Having appeared the in my neighbor’s driveway the same evening I posted the Canadian Mercury Econoline pickup, this 1967 (?) Ford Econoline replaced the 2002-ish Honda Odyssey which had been sitting idle for the past several months. Given the obvious CC-effect, I began snapping pictures and in the process, started a conversation with its owner. Her husband, she said, had passed away ten months ago, leading her to pursue her dream of opening a mobile massage therapy practice (based out of this van, of course). Seems like Bloomington really is the Eugene of the midwest.
I would’ve painted this van differently, but it took an honest effort to make it look this way. It doesn’t say “mobile massage” so much as “mobile party,” but the combination of the two could be quite pleasing to potential clients. If nothing else, it works well enough for the new owner who has no plans to change it. Who knows–massage therapy-plus-pop art in one van might make for a smart way to attract business in this famously free-spirited locale.
This van began life in somewhat of a seafoam color, but a nice navy blue or army green would be my color of choice. Then again, white or bright crimson would show off the Econoline’s pleasingly blunt shape more effectively. Simple they may have been, these vans looked much more attractive than their Greenbrier counterparts (though not as cute as the Dodge A-series).
Three on the tree, no a/c, power assists or a radio; the kids who rode in that loaded Odyssey will have a lot to get used to when riding in the Ford. But the Honda is indeed gone, along with the man who owned it, so this van’s cold vinyl seats, loud six-cylinder, fogged-up windows and bouncy ride motions will all form a constant reminders of life’s precarity. That certainly will make this a vehicle which tells a story.
That said, the kindergarten-age kids of said owner/entrepreneur will have a blast riding around in this romper room on wheels (at least until the planned massage table goes in). I myself dreamt many times of my parents replacing their suave imported sedans on something a bit more rustic and worthy of impromptu camp outs. As I was tiny, anything from a Colt Vista, to a Grand Caravan to a Tercel wagon would’ve fit the bill. Free as this Ford is of carpet, and looking quite tidy, it is a perfect clean slate for most any plans its new owner may have for it. It’s much easier start over in life if you’re not left to clean up someone else’s mess.