Mixsonian Larry

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Ford Econoline VanFord Econoline Van like mine

Bill by this time had bought, fixed and sold several cars, he joked that if he bought and sold too many the state would consider him a dealer and he would have to pay taxes on his sales.  One day I came home to find a 1966 Ford Econoline van in the front yard and immediately new I wanted it.  I had been thinking about selling my Camaro for a while and seeing the van I knew it was time.  The van was in pretty bad shape, rust spots over it, lower back fender rusted though, the inside seem sound, but Bill said the engine was in bad shape.  I asked Bill how much he wanted for it, and he said $300, I said I would give him $400 but he would have to do a total rebuild of the engine first.  Bill agreed and over the next couple of weeks we puled out the engine and took it apart.  Bill then took the block and other engine parts to a machine shop and had them all cleaned up.  With new gaskets, rings, and other part Bill got at a discount from his work, we procced to once again assemble an engine in the middle of our living room floor.  Fortunately, the V6 engine is much lighter and easier to handle than a V8 and we managed to get it back into the van. I managed to get $600 for my Camaro, after giving Bill $300 for the van, I had $300 left which really helped at the time.  

 I had great plans for the van, but first thing was to get tags and then have it inspected.  At that time Florida had vehicle inspections so I drove the van down to the inspection state that was out 34th Street and highway 441.  There were three cars the line in front of me, then two, then it was my turn, I start the engine, pull into the station, and when step on the brake pedal to stop, it goes all the way to the floor, I had no brakes.  I tell the man doing the inspections the brakes just went out and he looks under it and says it was leaking brake fluid.   I restart the engine, leaving the inspection unfinished and managed to drive it home using only the hand brake.  Upon further inspection it seems one of the brake lines had rusted though.  Bill was able to get me a new one and help me replace the broken line.  With the brake line fixed it passed inspection with no problems. 

Over the course of the next couple of months I built a bunk in the back, at carpeted the entire interior, floor, walls and ceiling.  I also cut a two by three foot hole in the roof and put in a homemade sunroof out of a piece of plexiglass. Interesting enough, I got the plexiglass from the computing center.  The computing center had floor to ceiling windows all around the computer room and with the war protests going on they were worried about the glass being broken so they replaced all the glass windows with thick plexiglass which there were some pieces left over which I managed to get.

Updated: 12-27-2022