Saturday, December 30, 2006

15 Passenger Van

A couple summers ago, a friend of mine called me from Kentucky. Apparently, she had went to an auction at Northern Kentucky University. She owns a lab and was interested in some lab equipment that they were getting rid of. While she was there, they saw several university vehicles that no one had bid on. They were interested in a late model Caprice for their business, but couldn't resist the "fun" in placing the minimum bid on a few other vehicles.

Needless to say, they ended up with a car, a truck, and a fifteen passenger Dodge van. She called wondering if I would be interested in the van, since I had told her about a project I was working on at my Middle School. She thought I might be able to use the van to haul around students.

To make a long story short, she donated the van to my "cause". Her husband drove it up from Kentucky a few weeks later when they were visiting family in the area. The van was in "decent" shape for a 1985, but the university had removed ALL the passenger seats. The van had basically been used by university maintenance as a work van.

The day after I drove it home, I got on eBay and typed in "1985 Dodge 15 passenger van". To my amazement, the first item that came up on the list was a "like new" set of seats for a 1985 15 passenger Dodge van!!!! The seats were located in Nashville, Tenn. No one had bid on the seats, so I placed a minimum bid of $50.00. Again...I was amazed that no one else bid on the seats, and at the end of the auction, I was the winner!

My dad and I made a "one tank trip" to Nashville, Tenn. the following Saturday. Basically, we drove to Nashville, loaded the seats in his truck, ate lunch, and headed for home.

The story behind the seats was an interesting one. A couple of "college-aged" guys had bought a 15 passenger Dodge van to make a mobile recording studio (only in Nashville, huh?). They had gutted the van, taking out all the seats, stacking them in the garage behind their home.

Since receiving the van, I've installed the seats and had the van tuned up. I've used the van several times, but still haven't decided how to paint it. Below is a picture of a few ideas I had one night while messing around with a photo editting program.