For Brian Mackey of Mackey’s Hot Rods in Huntington Beach, California, the BUILT from eBay challenge became more than a fun project with a very tight deadline — it became personal. Team Hot Rod’s 1968 Chevy van is a tribute to Richard “Spider” Smith, a friend of Mackey’s grandfather who served as an aviator in World War II. The van was converted into a WWII-fighter jet inspired dragstrip monster; but it didn’t come together easy.
When the Chevy van arrived at Mackey’s, it sported a combination of rust and…let’s be kind and say “striking” aqua blue paint. That the Mackey’s team managed to cut out the rust and get the hours upon hours of bodywork done alone during the eight week build is impressive enough. Taken in along with the modifications and additions to the van, and Team Hot Rod’s final result is even more impressive.
The Team Hot Rod van stands ready to sprint with its straight-axle “gasser” stance. It backs that up with its 350 horsepower, 350 cubic-inch V8 engine and Firestone Blackwall Drag Slicks for the rear tires. The most immediately striking feature of the Chevy is the look, however: with custom hand-painted and lettered graphics by renowned pinstriper Sonny Mouneu of Sonny Boy Paint over a flat metallic finish, including both Spider Smith’s and wife Betty Smith’s names on either side, it looks straight out of a long-gone era. The Mackey’s Hot Rods team cleverly used eBay to get a hold of some vintage airplane parts to continue the theme in the interior as well, adding to the van’s fighter jet feel.
Proceeds from the auction of the Team Hot Rod van will, appropriately, go to help the Semper Fi Fund which works to provide much-needed financial assistance for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
SOLD FOR $23,870
DETAILS AND SPECS:
Model: G20 Van
EXTERIOR COLOR: Silver
INTERIOR COLOR: Green/Black
ENGINE CYLINDERS 8
VIN NUMBER: GS158P150790
INTERIOR INFO: Aircraft styling
TIRE INFO: Coker Tire Reproductions
TIRE BRAND: Firestone
TIRE SIZE: Front 560-15 / Rear 820-15 | Rear tires are Blackwall Drag Slicks
WHEEL SIZE: Front 15×5 / Rear 15×8
Special features include an aero theme reminiscent of WWII aircraft. Amenities include flat metallic paint, straight axle “gasser” stance, a 350hp 350ci engine. Hand paint artwork by renowned pinstriper Sonny Boyd.