Friday, December 7, 2012

Moon Eyes, Vanfest in Mini Truckin', 2 new vanner magazines issues, van art, 2014 van show ...

Winter has yet to set in up here yet and all I can think about is the warmth of California. Maybe it's because of the huge Moon Eyes show this coming weekend. It will likely be the largest gathering of show vans in California this year. Matchstick is headed down to this show to launch Custom Vanner Magazine #5 that also includes a 2013 calendar. Matt is launching Rolling Heavy Issue 2 there as well, you'll see some of John Jackson's work in that issue. Coby will also be at Moon Eyes with the long awaited print of the award winning Vango logo. Some period correct 70's vans stole the Moon Eyes Yokohama Japan show last weekend, they are all over the internet already. VCVC has a wicked looking 2013 calendar as well. The bar has been raised very high this year for all things that vanners are doing in print, that is a great thing !
The 2012 Vanfest coverage is in the latest Mini Truckin Magazine, only a glimpse of vans in the background but this is the first national publication to run coverage of Vanfest. Huge thanks to Jessica and all the mini truckers who put this great coverage together. That whole adventure to get the coverage ended up with Jessica marrying John Mata, the editor of Mini Truckin during the 2012 SEMA week. We'll have John up here for Vanfest 2013. If we don't get the vans from Vanfest 2012 covered in a magazine we'll see if John can help us get them into Truckin' in 2013. He works down the hall from the Truckin' people. Getting back to California, the wheels are in motion to do another calendar for 2014. it would be the 10th and final edition of the Showvans calendar. Should there be a 2014 CofC in California the funds will once again be used to finance the van show. If that doesn't happen I'm looking into co-producing a show in the late spring/early fall of 2014 down there. One of the hottest car culture artists on the planet has already offered to do the poster for it. This time we would have the top van related artists in California displaying their wares at the show and I'll try to convince my friends at Wheels of Confusion to do a Slow Ride that weekend to coincide with the show.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Showvans 2012 Tour, from All Trucks to Altruks, Van Gogh to Ed Beard

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 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

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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Moving along

The 2012 season is halfway done now but plenty more to go. Vanfest was another huge success once getting with a record turnout. It looks like we are finally going to get some coverage for it as well in Mini Truckin' thanks to the minitruckers getting together to do the story and coverage. It's been a long time coming for that. Here's one of my favorite shots: 

Full coverage on the Vanfest website on

 One of the biggest events for vanning this year will be the Carlisle All Truck Nationals. Kurk from has rallied vanners once again to show at what is the largest custom truck show there is. Vanners are coming from all over for this. We'll have plenty of pictures on the Showvans site and we'll likely see many of the vans showing up in national magazine coverage.  

Krispy decided to sell his beloved van Psycho Delirious this year. He was rather surprised when a huge trailer with Hot Rod all over it showed up to pick it up. Hot Rod and Ebay have teamed up for a web based show called   It is audience participation so please vote for each episode, right now there are 4 episodes and to no surprise the van is right up there in second place, but we won't be happy until it wins !  


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vanfest this weekend, memorial for Al Brown

 The Ford guys and gals are in town for Vanfest after being at Carlisle last weekend. So we had another tour out to Bradford to see Supervan once again.

As a special treat this Econoline pickup was there, two of the guys with us currently own Econo pickups. This one is one of the nicest new school Econo pickups ever built. 

There was also a Corvair Greenbrier there. Great restoration on it but I think the color scheme is more for the vintage car crowd. Even with the surfboard on top, the cool factor is missing somehow.

Headed to Vanfest later on today barring bad weather, then I'll go early tomorrow. We'll be having a memorial for our friend Al there. Al pretty much started vanning up here in Canada and made vanning a part of his life for close to 40 years ! This collage will be shown at Vanfest, a slide show will be presented with all of these pictures and others and some of Al's photo albums, dash plaques and other collectibles will be on display.   

This memorial has been very tough to put together in so many ways . It has extracted a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm from me. After Vanfest I'll be taking a break, then hopefully be doing a road trip to the Carlisle Truck Nationals and Super Somer. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Summer is arriving too quick !

Oooh noo, so much to do so little time. I've been slacking off, well not really but it seems like it when I get my nose stuck in so many things and don't get it all done.

Vanfest is coming up quick in just over a month now. I've been doing the Vanfest website since about 2003 and been on the staff for as long. I totally revamped the website in the past couple of days to attract a bit more attention to it: Vanfest 2012 website . This year there will also be a special memorial to Al Brown who passed away this past Christmas. I'll post more about that once we iron out the details.
 I mentioned a couple of posts back about going to Ivan Benic's during my trip to Autorama. Ivan's been very busy redoing the murals on the Cosmic Cruiser, building an incredible supercar, building another radical tandem Dodge van and a variety of other projects. Yesterday he had 100 gearheads through his shop on tour from Detroit. I had the great opportunity to hang out with Ivan all afternoon in his shop and had a very nice dinner prepared by his mother who is absolutely incredible.
Here's a closeup of some of the new artwork on the Cosmic Cruiser.

Here's a shot of Ivan's Supercar project, it's a fully handbuilt aluminum body. The plan is for it to have a 500hp rear mounted engine. It will scream ! Ivan's been posting regularly on Facebook. You can try to keep up with all the stuff he's been doing over there. Look forward to seeing him again at Vanfest and maybe before if things work out.

One of the things that interested me the most about vans from day one is the creativity that goes into the body mods and the artwork on the vans. There's a whole new generation of artists who are using vans as their subjects and or canvases. I'll be showcasing some of their work and linking up their websites. In the past year I've been fortunate to hang out with some of them and to be able to buy artwork from others.
The artists creating van art range from artists who do renderings, airbrush artists and photographic artists who choose vans as their subjects or canvas'.
I've added to the Van Art section of and will add more as needed.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Steam Whistle Brewery Dodge, Chevy Van 50th.

Went by my favorite brewery yesterday, Steam Whistle is conveniently located at the base of the CN Tower in Toronto. Was hoping to see their newest delivery vehicle and was not disappointed. Here it is in all it`s metalflaked splendor. They got this so right with all the right accessories, molded in flairs and the stance is wicked. We`ll be back there on the pre Vanfest Virtual tour for sure to check it out including the interior. 

The original Chevy van came out in the 1964 model year. Hoping that Chevy will do something for this milestone. I`ve setup a Facebook page to get some interest going in this : 50th Anniversary of the Chevy Van on Facebook.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2012 Megaspeed Toronto

They like to reinvent their car show names here in Toronto. But Megaspeed sure reminded me of Performance World and that's a good thing.
We had two vans in there. I managed to convince Eric to put MUD BOS into the show this year.It didn't take much arm twisitng as he was pretty much into it right from the get go. Now convincing my fellow vanners to enter shows is what I do best, actually helping them get their vans ready for the show was a whole new experience for me as usually I'm dealing with getting vanners from far away into shows equally far away. So this time around I did put in a few hours getting MUD BOS spiffed up for the big show and helped get it there and back. We brought it to the show Thursday night and set it up for the show that started Friday morning. On Saturday a good bunch of vanners passed through during the day and my good buddy Steve a.k.a Ghostrider spent the day with us. It was a good weekend. MUD BOS went over very well. It was without a doubt one of the most popular vehicles in the room that we were in with about 30 other vehicles. Eric's video compilation went over very well with the crowd as there were few interactive displays in the show. All that being said MUD BOS was passed by for any awards which was disappointing but unfortunately a fact of life at these carshows for some reason.
MUD BOS at Megaspeed on the Thursday night.

Miss Megaspeed with MUD BOS. We had  abevy of beauties posing with it all weekend long.

John Jackson was there with the Boogie Van in the feature area. He was fortunate to come up to Canada in style in the RPM rig that also carried two of their muscle cars. John presented Ken with his metal print of California Special and Alpine, it's amazing how the metal makes his photographic art pop even more.
John and Ken with a metal print of California Special.

I was hoping that wemight see John back up here for Vanfest, but he'll be going on the Hot Rod Power Tour which will open up the opportunity for more vanners to meet him, see the Boogie Van and maybe get some pictures taken of their vans. This weekend he's at Motorama in Buffalo.
The Boogie Van in the show. You need to see it to truly appreciate it. John's put 140,000 miles on it in 4 years. It's not just a trailer queen, lol.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2012 Detroit Autorama

Made another trip to the big show, in these parts anyways. Every year I go it gets more interesting, as I get to meet more people that I've met only online previously. One of the highlights was meeting Randy Pelc after 10+ years of chit chatting online. Randy built Heavy Metal, Metalstorm and Showtime and others, we've seen all three of the vans mentioned at the Nationals in the past 5 years and they all still look great up to 30 years after they were built. Dave Jarvis had his 9 second drag van there in a great spot pretty much smack dab in the middle of the main floor. His 100" flat screen  had videos going all day of his feats on the track. The Pass Time episode with him on it will air March 28th at 7:00 pm.
John Jackson was also there all the way from Texas with the Boogie Van. This vintage Corvair is without a doubt the most traveled custom van there is these days. It's John's mobile photo studio and daily driver. Check out John's amazing photography here:
We took this shot in front of the Boogie Van for our mutual friend Coby who runs: CHURCH Magazine and owns Vango. We have Ken who was the captain of the Vango Retrieval team at the CofC in California, John, Jess (daughter of Gary owner of Alpine Express) and your's truly in our Vango and CHURCH shirts.  
There were a couple of other vans in the shows and an equal number of early van pickups as well. Coop was there as well in the panel jam and a good bunch of us went to Greektown together for supper on the Saturday night. 
Here's another shot of the Boogie Van. I promise to get better ones at Megaspeed as John will there as well.

Went back early Sunday and snapped a good bunch of shots before the crowds came including this one of the Webbs' collection. The car on the right the So-Cal Streamliner is on the cover of the next Rodder's Journal, the ultimate hot rod magazine that John also has a couple of shots in. 

Then I hightailed out of there to get to Windsor for 1:00 to hang out with Ivan. I'll post that story next time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

No time to relax these days if you're a fan of vans. Just so much going onacross North America. This weekend there are 10 custom vans in Motorama in Harrisburg Pa, Pirates of the Caravan is in the Darryl Starbird Show in Tulsa Oklahoma and my buddies from Wheels of Confusion are doing another Slow Ride cruise through Malibu California. Next weekend 2 vanner vans will be at Detroit Autorama, Dave Jarvis will have his 9 second drag van in the center row and amazing photographer John Jackson will have the Boogie Van among all the hot rods in the basement of Cobo. Dirty Donny is doing his first solo art show called Vantastic Voyage in Santa Monica California on Saturday the 25th. Many vans are expected to show up for that. I'd love to be able to go to all these evants. I'll just have to settle for Detroit, if only we could all be so lucky.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Vanarama 2012 kicks off in St Petersburg Florida

Vanarama 2012 started off today in St Petersburg Florida at the CofC van show. Don't have all the details but I do have this picture thanks to Tim B one of the gurus of early Econolines. The show was partially sponsored by Showvans and fortunately Snotty from Moon Lite was able to bring some of the 2012 Vanarama banners down there fresh from the printer.
Vanners are getting ready to show their vans in Motorama and Autorama this month as well. Kurk from has done a great job coordinating the 10 vans entered in Motoroma and also got a call from Carlisle events this week. They want to feature vans at the 2012 Carlisle Truck Nationals which is the largest custom truck event there is. This is all pretty new so we'll have more info posted doen the line.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Council of Councils this weekend in St Petersburg Florida

Each year hundreds of vanners attend the annual custom van convention called the Council of Councils (CofC). There are meetings to discuss custom vanning with elected members of the various councils as well as an open meeting where anyone can participate. It's also at this event that the decision is made on who will be hosting the following year's National Truck-In. The National Truck-In is in it's 40th year in 2012 and will be held in Elkhorn Wisconsin July 11-15.  A fairly new addition to the CofC is the van show. Last year we took advantage of being in California to have a full blown van show after the Saturday meetings. This show was sponsored by and attracted some of the top vans in the land including Vango and Octopus's Garden, vans that had just been in the GNRS. Octopus's Garden had also been in the 2010 SEMA show. We managed to get a few magazines there including Hot Rod, Truckin' and Drive Magazine. 2011 went on to be a very good year for coverage of vans in magazines, mainly of Vango. It's appearance at GNRS was huge, Coby took home the Chip Foose design award which pretty sealed the deal that it would gain acceptance by the very critical car crowd. It will be tough to beat 2011, we're not doing the CofC on the doorstep of all these magazines but we do have a new guy at Hot Rod interested in vans. Dennis Pittsenbarger just bought himself a classic Chevy van and is wondering what to do with it. He has written two blogs about it and his motivation to tackle a van :’74-g10-shorty-19867.html#comment-38807   I'll be sending him a vanner care package and invites to the next Slow Ride headin up the coast from Malibu as well as Dirty Donny's art show called Vantastic Voyage opening Feb 25th in Santa Monica.
So the future is looking bright once again. To make sure of that Johnny O has followed through with the idea to make show cards to promote vanning. The idea is not new however this is the first time someone has followed through to this extent. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 of these cards have been made. This was another project I was able to donate money to thanks to the 2012 calendar proceeds. Here's what they look like :
The show is in the middle. These cards will be handed out at the big indoor shows like Motorama, Autorama and Megaspeed.  Plenty more going on, will mention that next time.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vanarama 2012, Autorama, Megaspeed, Motorama, Starbird, World of Wheels ...

Custom vans are hitting the road once again to go to these indoor shows across North America.
Last year was a huge year for vans at these indoor shows with Coby's Vango stealing the show at the prestigious GNRS and taking home the Foose Design Award. Ron's Octopus's Garden was also in GNRS last year as well as SEMA in 2010. John Jackson's Boogie Van was everywhere in the past 2 years including SEMA (2001 and 2011), Detroit, Houston and countless outdoor shows. In honor of this we'll be making banners for all those entering their vans in these shows this year and I'll send some to Coby, Ron and give John his at Autorama. I'll get all the details together of these shows and post them on

Saturday, January 7, 2012

If I were 3000 miles closer I'd be going on the Slow Ride for sure:


Coverage of the first Slow Ride is here : Slow Ride coverage on

The next Slow Ride is Sunday Feb 19th full info here:   Slow Ride to Malibu, discussion on