When Amie started looking for a van, she looked at a few different kinds of trucks and delivery vans. The requirements were simple; something big enough to stand up in, but not so big that it would be hard to drive and parallel park. We looked at an old ice cream truck, checked out some mail trucks, and looked into what was available at auction. Nothing seemed to fit. When she told me she found a mid 80′s Chevy that used to be used at an Air Force Base, I was skeptical. I mean, I haven’t seen many Food Trucks driving around that look anything like what Amie picked up. The thing is, the van met all of the requirements, it’s mechanically sound, has a big old diesel engine that we hope to convert to bio-diesel some day, and it’s funky enough to stand out from the pack. It just needed to be cleaned up and customized.
The first thing we needed to do was sort out the paint. Check out what it looked like on the day Amie brought her home.
That following weekend, Joe picked up the van, drove it over to his place in Montbello and put it in the back yard. I showed up, and started stripping off parts and sanded it down. Here are some shots during the process.
Amie had a very specific color scheme in mind for the paint. I wanted it to be easy to apply, but professional in the end result. I did soooooo much googling trying to find out how to do auto paint on a minimal budget. I almost convinced myself to roll on the whole thing using Rustoleum because there are a lot of motorhead forums where people have described how they painted their old Mustangs or Camaros using a roller and cheap oil based paint. However, thankfully, better heads prevailed and convinced me to spend a little extra on real Urethane auto paint, and for not much more money I think we got a good base coat down. We’re going to put big vinyl decals all over the van anyway, so I’m happy enough with the results. Here’s the final outcome after a ton of grease and oil remover, lots of sanding, some Bondo here and there, three coats of primer, and two top coats of Sherwyn Williams Auto Paint.
One thing I want to point out … check out the white paint on top. It has a special additive that gives the paint an R20 insulation value. It’s like a very fine powder of microscopic glass beads that you mix in with the paint to provide heat protection. I’m not sure how it’s going to hold up, but so far it looks great, and hopefully it will keep the harsh Colorado sun from baking the back of the van while Amie is baking awesome food inside!