LORI LIGON and her Dodge Van Lust
Name, age, where you live:
Lori Ligon, 31, Hummelstown, PA.
What kind of vans do you have?
’68 Dodge A108, ’77 Dodge big block Maxi, ’79 Dodge B200, ’94 B250.
Tell us about any customizing you have done on on your vans.
All my vans were fully operational when I got them. The a108 had some funky wood beds built for camping, tore them out and put her original bench seats and rubber floor mat back in. She’s pretty damn original. Now, The ’94 got a little more attention. When I bought her she had peeling paint and some rust issues, which is pretty standard on a northeast truck. Not looking forward to this task, I put it off, and began working on making her handle nice and tight and go like hell. Started by installing Dakota drop spindles and new bushings, shocks, and springs. Gave her a 1.25” motorhome swaybar, a 9.25” rear, drop shackles and 1 ton brackets. Up front she got a high performance computer, remote start, and a rebuild on the tranny. Interior of the van was completely removed. I went on down to my local Harbor Freight, and bought myself a cute little spray gun and painted her pieces the original oxblood red. I made my first-ever attempt at rust repair on the floor. Threw down brand new carpet that I scored for free from ACC,inc. for free in exchange for the pattern for their catalog, stuffed her, reassembled her, installed color-coordinated rear seats out of our ’86 B350 to get more passenger seating, installed a t.v., some subwoofers, and away we went. The exterior of the van looks stock, except for the cheap black wheels, and c1500 chin spoiler. Replaced originals with painted cargo bumpers, painted grille, and black door handles.
Any future plans in the works for any of your vans?
The ’68 is in need of a steering box, so she just sits until I find one. The ’94 will be resprayed in the spring. I learned a valuable lesson that a cheap paint job, is a BAD paint job. Now the ’77, well, I think she deserves the full treatment; mural, carpet, port holes. Her day will come.
Have you “rocked” your vans?
10-4. Plates read “DGE BALN” for a reason.
Any past vans you’ve owned?
I can’t get rid of anything. Once they’re mine, they’re mine for life.
Are you in a van club?
Nope. Not knock’ n ’em, just not my thing. Met some clubs up here, but they have requirements about a mandatory amount of meetings and shows you have to attend. I can’t commit. I van on my own terms.
Do you go to vanning events?
I’ve been to a whopping two events. Saw some cool shit, but I got the feeling that it was a real cool club and I couldn’t be a part of it.
What are your favorite places to take your vans?
I hate to throw out such a generic, boring answer but - anywhere. When you love your van and love driving as much as I do, it doesn’t matter where you go. It’s not about the destination, it’s the act of getting there and who you’re with that I’m into. Besides, this is Pennsylvania, there’s nothing good going on here.
How and when did your lust for vans begin?
Imagine two acres full of mid ’60’s to late ’70’s Chrysler products, with a medium-sized ranch dropped right in the middle. This was my childhood home. I found myself wandering around the yard, imagining that they were all mine, envisioning what I would do with them if they were. But I found myself walking amongst the wide-assed chargers, and 20 foot long c-bodies, being drawn to the three Tradesmans, and a lonely mid ’70’s Plymouth Voyager. It’s an unexplainable attraction that I still have today.Some people like pick-ups, some like numbers matching, all original $100,000 e-bodies. Not me. I’m into vans. Always have been.
What do you think about the current van “scene” today?
Maybe I’m being a bit unfair, but I found the scene to be a little exclusive and leary of newcomers. But I thoroughly enjoy vanning sites and follow groups in social media. Call me a keyboard vanner, if you want. No fucks given. I drive my vans everywhere. I am my own scene, in my head anyways.
What other kinds of wheels do you roll?
I am very brand loyal to the Chrysler Corp. In addition to the vans, I roll a ’79 Chrysler Newport with a pistol grip 4 speed, and a ’73 Imperial. My newest project is my old man’s 66 Dodge Monaco, that I’ve claimed as my own. There’s a bunch more, but they aren’t on the road. They’re just lawn ornaments.
Sky’s the limit, describe your ULTIMATE wet dream van.
Early to mid ’70’s windowless shorty. Silver in color, heavy on the flake. Bubblegum pink full carpeted interior. Big block, 4 on the floor, with a clear sparkly ball shifter knob. Back door simply reads in small hand painted letters “ Pink on the inside”.
The Dwarves, The Dickies, Toy Dolls are probably my favorites. But I’ve been putting the amp and speakers to the test with some Die Antwoord lately.
Ford, Chevy or Dodge?
Dodge. Plain And simple.
Ass, gas or grass?
Fond of all three.
Pleather, shag or tuck-n-roll?
I’m partial to warm leatherette.