Wednesday, December 22, 2010
looking for a van to buy isn't a carmax type of affair.
its more like a craigslist/side of the road kind of thing... and more searching for buried lost treasure than car hunting
you start to get obsessed... or i do anyways,
searching walmart parking lots
taking stray turns in south knoxville for some piece of shit on wheels...
your piece of shit on wheels.
i think i found the right now.
(its none of these)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
i am a cyclical and incredibly ritualistic person: i get into these phases and carry them out to a tee.
Right now I drink flavored vodka on ice with a straw in a very specific glass and spend quality time with my computer.
we watch x-files, and research. lately we (my computer and me you understand) have been obsessed... with a capital O:
OBSESSED with vans. hitting up craig's list like a facebook feed, like twitter for christ sake. checking, rechecking, finding mpg, dimensions, reviews, price comparisons, engine specs, wheel base measurments of chevy vans. Astros, G-series, cargo, passenger, conversion, hi-top, express...
i've learned quite a bit, and my obsession goes one way or the other every day.
at first it seemed a hi-top american conversion van was the right choice. Plenty of room, bed already built in... big ol' cushy van to drive around in. (Most of these Chevy G-20s). Then i saw some bad vans... some really bad ones, and a really good one that was sold out from under me... thank goodness, because those suckers get like 12-15 mpg... which would cost me thousands upon thousands of dollars on a 9000 mile trip through the west where the gas could be a millions dollars a gallon.
About a week ago i was completely DEAD set on a vw vanagon, a westfalia after finding this blog: Falia Photography
this girl is incredible. not only is she ballsy, super independent, super organized and living a dream that i can seriously get down with... she's smart. and thorough. she explains everything you ever wanted to know about ... everything she has done traveling in her westfalia from sun showers, traveling, organizing to concealed firearm accessories for petit ladies... this i was especially impressed and tickled by. check out her youtube.
i have found many communities and blogs on vandwelling, but this one is pretty awesome.
most people in the van dwelling community have pretty big vehicles, VW owners are a special elite breed. They get great gas mileage... but its more than that... VW van owners are more than just automobile owners, VW are like babies... that you can live inside. You have to be committed to them. Finding their parts, working on them, re-doing their engines/transmissions/interiors/modifications... vw owners become vw mechanics. Its like a hobby... that encompasses your life... its a lifestyle. And I was sucked into it for a few weeks. Its an expensive thing to get into, you have to be 100% about it...
Seeing as how I need a dependable vehicle to get me to a different city everyday, I went the other way. I just don't thing i have the knuckles for a vw.
Chevy astros were my next obsession.
Then i found the dimensions, very small. but i could make it work!
Then i went to a professional conversion man about making it work inside an astro... for a mere $3500... (just twice as much as a chevy astro would cost me and 1/2 as much as a premium vw van or dodge sprinter...)
THEN I DECIDED I CAN DO IT MY FUCKING SELF.
this was my most important realization on this obsessive track i am following.
for you see, i have to see how far i've come, and be proud... and keep going.
i said the same thing to my brother just a minute ago... he is having some trouble with his new chef job in oakland, adjusting to a new level of sauces and equipment... so much different than in a 5 star in florida... this is... big boys club... But he has come so far... 3000 miles to say the least. And now he's on his way to something bigger, much much bigger than any amount of stars that Orlando Florida can hold. And I'm so super proud of him. So i am inspired not just to blog (as he does...: Mex in the City)
but to look behind at the path i came down... whoa! i started way over there... cause i'm going way WAY over there...
up to date:
so now: I am now obsessed with Chevy G-10... the smallest of the chevy cargo G-series vans... 1/2 ton. 20mpg (supposedly) just a bit longer than an astro, same motor. and one is for sale down the street. beat up, with severely low miles, owned by the local food co-op that i am a member of... who better to give a couple thousand dollars to?
i just hope it doesn't sell before i get the money in january... cause i'm going to build the shit out of that thing.
the research continues... hundreds of scketchs, ideas, lists, websites, google searches... and a couple late night drives to see the van... and ask it to go out with me.