Curbside Custom: Meet Fred, The Very Customized Volkswagen Van

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(First Posted September 1, 2013)  So what would you do if you rolled your 1979 Volkswagen Van? Send it to the scrapyard? Part it out? Find a replacement body shell? Or like the owner of today’s feature give it a brand new custom body?

Constructions looks to be heavily inspired by the motor-home and travel trailer industry of the mid 1970’s. I suspect plywood and siding are what makes up most of the boxy body. The windows also look to be sourced from the RV industry. Despite this the two tone orange and white color scheme somehow manages to avoid it looking like a cheap box on wheels. Or perhaps it is the front end that looks vaguely like a sad dog face that saves it but this vehicle has character.

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There are a few stock bits showing themselves like the rather undersized looking wheels as well as the tail lights. The integration of the engine cover is a nice touch. I didn’t hear it run to confirm but the fiberglass air intake mounted up high at the rear, just like a stock Volkswagen van, indicates this unit still runs an air cooled flat four motor. The big Mopar bumper is an interesting addition although something a little less substantial might have been more aesthetically pleasing. The van is complete with trailer hitch just in case the squared off corners and extra weight haven’t completely blunted all the performance so one could add a trailer to the mix. A Seventies travel trailer would be the perfect companion assuming you could find one light enough.

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Coming around the other side we can see that this van has one and only one door. Appropriately enough I spotted this custom van at the local self service scrapyard. Maybe the owner was after some more bits to further personalize his ride? I later found out the van is dubbed Fred by the owner/builder who is also named Fred.