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Author Topic: Supervan Returns thanx to canux
Babbler # 2878

posted 27 February 2004 01:33 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Supervan is a groovy blast from the past

By David Grainger
Thursday, February 26, 2004

About a year ago, a friend of mine, Dan Woods, phoned to tell me that he was rekindling a television series he did a while back called Classic Car Restorations. It was your typical two-guys-and-a-carburetor car show, popular at the time. It aired on Speedvision. Over the years the series went fallow, but I always told Dan that if he ever wanted to fire the series back up, he should give me a yell.

In our conversation Dan asked if I had any clients who would like their cars restored on television, but I couldn't think of any suitable candidates. I did, however, have a couple of interesting vehicles in storage that might be a little different from the average television fare. They were various custom cars I had picked up in California and one of them might be a possibility for stardom.

The biggest oddball of them all was an old George Barris custom called Supervan. This was built on a 1966 Dodge Tradesman Van, donated by Dodge to Barris as a promotional exercise. Barris had the task of cutting and chopping it, creating a full-blown custom vehicle to tour the show circuit.

What emerged was the Love Machine, a futuristic looking monster, painted yellow with an orange shag and velour interior. To complement the interior appointments, a rotating bed was installed, along with an entertainment centre featuring reel-to-reel, eight-track and colour television.

Not long after its first show appearances Barris had the van painted Day-Glo pink, but it retained its orange interior. In this abhorrent guise, and one I might add appeals to me greatly, it visited the custom car show, Speedsport, in Toronto in the early 1970s. One of my staff, on seeing the van arrive at the shop years later, actually remembered seeing it at the show and dug up original pictures he had taken of it at the time.

After a few years on the show circuit, the Love Machine returned to its Hollywood cocoon and emerged transformed into Supervan, its most famous incarnation.

It was in red and blue custom paint that Supervan rode into superstardom in the film SuperVan, The Movie, in which the van appears as a solar-powered, bad guy busting, alternate energy masterpiece. Nonetheless, the movie did not fare so well at the box office.

From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged

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