought a '66 GMC Handibus Custom about a year ago, it is exactly like my Chevy except for the emblems. Yesterday I spent 4 hours replacing the leaf spring bushings which should have taken half the time and I realize I'm just getting to old to be crawling around on the ground and the up and down involved getting tools etc.
    Website's like this one have been more than helpful when searching for parts, I have learned so much information from members who have parts or resourse's for them or have found other parts that will work if you can't get original.
    I told my wife this is the last one I'm going to do but I thought the same thing about the last one.

    Would I do it again? We'll see after I finish this one. I will be driving it again today to remind myself How much I like driving them.

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    69
    69


    Number of posts : 422
    Location : Germany, Nds
    Registration date : 2016-10-18

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    Post by 69 Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:22 pm

    I would do it again. Definitely.

    Absolutely worth the stares and looks - especially over here in Germany, as this van / pickup is not know that much here. Some remember Rusty Dusty off Cars, but that's it.

    I would also do it again on my rolling project, the MB400 Camper from 79, all truck mechanics (three numbers bigger), but you grow with what you do, right?

    Not so much the 88 LTD Crown Vic. That's already a bit too much, but what you gonna do for your niece, right. Smile

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    rekbender
    rekbender


    Number of posts : 49
    Location : MILFORD, OH
    Age : 76
    Registration date : 2018-01-07

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    Post by rekbender Mon Dec 06, 2021 6:33 pm

    Yes, I'd do it again.

    I drove a '66 Econoline Supervan to CA and back in '69 with a buddy and still have great memories. Sold it in '71 to buy a '48 Chevrolet sedan delivery, and then bought a '65 Dodge A100 as my daily driver. The E van was tough and dependable, but I've always felt the A100 was a better driver. The '70 A108 was an excellent compromise - V8 power, automatic, extended body. It has the power to easily stay up with traffic and gets looks, thumbs ups and peace signs every time I take it out. The unique driving experience is worth it.

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    dix
    dix
    Moderator 1st Class
    Moderator 1st Class


    Number of posts : 8685
    Location : pittsburgh pa
    Age : 66
    Registration date : 2008-05-29

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    Post by dix Mon Dec 06, 2021 8:05 pm

    Hi Keith, we must be the same age on the back side of 64 i still enjoy the
    dodge a100  more than the 70 challenger  440 6 pac because we can load it up
    and do the van runs all summer i have owned a my entire life from 16 to 64.
    at this time I'm stock piling parts for the dodge b vans but i have not found one at the right price yet.
    altho im in the middle of taking off the 440 heads to be refreshed.
    yea i got the bug Would you do it again? 1f60a


    _________________
    still vannin since 1974

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    OutofSight
    OutofSight


    Number of posts : 1545
    Location : Lake Oroville, Ca.
    Registration date : 2015-11-20

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    Post by OutofSight Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:33 pm

    I have always had a project since I was 16 years old. This has been my longest project thus far. Going on 16 years now. I bought it as a rolling shell and have done all the work myself. Honestly, I think I am done with full on projects after this. I now have routine maintenance on 5 other hot rods and jet boats to keep me more than busy. Cool

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    bugeye bob
    bugeye bob


    Number of posts : 383
    Location : atlanta georgia
    Age : 67
    Registration date : 2009-02-03

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    Post by bugeye bob Sun Dec 12, 2021 2:07 am

    that's a hard question i'm 65 and tinkered with cars since i was 16 but sadly sometimes when i twist to the left or right my body doesn't cooperate a few times i've landed in bed for a week yeah sucks getting old and my grown kids don't understand just like i didn't understand my parents getting old. back to the van mine is a 1966 a100 slant 6 170 with three on tree yes i've always wanted one and now i do so when folks including my son wants it i tell them let me think about it. i needs body work , brakes i did pull the gas tank and took it to the radiator shop to be cleaned - it's now sitting on the shelf inn my workshop in the end i'll get to it , i know if i sold it i'd be disappointed and i'd never be able to replace it for what i paid . vintage prices of cars , trucks and vans are crazy in 1974 i bought a 1969 GTO great condition for a $1000. now a 1969 GTO is $30k to start and some of these vans aren't far behind. i have a big driveway it's not in my way i'll get to it Lol..

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    Keith D
    Keith D


    Number of posts : 405
    Location : El Dorado Hills, Ca
    Registration date : 2016-11-25

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    Post by Keith D Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:48 pm

    I enjoyed reading the replies that people have posted so far. Seems like most people are one the same page as me.

    Yep it's not as easy to work on the vehicle projects as it was 20- 30 years ago.

    If not for vehicles I would have time to relax some and the bank account would be overflowing and who wants that. So I will keep plugging away at it when I get time.

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    OutofSight
    OutofSight


    Number of posts : 1545
    Location : Lake Oroville, Ca.
    Registration date : 2015-11-20

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    Post by OutofSight Mon Dec 13, 2021 2:56 am

    Labor of love for sure.

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    sweetvan
    sweetvan


    Number of posts : 240
    Location : Ventura, CA, 93003
    Registration date : 2013-12-16

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    Post by sweetvan Mon Dec 13, 2021 1:38 pm

    Keith,
    Yes, keep working on getting everything functioning right, little by little. If you treat it like a series of little projects and try to do something every day, you'll get it back on the road. While you're working on it, you'll find that there are things that you'd like to change and that's OK. One of the cool things about these first gen vans is we can make them our own, just the way we want them. Our rewards come when we complete a part of our project.

    I've had my '65 A100, with its original 273 and automatic since 1968, and have put over 300,000 miles on it. It has been across the county twice and is still a project in the works. I have put a 4-barrel and dual exhaust on it and paneled and carpeted it. It is my monthly driver, mostly to car shows and occasionally for camping or hauling. I used to have 4 dogs and took them everywhere. I've changed the badging to DOG E and that gets comments too. Dodges are the best!

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    66CampWagon
    66CampWagon


    Number of posts : 6
    Location : seattle washington
    Registration date : 2021-05-07

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    Post by 66CampWagon Mon Dec 13, 2021 1:52 pm

    Keith I often wonder why the heck I bought my A100, but am committed to getting through the project and start using it again. It is such a nice driving vehicle and fun to tour in. Luckily mine was fairly complete and usable when I bought it, but pretty rusty. I am finally doing final assembly after a complete rust repair and repaint. First mopar for me and also astonished at the cost and lack of parts. I have restored chev's, volvos and vintage honda motorcycles and all were easier to get parts for.
    I have found that the facebook dodge A100 and fargo van club is good for finding parts. There are a number of members buying and parting out vehicles that are junkyard bound.
    Been fixing up cars for a hobby/necessity for 44 years and still enjoy it very much. The problem with the van is the size: 6 doors, acres of underbody tin and glass. Might stick with motorcycles after this!

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