The vintage step van for George and Debbie’s restaurant is back in their hands and ready for some fun.
It’s always interesting to step back and see how these projects started out. For that we’ll give you some side-by side before and after pictures.
The two tone paint is topped off with a matte finish clear coat. Bumpers and trim items were painted with a gloss black for some contrast.
Beside all the cosmetic work we also addressed quite a few items to make the van safer and more dependable. The mechanical upgrades include rebuilt front suspension and steering , a new steering column, an upgrade to front disc brakes, a complete rewiring, new lights inside and out, upgraded alternator, carburetor, battery, radiator and conversion to an electric cooling fan system. We also installed LED back -up lights and a back-up camera system. The wheels were -upsized to work with the new disc brakes and painted to match the restaurant logo.
The interior has come a long way too. As part of the interior restoration we added jump seats and LED lighting. The engine compartment was sealed off and insulated to reduce noise.
The driver spends a lot of time looking at the dashboard so we tend to put extra emphasis on making them look good. The P10 had a very worn and tired dash when it came in. You can’t get replacement parts so we restored the original instrument cluster. Next we added real gauges including a tachometer to monitor the health of the vintage engine.
There’s not much in the way of creature comfort in these vans. You leave the doors open and enjoy nature as you cruise along. We were able to restore the original heater- defroster system for those times when you just can’t do without. It’s that odd looking white box to the right of the dash.
Here a two more views of the van. The rear bumper is a one-off custom made from the original. The van will soon have the restaurant signs on it. If you frequent the downtown St. Pete area, keep an eye out for this great looking van and swing by the Bodega for some seriously good food. You might also see the van at their new restaurant in Tampa.