All you need is Conan on the side and you're set for some serious cruising
July 9, 2010 10:09 AM   Subscribe

 
This one looks photoshopped to me. Thor looks squished and not-quite-right on the perspective.

And you can tell by the pixels.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:13 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that one looks all wrong.

Love this. A van should look like a pinball machine barfed all over it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:17 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


More vans (but fewer murals) at vans and the places where they were (warning: side-scrolling site).
posted by jocelmeow at 10:18 AM on July 9, 2010


Just because Thor is squished and not quite right on perspective doesn't mean they didn't just do a shitty painting job.
posted by amethysts at 10:19 AM on July 9, 2010


Obligatory MST3K reference.
Wait for the host segment.
posted by charred husk at 10:21 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


NICE!!!!!!!
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:24 AM on July 9, 2010


Pfft. The exterior was only half the story. I'm disappointed there were no interior shots. You youngsters can only dream of the ways shag carpeting can be used.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:28 AM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Thor looks squished and not-quite-right on the perspective.

You don't understand. In the 80s, Thor actually looked squished and not-quite-right on the perspective.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:30 AM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yo these vans are great and Imma let you finish, but this guy still has the rapiest rape van of all time.
posted by rusty at 10:31 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


There is absolutely no way that I would own a vintage van and not have it done up like this.

However, there is no way that I would purchase said vintage van, now to some degree of disappointment...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:31 AM on July 9, 2010


Oh geez, I have seen the monkey hand puppet guy in real life. He drives around in the clown costume, with the monkey puppet singing out the driver's side window. I think I might actually have been less traumatized if he'd been behind the wheel of that awesome carved van. There's a strange disparity between the hard work put into the van and the lack of effort put into his clown costume...I wonder if it was a borrowed van.
posted by redsparkler at 10:42 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Falkor is adorning a spare tire cover on one.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:44 AM on July 9, 2010


Just because Thor is squished and not quite right on perspective doesn't mean they didn't just do a shitty painting job.

Then perhaps the obviously photoshopped license plate might give you a clue?
posted by Fleebnork at 10:45 AM on July 9, 2010


Upon looking at #10: "Dear father, who would paint that on a... oh, hang on. There's the van in the background."
posted by Wolfdog at 10:47 AM on July 9, 2010


"So there would be a moon here... a large rocket... it'd be all dark space punctuated by planets, I would have a close up of like, of a lady on a cliff, and she would have like a giant f*ckin laser gun, and she would sort of be just... protecting."
posted by Premeditated Symmetry Breaking at 10:51 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]




Here's more pics of the Never Never Van from the creator himself (Extremo the Clown), who just happens to be the same person responsible for kicking off my love of sign painting way back when...every month or so he'd be painting the seasonal specials on the windows of the drive-in I went to with my parents.
posted by redsparkler at 10:54 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn I want a van now!
posted by gameguy at 10:57 AM on July 9, 2010


I can't click on the pictures at the moment, but I hope at least one of these vans is located down by the river.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:00 AM on July 9, 2010


I need to leave this thread alone, but just to add:

1) I need more pictures like this. Dozens more would be good. Hundreds would be better.
2) I would love me some Dave Trampier-copies on a van. Can you imagine, say, rear-facing door panels displaying Trampier's Emirikol the Chaotic, or Magic Mouth? (linkature is failing me atm...)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:02 AM on July 9, 2010


Extremo

do not want
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:03 AM on July 9, 2010


A Man-Wolf van.
I just had to say it aloud to let it sink in.
A MAN-WOLF VAN.

Wow.
posted by willmize at 11:04 AM on July 9, 2010


I want to get a van just so I can put Wheatonkitten vs. Orcscalzi* on it.

*In three weeks on SyFy, starring Adam Rich, Richard Hatch, and Siouxsie Sioux.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:05 AM on July 9, 2010


HEAVAN.
posted by The Straightener at 11:10 AM on July 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Extremo as a man dressed as a clown? Yes, creepy.

But his window splashes? Totally iconic for Portland.
posted by redsparkler at 11:11 AM on July 9, 2010


When I was a kid I'd daydream through the JC Whitney catalogs thinking about the bitchen diamond side windows etc I'd oneday have on my van. This is awesome.
posted by snsranch at 11:21 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I was in elementary school, there was a bright yellow van painted with scenes from the Rankin Bass Hobbit that would park in our neighborhood. I thought it was the coolest damn thing I had ever seen and I would walk out of my way on the way home from school just to gaze at its awesomeness. I bet 9-year-old me would be so disappointed to find that now that I have the money and the freedom to drive whatever I want, I drive a goddamn grey station wagon.
posted by jrossi4r at 11:25 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


From the second link: "prior to the 1970s, fantasy wasn't mainstream like it is today."

Yeah there was a time when associating with Tolkien and Conan was slightly edgy, in the way MeFi is today, it's what all the cool kids did and the square adults avoid. Now it's craptastic pop culture churned out so many times to be insufferable. Maybe it always was. A possible vision of our future. Of course since every post on MeFi is (C)opyright its owner, we will never get to mock and jeer it in the future like we do pictures of fantasy vans from the 70s. Which is why I release all my MeFi posts with a Creative Commons license.
posted by stbalbach at 11:25 AM on July 9, 2010


I enjoy reading classic issues of 1970's custom van magazines I buy off eBay. A few scans of classic van photos & ads.

I don't understand how custom van culture flourished in the 70's. Sure it was a flamboyant period, but it was also the middle of a terrible energy crisis.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 11:25 AM on July 9, 2010


Man-Wolf?

If only there existed a word for such a thing.
posted by sourwookie at 11:25 AM on July 9, 2010




The conversation taking place in my brain right now goes like this:

Wife: Where the hell's the Yaris?
Me: MAN-WOLF VAN!
Wife: And what's that monstrosity in the driveway?
Me: MAN-WOLF VAN!
Wife: Sweetheart, where... is... our... car?
Me: MAN-WOLF VAN!
Wife: What have you done?
Me: MAN-WOLF VAN!
Wife: Oh god.
Me: MANNNN-WOLLLFFF VAAAANNN!!!!
posted by Shepherd at 11:31 AM on July 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


So friggin sweet. But it needs the "WIZARD!" tag.
posted by Mister_A at 12:03 PM on July 9, 2010


Can you imagine, say, rear-facing door panels displaying Trampier's Emirikol the Chaotic, or Magic Mouth? (linkature is failing me atm...)

There we go. This or this. (although this would be more van-tastic, minus the usual lurid colours)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:05 PM on July 9, 2010


For those of us old enough to remember, vans became the thing to customize in the years following the decline of the muscle car. Odd, considering they were slower, got the same or worse mileage and handled like crap*. But I would bet as many square yards of shag carpet ended up in vans as on actual floors. In many wonderful shades of orange and avocado green. Ah, the 70s.



*My fire department had a 68 Dodge Van we filled with rescue equipment. It was extremely top-heavy, making every turn a white knuckle adventure. No one shed a tear when we retired it in the 90s.
posted by tommasz at 12:07 PM on July 9, 2010


Atom Eyes: "You don't understand. In the 80s, Thor actually looked squished and not-quite-right on the perspective."

Oh my god. I just almost fell to the floor with a massive Frisson of Stupidity.
posted by notsnot at 12:09 PM on July 9, 2010


I'm disappointed that there was only one wizard. And he wasn't even holding a glowing orb. Amateurs.
posted by Shohn at 12:35 PM on July 9, 2010


When I was living in San Francisco there was a van I used to see that had a western scene painted on the side that featured a UFO and *the van itself*. That was sweet.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 12:44 PM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Did the van painted on the van with the UFO painting have a painting of a van with a UFO painting on it painted on it?
posted by Mister_A at 12:50 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah there was a time when associating with Tolkien and Conan was slightly edgy, in the way MeFi is today, it's what all the cool kids did and the square adults avoid. Now it's craptastic pop culture churned out so many times to be insufferable. Maybe it always was. A possible vision of our future.

Well, I think it's more what the cool adults did, but some not-so-cool-kids picked it up, and the square adults wanted to keep away from the rest of the kids, but it hit mainstream and lots of people did it for awhile and Product had to be churned out entertain a widespread public need for escapism/individualism after the social agonies of the 60s that made everyone feel a little bit like an individual pitted against a hostile world (though of course it was a lot of things to a lot of different people), but the original people thought it was all right fucked up by then, even the ones helping churn out the schlock, and it faded in volume but left behind a genre where schlock and quality are still echoed, though to the mainstream it's a joke riff for the attention-seeking wanna-be cool kids, who maybe sort of actually like it deep down, but maybe don't quite get it.
posted by fleacircus at 1:09 PM on July 9, 2010


I'd like to know what's so "yesteryear" about these? These are timeless doobage vans.
posted by not_on_display at 1:17 PM on July 9, 2010


I never got close enough to see. I would like to think so.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 1:17 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did the van painted on the van with the UFO painting have a painting of a van with a UFO painting on it painted on it?

I've seen a guy driving a pickup truck around Atlanta. On the tailgate is a desert scene, and in the scene is...his truck. It's surreal.
posted by jquinby at 1:19 PM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


The last time I saw one of these in real life I was walking in the park; the guy with the van (he was parked, grilling something) had himself outfitted to look exactly like late Las Vegas Elvis Presley. It was neither Halloween nor Mardi Gras.
posted by bukvich at 1:33 PM on July 9, 2010


I've seen a guy driving a pickup truck around Atlanta. On the tailgate is a desert scene, and in the scene is...his truck. It's surreal.

I started thinking he'd need to have it re-painted if he ever got a new vehicle. And then I realized that I was an idiot.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:33 PM on July 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


I constantly tell my wife that when my ship comes in I'm buying a van and airbrushing it with a woman in a metal bikini riding a dragon fighting a minotaur who's wielding a trident. Even I don't know if I'm joking anymore.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:03 PM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I like the pickup tailgate paintings, Houston's current answer to the custom van. My favorite is the one I saw with a painting of a near-naked bikini girl standing next to the same pickup ON THE MOON.
posted by fiercecupcake at 2:04 PM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is that a space-hippo? The most dangerous animal in all of the galaxy.

I get the feeling that some of these windowless vans are painted to attract children.
posted by stavrogin at 2:30 PM on July 9, 2010


I worked for a high metabolism world dominator CEO type who had incongruously long hair instead of the conservative hair cut that would have seemed to fit with the 'type'. It turned out he'd paid his way through college airbrushing the sides of vans.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:16 PM on July 9, 2010


I've got a nice, boring Honda Civic, which I love and and has served me extremely well. But I've lately found myself hankering for a tricked-out conversion van. I don't know why, I've never wanted such a thing before. And yet, the space-hippo...it calls to me.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:36 PM on July 9, 2010


Just trying to choose between the "gas, grass, or ass - nobody rides for free" and the "if the van is a-rockin', don't bother knockin'" license plate frames.
posted by Edward L at 3:39 PM on July 9, 2010


The guy who used to Dungeon Master for the role-playing group I hung with in my early teens had a sweet van not too dissimilar to these. It was blue, and had a cut-diamond-shaped rear window. Instead of a figure or scene, his van had an airbrushed geometrically-patterned stripe running the length of the vehicle on both sides.

What made it all the cooler was the lift for his electric wheelchair.
posted by Graygorey at 10:44 PM on July 9, 2010


I constantly tell my wife that when my ship comes in I'm buying a van and airbrushing it with a woman in a metal bikini riding a dragon fighting a minotaur who's wielding a trident. Even I don't know if I'm joking anymore.

My girlfriend and I have a similar deal, except it's a wizard riding a unicorn which is riding a dragon which is driving a '57 Chevy convertible, with its long neck twisted around to shoot fire at the wizard. In space.
posted by rifflesby at 11:10 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now that I think about it a little more, I think you've got something with the woman in the metal bikini. Maybe she can be lounging on the hood of the Chevy.
posted by rifflesby at 11:11 PM on July 9, 2010




So, am I the only one who read the title & didn't think of Conan the Barbarian, but Conan O'Brien?

I didn't even want a van before I read it.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:11 PM on July 11, 2010


Oh man. I smoked a lot of vans like that back in the day.

Where was I?
posted by clvrmnky at 5:09 PM on July 12, 2010


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