This year I did something completely different. Instead of putting all my eggs in one basket and going to the Nationals I went on a week long vanning tour. A few of us have been pushing vanners to get out to the big car shows both indoors and out for a while now. Kurk from Customvan.com took that idea this year and ran with it like no other vanner has done in many moons. First he put together the 10 vans to be in Motorama in march then he pulled off a major coup in getting vans featured at the Carlisle All Truck Nationals. The event was a big success close to 50 vans were at Carlisle and there was a very nice display of vans inside one of the buildings. Coverage is now up on Showvans.com.
After helping pack up everything at Carlisle I went by Kurk's Belly Acres for the night and got to see his shop with an amazing view. From there I headed east towards the Chop State. There are probably more chopped van projects happening in New Jersey than all other states combined. Superbeast my longtime co-partner in crime for Showvans took me on a tour to see a few of the locals. We stopped by Joe's place, he has 3 chops in various states and other vans as well. Then we passed by Claud's to see his varied collection of vans including Metalstorm. The next day I headed to N.Y.C for a quick visit there. First time there on my own so I was able to take a more leisurely tour through Times Square, Central Park and the Met. Then I got out of Manhattan before the trafic and headed to Munz'. Munz has a very nice collection of vans as well. Including a chopped Astro under construction that few vanners have seen. I've been a fan Astro/Safaris from day one and sure like what Munz has planned for his to make it one of a kind. Next it was off to New York, stopped by Orange County Choppers then headed to Albany. Next day my best non vanning pal Pete and I headed up to Hemmings for a tour and to check out their Cruise Night. Hemmings has the largest collection of panels in their museum that I've or heard of. We met up with their web/blogger guy Daniel and had a good chat. Then it was off to Scott's to see his newest project. Scott has built some incredible vans in his time like the Jersey Devil and Visions. Unfortunately Visions was lost in a fire shortly after it made it's debut at Lost Memorial. His latest project is Mid Ford but a shorty this time. The work so far on it is incredible. The plan is to have it done possibly in 2014, 2013 will be used to do the interior. Scott also showed us his amazing collection of model vans, he seems to have every van model ever built. He has also customized some Nylint vans to make them one of a kind collectibles.
Then to round out this amazing week I went to Somers Connecticut for Super Somer 11. I have a long time very special connection to Altruk Vans thanks to Pat who helped me get the ball rolling on the calendar project. I parked with Johnny O there who was a huge help with the 2012 calendars mailing out all the U.S and International orders for me. Mat and Shoreh from Montreal rolled into our camp late Friday and Munz rolled in Saturday. It was great seeing so many vanner friends there who I hadn't seen since the 2010 Nationals and some even longer than that.