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Muse along with me.

 

There's an auction coming up this weekend, maybe 6-8 collector cars and some riff-raff. One of the later is a '71-72 Ford van. Caught my eye.
These have a particular custom potential; they have an extremely short front overhang and an extreme 'cab-forward'. Check it: http://images.classiccars.com/classifieds/363969_13951920_1971_Ford_Van.jpg

Later ones shifted the windshield back : http://image.trucktrend.com/f/29011727+w750+st0/1979-Ford-Econoline.jpg

and earlier jobs had the front axle shifted back/ door in front of the front wheel.

 

Back to the 'potential' thing- Tho I wasn't able to find much along these lines, this early '70s van mechanicals seems like a good building block to build a pseudo-micro-car because the mechanicals (windshield, steering column, axle, engine) are very tightly grouped. Although they're fairly wide, it could be done. 

My buddy has a repair ship, often he's cutting up something either for scrap or export- I was standing in the rear shell of a van today- much easier to cut into than a car. And that '62 Checker I saw in the junkyard last month is very likely still there...

 

 

Although I am a long-time fan of full-size cars (over 210"), extreme proportion vehicles are also often interesting. I cite these 2 for what I am daydreaming about :

 

1950 Martin Stationette :

50-Martin_Stationette_DV-08_AI_02.jpg

 

'56 Packard sketch :

Packardcitycar_700.jpg

 

Would be radical fun to attempt something like this.

Edited by balthazar
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I kinda like the snub-nosed Ford Vans... as far forward as you can be without putting the driver in front of the wheel.  I really hate how much hood vans have grown.  I guess that's why I like the '70s-'80s GM fullsize vans... short enough nose, but enough hood to access the engine.

I have many times considered shortening a van... but finding a suitable vehicle is hard... either they are too nice to cut up or too destroyed to start with.  I still imagine I would prefer to do a shortened Chevy COE with a suburban spliced on the rear... with the subframe from a modern 3.8 supercharged put in the rear for a mid-engined setup.

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But doesn't it also mean you still have the engine up front? On the micros you posted, the engines are in the back, thus the driver sits at normal car height. You'd be looking more at a Corvan than one of the Fords to pull off this idea I think.

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Not going to be able to use the Econoline power train in a true micro-car sized vehicle- too much bulk. You're looking at big time trans/axle issues, too; you'd need to retrofit a FWD 4-pot power train (backwards) to build something the proportion of the Stationette.

 

I'd REALLY like to take a year-long spin building a totally custom vehicle- that'd be the 'lottery' for me.

Edited by balthazar
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Not going to be able to use the Econoline power train in a true micro-car sized vehicle- too much bulk. You're looking at big time trans/axle issues, too; you'd need to retrofit a FWD 4-pot power train (backwards) to build something the proportion of the Stationette.

 

I'd REALLY like to take a year-long spin building a totally custom vehicle- that'd be the 'lottery' for me.

I agree, I would love to have the cash and time to build a few project auto's. First would be a new GMC Syclone off the Terrain with a TT V6. Next would be a Micro Van/CUV like the GMC Granite concept.

 

post-12-0-42885400-1403193812_thumb.jpg

post-12-0-97373500-1403193751_thumb.jpg

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800px-Flickr_-_DVS1mn_-_50_Chevrolet_COE

 

I kinda like the snub-nosed Ford Vans... as far forward as you can be without putting the driver in front of the wheel.  I really hate how much hood vans have grown.  I guess that's why I like the '70s-'80s GM fullsize vans... short enough nose, but enough hood to access the engine.

I have many times considered shortening a van... but finding a suitable vehicle is hard... either they are too nice to cut up or too destroyed to start with.  I still imagine I would prefer to do a shortened Chevy COE with a suburban spliced on the rear... with the subframe from a modern 3.8 supercharged put in the rear for a mid-engined setup.

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That little Packard is a hoot. I've been wondering what a micro-Packard would look like.

 

How extreme of a transformation are you thinking? Merely shortening the van to subcompact length, and perhaps a lower or chop, or creating an entirely new body for it? For the former, the Ford van would be suitable, for for something more radical I would agree with Drew that a mid-engine van would probably be a better platform to start with.

 

On a side note, what's that silver flash of a car hiding behind the Martin?

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§§- not sure on the silver job, the few pics of that day I saw didn't show enough for me to recognize it, other than I'm certain it's not U.S..

 

Ultimately, I dream to build a completely unique vehicle, not 'merely' a modified production version (no dis to those who prefer that, intended).
The Packard microcar would be fantastic, even tho it's like 90% a 'modified production' car, the proportional changes are so extreme, it's totally wild (and still looks cool).

The '100% project' would be all new sheet metal/ design. 
This is the quickie sketch I mentioned above :

 DSC03373_zps1f5da056.jpg

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800px-Flickr_-_DVS1mn_-_50_Chevrolet_COE

 

I have many times considered shortening a van... but finding a suitable vehicle is hard... either they are too nice to cut up or too destroyed to start with.  I still imagine I would prefer to do a shortened Chevy COE with a suburban spliced on the rear... with the subframe from a modern 3.8 supercharged put in the rear for a mid-engined setup.

 

 

Yeah, like that... but shorter... cut out the center window, essentially.

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§§- not sure on the silver job, the few pics of that day I saw didn't show enough for me to recognize it, other than I'm certain it's not U.S..

 

Ultimately, I dream to build a completely unique vehicle, not 'merely' a modified production version (no dis to those who prefer that, intended).

The Packard microcar would be fantastic, even tho it's like 90% a 'modified production' car, the proportional changes are so extreme, it's totally wild (and still looks cool).

The '100% project' would be all new sheet metal/ design. 

This is the quickie sketch I mentioned above :

 DSC03373_zps1f5da056.jpg

 

 

It looks like you want Gru's car....

 

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:D Seen that, and I like it, but it's a bit bulky for this vision, plus the pointed tail looks like the whole thing went thru a meat slicer.

 

I think what I need is a Tango I can rebody : Tango.jpg   ;)

 

Hmmm : http://cdn.citylab.com/media/img/citylab/legacy/2012/08/15/tata%20airpod%20car%202.JPG

Edited by balthazar
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Looks like it would blow over with a strong side wind. I could see that thing tipping over all the time here especially during the fall when we have big gusts with average wind of 25-35mph. Crazy.

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^ Read up on it- it's an electric with all the batteries below the floor. It's has better stability than a Porsche 911. Also does 0-60 in 4 secs and has a top end of 150. I could go for that.

 

I want something squat, rounded, teardrop'd, streamlined... or some combination of those elements.
 

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^ Read up on it- it's an electric with all the batteries below the floor. It's has better stability than a Porsche 911. Also does 0-60 in 4 secs and has a top end of 150. I could go for that.

 

I want something squat, rounded, teardrop'd, streamlined... or some combination of those elements.

 

Very cool to hear that for a tall what looks like a single person auto it has a low center of gravity.

 

Is it a single person auto? Have not heard or read on these before. First time I am seeing this.

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It reminded me of a Dalek, too. ;)
Pretty sure the dimensions are for something unrelated to the sketch, don't remember; I did this about a year ago.

 

- - - - 

Right now I am working on fabricating the dual exhaust for my '40- no one makes pipes for this and certainly not duals.
So far it's turning out pretty good and I don't find it hard. I have one side mocked up, cut from 180-degree mandrel bends like this:
sum-621008_w_ml.jpg
If someone gave me a container box of round & square tube steel, I would take a stab at creating a chassis/substructure.

I should have a pic of the exhaust in a week or thereabouts.

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