This '66 Dodge A-100 Pro Street van would make you think we opened a time capsule. Actually, it's a recent creation by Mark Marx, a general contractor and talented artist from San Mateo, California. Ever since he was a kid in high school Mark thought '60s Dodge A-100 vans were cool, with their fat, round, and husky appearance. Still attracted to these rolling boxes, Mark was determined to someday build one. He didn't envision your average shag wagon, but a wicked Pro Street Dodge A-100 van. In the beginning Mark and friends Joe Nelson, Ed Zuzzi, Scott Campbell (a surfin' bud), and Rick Federichi occupied a hot-rod hobby shop to work on and store their weekend cruisers. After six-years of burning the late-night electricity replicating his childhood dream machine, Scooby was completed. Their casual fabrication, body, and paint shop has developed into a serious business facility known as The Hot Rod Shop in San Carlos.
A narrowed sub-frame was constructed using 3x1/4-inch-thick square tubing, which was then step notched, and a Chris Alston four-link with Panhard bar system was bolted up to the rear suspension pickup points. Mark had the Ford 9-inch rearend narrowed considerably and then stuffed with 4.11 Richmond gears. The intimidating Pro Street image was created by stuffing a pair of chubby Mickey Thompson Sportsman 29x18.5x15-inch meats mounted on Weld Draglite 15x15-inch polished aluminum wheels up inside the rear wheelwells. Up front, a pair of new OEM spindles bolted up to a Hot Rod Shop 2-inch I-beam front-dropped axle. The front leaf springs were re-arched, dropping the nose to achieve the aggressive Pro Street stance. The front end's ride is dampened with a pair of KYB adjustable gas shocks. The front end received a pair of much thinner Goodyear Eagle P185/60R15 treads wrapped around a pair of 15x7-inch polished aluminum Weld Draglite wheels.
To power the Pro Street boxer and maintain the Mopar blood, a '78 Mopar 360ci grinder was disassembled and machined by Gary Clark at Speed Marine in Burlingame, California. The factory cylinder J-heads, with 1.88 intake valves and 1.60 exhaust valves, were match ported and polished. The heads are capped with a pair of Mopar aluminum valve covers. K&B flattop pistons were linked to the factory crankshaft with a set of Crower I-beam rods linked to the rotating mass. A lumpy Comp Cams bumpstick with a mild profile (292 degrees of duration and .501 lift) was installed along with an Edelbrock fuel pump, 750-cfm Holley carburetor, and Edelbrock Performer intake manifold that make sure the Mopar is well nourished. The electrical energy is delivered with an MSD coil and billet distributor through a set of eight Moroso Blue Max ignition wires. For easier access, the battery was relocated behind the driver's seat. A pair of ceramic-coated Hooker headers were bolted to the cylinder heads, exhausting the mighty 360's burnt gases from its exhaust ports. After exiting the header collectors, the gases flow into a pair of Flowmaster stage-1 muffs. The engine's doghouse was modified to allow for the larger 360ci V-8, and louvers were punched to allow the engine's heat to be dissipated. Transmitting the power to the rear wheels is a beefed-up '78 727 Mopar automatic transmission that was fitted with a 2,700-rpm stall converter. A B&M ratchet shifter transfers the driver's gear selection to the transmission, while the factory driveshaft was shortened to accommodate the longer transmission housing.
All six doors were replaced, new hinges installed, and Mark replaced the front and rear bumpers with roll pans. For a smoother appearance, the van's skin was cleanly shaved, including emblems, antenna, and door handles. A pair of wide-eyed, round headlight bezels houses a pair of tri-bar headlights flanking the factory grille. Mark and friends have over 1,800 hours in removing and replacing the roof and getting the massive panels straight. To refurbish the panels, House of Kolor "Rage" body filler was applied; then hours and hours were spent block-sanding the surface until achieving flawless, smooth skin. With the entire body prepped, Mark then sprayed the van's exterior skin with House of Kolor white coat BC-26 primer, followed by multi-base coats of House of Kolor Tangelo PBC 32, Burple SG109, and Shimmering Purple. Mark decided to two-tone the van 3/4 Tangelo and 1/4 Burple with a Shimmering Purple dividing line. Mark laid out repetitive wispy, tribal Dupont Chrome Elusion Purple flames just above the body line. After all the color was applied, it was buried in countless coats of House of Kolor clear.
Mark installed and wired the surf tune machine with an Eclipse CD/DVD head unit, enhanced with a Precision Pro PCX 4125 amp to power the highs and mids. A Precision Pro PCX 2125 amp powers the intense, breathtaking 12-inch MB Quartz subwoofer fused to a custom enclosure designed and built by John Auto Sound in Redwood City, California. An Eclipse DVD monitor is grafted into the dash. The racy Pro Street interior features Corbeau racing seats and Mark fabricated a timeless, custom aluminum surface-machined gauge-cluster panel filled with Auto Meter whiteface gauges.
Mark's throw-back '66 DodgeA-100 Pro Street van, Scooby, is a definite reminder how it once was and how it could be again. How about a '66 Dodge A-100 Pro Street with a Dodge Viper V-10 or new Hemi 6.3L wedged between the framerails?