Last week’s Civil Defender of classic Suburbans didn’t fare well, and you let it go the way of the Cold War with a unanimous Pass vote. That ambulance, however, was on the block for fifteen grand, so if the price was a bit too steep, whet your fancy and use it to lop off a zero for today’s example: a 1985 Econoline with low miles and a fifteen Benjamin asking price, and whose maximum headroom and rock cred might sway you toward a Buy vote.
Way back in the early part of the century, when a certain blogger was learning a little about everything except his major (and much about sleep deprivation) at Ball State University, the Warsaw, Indiana indie band Darkroom was skipping around the Great Lakes states, playing shows from Chicago to Toledo and generally giving us weary college students something to smile about. I have fond memories of seeing them at the Living Room in downtown Muncie and nodding along to their unique blend of bleeding-heart folk and six-eight rock.
Sadly, Darkroom did what most college bands do and moved on to families and new projects, but their chariot of rock remains, and now it’s up for sale. Affectionately dubbed Dan the Van, this tri-tone Ford E-Series hails from 1985 but has only seen 109,000 miles. Based on its standard employment as a plumbing truck, delivery vehicle, and shuttle bus, that’s not much for an Econoline.
We know that it’s been blessed with a new battery and that the brakes are “solid.” It’s also tow capable, as it tugged a trailer full of amps, pedal boards and stowaways for several years. But unfortunately, as not much else matters to a band of traveling troubadours, we don’t know which of Ford’s V8s likely rests under that short hood, or which of the automatic transmissions to which it’s likely paired.
Dan’s party piece, however, isn’t the nostalgia of a hundred small venues and coffee shops. It’s not the countless hours of hauling a half-dozen sleeping musicians across northern Indiana’s frozen tundra. It’s the rare camper top.
Yes, as you were likely to do if you ever attended one of their shows, you can raise the roof on Darkroom’s van to accommodate the likes of Yao Ming or Bruce Banner. And you just don’t see that very often on an E-Series of this generation. (In fact, we’ve never seen this before, so if you have any beans about how such a conversion may have occurred, kindly spill them in the comments.)
Unlike many tour vans, this one doesn’t include a “fame” premium, and, as the lead singer of Darkroom notes, it “runs like a beast.” So does $1,500 groove with you, or would you rather rock and roll Dan the Van into a river?
Vote in the comments!