I Present to You…

… my dad’s van.

At 8 miles to the gallon, you can't go right with this beauty.

Sure, it’s a sweet ride and all, but it handles like a refrigerator. Here’s hoping I find wheels of my own soon.

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42 Responses

  1. Dear Mel,

    THANK you so much for the revival. We’ve been talking to drive-ins, 8-tracks and bell bottom pants. They’ve all given us a firm ‘no.’ But with this photo, you’ve given all of us on the staff here some real hope.

    Keep on Truckin’!

    Sincerely,

    1974

  2. Handles like a refrigerator? LOL!!

    • Not that I’ve actually DRIVEN a refrigerator, but I think you get the idea.

  3. Look on the bright side. If you get stuck in all of that snow at least you’ll have a place to sleep.

    • Robin, my dad actually uses it as a “mobile home” when he travels for boat jobs, so I am aware of that “perk”.

      lol. :)

  4. Vans! Oh, yes. I remember the days of driving to Va. Beach in an old Ford van with the windows down, Robbin Thompson blaring Candy Apple Red through the speakers, and the girls dressed in bikinis with tee shirts pulled over top.

    And eight miles to the gallon. At 35(where’s the damn cent key) a gallon, it took two of us to pay for the gas down and back. Fortunately, the van slept four comfortably back then.

    I guess those days have come and gone. Now, the vans are so much smaller (or I am so much bigger) that two of us must be very close to sleep in a van. But I still love the Two B’s Please album.

    • Allen, I filled the tank last week and nearly fell over. I’ve never spent that much on gas in my life!

      I have fond memories of our various vans growing up, but the best was when a deer ran into the side of the van WHILE WE WERE DRIVING DOWN THE HIGHWAY and it’s antler went through the tiny window WHERE I WAS SLEEPING. Fortunately the screen stopped it from impaling me, but I had glass in my hair for a week.

  5. My hubby was a 70’s Ford F250 that would give that baby a run for its money ;)

    • Sweet. Ibis was driving a F-150 SuperCab prior to us moving. My dad took it off our hands and drove it before the van. I think he has a thing for customization.

      btw, Ibis’ truck was named Tiger.

  6. oops… has! gah!

  7. Hey, beats walking and actually it gets 14mpg on the highway unless you drive like Melanie at something akin to double the limits. Besides refrigerators can hold lots of stuff and look at the bright side. Did you ever see anyone want to hit a refrigerator….

    • All excellent points.

      I actually drive pretty slowly because it freaks me out that I can’t see on the sides or out the back. It took me two hours on the drive from Chicago before I broke 60mph.

  8. Oh man! My grandpa had one of those and passed it down through the generations, luckily I never had to have it, but hey – it’s wheels right? Love the refrigerator line – classic!

    • I’ve driven minivans before but this was my first attempt with a behemoth. Add to that a puppy that REALLY wanted to sit in my lap, and it was a fun drive.

  9. That van is in dire need of a fantasy art spray job. And a bed in the back. ;-)

    Adam

    • If it was one of those VW 1970 vintage I would agree wholeheartedly. But, Hey it is mauve/purple/gray with who knows the off purple carpet. It really doesn’t get better just a 1996 version of the VW bus generation..

      • The carpet is purple?

    • *cues Pink Floyd*

  10. Yeah, the refrigerator line is awesome, Mel. Miss M laughed too! :)

    • Glad I could amuse. It was either that or an elephant, but I used that line the other day.

  11. Sweet ride!

  12. Oooh, I feel for you! I used to have a Jeep Cherokee, and when gas went up, OMG. I was spending $75 twice a week, and I WASN’T GOING ANYWHERE!

    Yeah, I got rid of it in a matter of weeks, LOL. I do miss it, though. Especially now: it would have been perfect for our current lifestyle, although I would’ve missed the Wrangler more.

    • $150 per week is nuts! NUTS!

      I can see that being a better fit for what you’re doing now though. Does the Wrangle tow okay?

  13. Sweet wheels! I had to borrow my mom’s van back in ’96 because my car got totaled (not my fault, someone hit me) and I wasn’t old enough to do a rental car.

    Vans are so hard to park! It was a nice way to take all of my friends somewhere (on the positive side) but I was so glad when I got a smaller ride.

    • I cannot park this thing at all, at least not if there are other cars nearby. Fortunately I’m running all my errands during the day when the parking lots are fairly empty. I just park far away from the entrance.

      Not being able to change lanes kinda sucks.

  14. The hubs loves vans. He had one in college… (Ok, let the jokes fly.. I’ll wait… no he never cruised high schools…) and loved it. Once we had munchkins, he couldn’t wait to get a minivan. So now I am driving a minivan. Bleh. But at least this means we are still (twins!)

    • *snickers*

      I like the crossover vehicles, even though the sliding doors are pretty convenient. (or so I’ve heard from Brad Pitt — movie reference!)

      Twins!!

  15. We had a brown/orange/tan VW bus until I was maybe 8 or 9. I LOVED that van! ‘Course, I never had to drive it…

    • I would have loved to have a VW bus. My high school English teacher/advisor drove one and I thought he was so cool.

  16. We had a van – big green…it was AWESOME! Pull into a parade with hot chocolate and watch all night without even leaving the warm car. Road trips were a thrill. Our kids loved it too. What’s great is that Google Maps has captured ours – if we ever need to remember the good old days, we just type in our address, head over to the street view, and there it is in our driveway…screaming, “Why did you sell me…you loved me!”

    Just sayin’ enjoy it while you have it…there are worse things in life. : )

    • Hi Adam!

      That’s so cool your van is on Google Maps. My husband’s old truck (the aforementioned ‘Tiger’) is on Google Earth at our old apartment in Chicago.

  17. A few hints, when driving something larger than a refrigerater the installed mirrors have a purpose other than telling you Jesus is closer than you think. Besides they let you see almost everything. All that is left is getting the brain to register what gives when actually moving it backwards in particular. Bending neck around for a looksee just doesn’t make it.

    Parking lots without cars are nice in winter you can practice loosing it and gettin control back and with vans you can practice making your moves without hitting things (maybe).

    • I KNOW to use the mirrors, but when I have to pull them in to park in the garage, it’s a pain in the asphalt to get them back into the right position again. Ibis has tried and tried to force me to drive only using mirrors, so I can do it, but my habit is to look over my shoulder.

      I’m getting better with the handling, but I still keep driving over curbs.

  18. I was late to the going away party on your other blog.

    Man, I’m full of sadz.

    • *waves at AC*

      Better late than never. :) You’ll see I FINALLY took your advice on my website (for the most part). I just needed someplace to put all my writing stuff.

  19. I love that van, yet it scares me. I’m not the greatest driver, so the visibility thing would mean me backing into all sorts of stuff. Crunch. That’s the sound I make a lot.

    • Robin, I’ve been TERRIFIED of the crunch!

  20. […] he loaded everything into the refrigerator and hauled it off to the church. When I got home my mom pointed out that I should probably check […]

  21. […] he loaded everything into the refrigerator and hauled it off to the church. When I got home my mom pointed out that I should probably check […]

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