Wastelands of Suburbia

A place where the cast-off ephemera of the last four generations comes to rest, and is discussed fondly....Like junk, or the injection-molded minutiae of history? Welcome home...Junkyards, yard sales, roadside oddities, thrift stores and more-your memories are deep inside the box, so keep shaking.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Craigslist gives up her gold again

Here we have a very rare 1951 Ford P3 bread van. It has been converted, at the Boyertown body factory, into a vintage factory motor home.

Get a look at this beautiful vintage cabinetry in a sweet mint green!

Asking price is $2500. Not bad considering the rarity, and a nice alternative to polishing your Airstream-again....I can see this refurbished for tailgating, or hanging out at vintage car shows-handing out mint juleps in aluminum anodized tumblers with lots of ice. Of course some good old Oscar Mayer bologna sandwiches would follow.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Murder Vans and More...

(An Econoline Murder Van modded into a sweet little storage trailer, or a camper for carnies. Photo courtesy of Crack La Rock.)

There is something sinister about old vans. They, like Stephen King's Christine, seem to whisper from behind closed doors "come on, Big Fella, let's cruise." Once you are inside, it's all over, man....

Most sinister, in appearance, at least, is the old Ford Econoline vans from the Sixties. John Wayne Gacy had one of these for his contracting business, and no doubt used it in his fiendish exploits (wonder what happened to that macabre reminder of Gacy?)

Hey yo, where dat Greta been at?

So, a summer of flea markets and a bad-ass bike has left me in neglect of some things-one is a timely update of this blog, and the other is my girl Greta-since spring she has languished in the drive, hemorrhaging diesel into the local water table from her bad injector pump seals. I am hoping to, nay, going to order some motor mounts THIS weekend, as I believe that will solve my problem of the fan clipping my new, lovgingly reinforced Nissens radiator.

In the big pile of Mercedes stuff I scored a beautiful Hirschmann antenna! There's just one problem: It looks nothing like the one that came out. The plugs are different, and this one is set up for a cellular phone as well. It will most likely be going up on Ebay, as I think I have found a more expedient solution to my antenna problems. More on that later.

Then there is the matter of this little guy. Meet Donnie, my new roommate. He is, as far as I can tell a purebred North American Craphound, that is to say, a Heinz 57 that may or may not include one or more of the following: Beagle, Treeing Walker Coonhound, Shepherd, Jack Russell Terrier and God Knows what else. He's pretty well trained already, I got him from my friend Karen, who supplied me with my new Harley in trade as well-she does rescue and has been looking for a home for him for a while. He had been known as "Danny" to her, but I modified it to "Donnie" after Steve Buscemi's character in "The Big Lebowski" He loves riding in the car, hates the Harley (barks incessantly at it when I start it up), and does not like to poo unless a twig is against his butt. He's the Howard Hughes of mutts.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

More on the upgrade...

Basically the trade for the new ride went like this-I had my Sportster as mentioned in my previous posts. I quickly outgrew it. It is not really a bike made for someone of my height and stature. I quickly realized I looked like the proverbial monkey trying to fuck a football on it, and more than one person took the liberty of saying same (oddly guys on bigger Hogs-thanks fellas, got an extra $15-$25k to loan me for a new bike? Assholes.) While I loved the sound, and yes, the mystique, it was no longer getting it for me. It was also....well, too NEW for me....

I got the Softail from a friend, a FEMALE friend who had bought it for her ex-boyfriend. Long story short, she was still paying on it, could not ride it (too big), and she wanted to be free and clear of it as well as having something of her own to ride again. After some negotiating, we agreed to trade bikes with some cash. I got a SUPER deal. She was able to pay off her loan and walk away with a nearly new Sportster. Everybody was happy.

I mentioned the Sportster being too "new". I like operating vehicles and machinery that feel as if I lose concentration, someone could die or be seriously hurt. I like the thrill that comes with having to do odd sequences of shifting, braking, steering, and the like. I'd love a jockey-shift Harley. I'd love to operate a combine, or a quarry truck, just to see what it feels like to be in control of that much iron while almost out of control. My friend Brian's old Mercedes Unimog truck from the Swiss Army, with all it's levers for various differentials was a blast. The new bike is kind of like that.

FIrst off, it's big-not just bigger in frame size, but it has a 1340cc engine bored out to about 1949 and change. It has a bigger cam. It BARELY idles, fat and loud through straight pipes. It's nearly all black, just the right amounts of chrome and the vintage tank emblems from a '61 Panhead give it the look of that bike. A Softail's suspension is designed to give the appearance of a vintage hardtail rigid frame, whild still offering the rider some suspension to save the spine. Some of the original Hell's Angels can barely walk due to riding rigids in the early days. Without knowing bikes or Harleys well one could look at it and assume it is an antique.

Assume, that is, until you ride it. Despite a long wheelbase, the front end WILL pick up off the ground on this thing. As you approach 60mph it is soo obvious there is a lot more to go. Wind begins to pull you back off the LePera low-profile seat. you hang on, but the vibration is so great it threatens to shake you off the bike. It's reminiscent of the old "paint mixer" Harleys of thirty years ago. God Help Me, I love it.

I got a nice set of leather saddlebags with it-they are worn in just the right amount, and don't need stupid frames attached to the bike to hold them away from the rear wheel. Now it is even more vintage looking. More on the delivery later.