1974 E300 Club Wagon Chateau
Posted 20 September 2009 - 04:27 PM
Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:12 PM
You're really going to enjoy having that van, and I can't wait to see the updates coming in.
I'm really happy to see you find a good one.
Posted 21 September 2009 - 01:07 PM
Marlon, your van looks just like mine, but you say it's not white but some kind of very light blue? I know Ford had a color called diamond blue on T-birds and probably others; I wonder if that's the same color. It looks so damn near white you can't tell till you get up close. By the way, do you have any large pictures of yours? I'd be anxious to see them.
Posted 21 September 2009 - 01:14 PM
The light blue on my roof and lower panels is called "Wind Blue". It's a sky blue, much bluer than it appears in my avatar.
Like your van, mine is a Chateau E-300, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's pretty quiet going down the road, and brakes nicely with the big 8-lug drums.
The interior of mine is the same as yours in colour and finish. I've taken my bench seats out to make room for camping gear and a bed though. I also replaced the factory radio with a factory glovebox option that I scrounged from the wreckers. A modern radio is installed under the dash near the driver's knee.
There are a few pictures in my gallery here that you can check out.
Looking forward to seeing what you do with your new ride.
Posted 22 September 2009 - 08:02 AM
Posted 22 September 2009 - 10:17 AM
Yes, my avatar picture was taken on the day of my insurance inspection. The inspector took that shot and put it on the cover of the insurance report he wrote. It was a bright sunny day, and I don't think his camera had a polarizing filter on it.
Like you say, it is neat growing up around vans. My parents were competitive sailors, and all of my early childhood memories of "vacation" consist of the family piling into Mom and Dad's '69 Econoline and going to different sailing regattas. Lots of the other sailors, maybe even "most" had vans too, and I used to love running around the campsites looking at the different vans and custom work. I really wanted my dad to put a porthole in the van, but he never did.
I have one picture of that 69 Econo up in my gallery that you must have seen. It was a 69 E100 Shorty. In the picture, we are leaving Manitoba in the winter to drive all the way to Florida for the North American Fireball Sailing Regatta. (My parents were actually pretty good and held most Manitoban records in the 70s and competed at the N.A. twice and the World's once). Anyhow, you can see the boat in the picture. The single window on the side is from my dad's "customizing" work. Originally the van had no side glass, but windows in both rear doors. He switched the P. side rear door for the forward side door. After that, the van had one window in the back and one on the side. It was kind of goofy looking, especially at first when it said "F-O" on the back, and "R-D" on the side. Later, he put the white stripes on the van, and had the opportunity for a little hole filling without pursuing a paint match, and moved the "R-D" back where it belonged. Other sailors called the van the "one eyed bandit" since they knew that when it showed up, nobody else would be getting any trophys.
My Chateau is superior to my dad's 69 in every measurable way, but if I were to cross paths with that van, I'd definitely want to save it and restore it. He sold it in 1979 (and bought a 79 supervan to replace it), so it's probably long gone.
You're right, all the bright metal on the Chateau really makes them look sharp. I love having the chrome bezel around the glass, and the beltline. My rear benches are also safely stored away in my garage, up on a platform I built to keep them out of the way, and safely covered with old curtains. I don't need them, but I can never throw them away.
I notice that you don't have the "Club Wagon" badges on your van...are they missing, or just off of it for now? They are installed with double-sided tape, so the lack of holes isn't really alarming. If you need me to measure the correct locations, just let me know.
Posted 22 September 2009 - 11:36 AM
My van is indeed missing the Club Wagon emblems, and I don't know at what point they were removed. The van looks incredibly original and that's about the only thing missing. One tiny piece of beltline chrome between the passenger front door and sliding door is also gone.
Do you know of any sources of NOS emblems or window gaskets? I'd like to replace the emblems. I'd also like to add the SuperVan emblem to the back door even though this van never had it. I just thought they look super cool with those SuperVan emblems in the back. Because they are cool! LOL. I know, as a Club Wagon, it's not supposed to have the E-300 emblem on the front sides, and I wouldn't want to add those, but the SuperVan emblem would be one concession I'd make to customize my van.
I've never seen the van, of course, since I'm in Warsaw and the van's in Detroit. It will be gone through and restored, both mechanically and body-wise. I wanted to keep the original paint, but since the bottom needs some work, might as well repaint the whole van. And that entails removing the windows to do properly, so new window gaskets will be necessary, if I can find them. I'll leave the interior intact and untouched, unless some holes are found in the floorboard requiring removal of the rug. The rug needs to be cleaned, but I can do that once I get the van over here. My friend will rebuild the 302, tranny, and replace the shocks, springs and anything else mechanical (dual exhausts with x pipe too), and paint the van. So a lot will be done and I'll end up with a new van, which can be enjoyed for the next 35 years. I'm told that for Detroit, this van is in remarkable shape, and I know that's true. It must have been garaged all its life, but even so it was driven in the snow and salt, and hence the small rust issues. I'm just glad it was cared for and not destroyed. I'm thinking it was some sort of part time van for a church or charitable organization. Who knows, but it survived in great shape, and I'm looking forward to rebuilding it and hitting the road for some cruising.
Posted 22 September 2009 - 12:13 PM
Beware of most rubber out there. You definitely want to stay away from Carr Rubber - check out the threads on our site about that little fiasco.
There is s a good windshield gasket available. I can't remember the company name off hand, but I did get a gasket from them that accepts the chrome trim.
NOS emblems sometimes turn up on Ebay, but besides that I know of no other source. I do have a spare set of Chateau emblems on hand...they're used, but in reasonable shape. I think I paid $25 for them. I can sell them to you for what I paid if you're interested. The red on them is faded to nearly nothing though, as is common with those types of emblems. I'm not sure how to restore that feature. The red on my originals is faded too, but not nearly so bad. Anyhow, if you're interested, PM me, and I can dig them out and photograph them.
As for the small chunk of trim on the side between the doors, I may have a spare one of those around that you can have for free. I try to stockpile parts when I find them in the wreckers, so I can check. There's a Clubwagon at my local wreckers now, and I've made a few trips there to plunder stuff. I plan on going back again in October when I'm back from holidays. I have quite a stash of emblems and lenses and trim bits. Over the years I 've scored a few power brake upgrades and other stuff for other members too.
I too am torn about my lack of SuperVan emblems. One idea I had was to make custom mudflaps from thick rubber and attach a couple of Supervan logos to them. I met a local vanner who had done something similar with Econoline 100 emblems, and it looked really sharp. Of course, I've so far only scored one Supervan logo, so that plan is on the back burner until my next junkyard find.
Up until this year, I had one original bench in my van, and then all the space behind it was a giant bed. This winter, I'm rehabilitating a VW Westfalia folding bench/bed and installing it in place of my bench seat. It will sit further back than the front row bench, and will free up more floor space. We don't have kids, so a second bench is only for when we have guests, though I still plan to put seatbelts on it. When it is folded out to bed configuration, the sleeping area will be the same as it is right now. Just one way to make the van more practical.
It's great that you've got a buddy on the ground to evaluate your van for you, and it definitely is a rare find to get something in such original shape. It would be interesting to find out more about its history and previous owners.
Posted 22 September 2009 - 12:17 PM
Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:17 AM
I'll PM you. Thanks!
Posted 24 September 2009 - 07:25 PM
74 E-100,,,302, Auto, P/S, P/B, A/C... Nickname "Rondo"
65 E-100,,,240, 3 on the tree.......... Nickname "The Fish"
Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:51 PM
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