Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Mystery Machine Tribute


Spook Lights & Monkey Island
Inside The Mystery Machine
Wild Times In The Mystery Machine

Unofficial Mystery Machine

UPDATE: This van has been sold, and now has a new home on the East Coast. Be sure to wave if you see it!!
This is not the real Mystery Machine. It was created as a functional piece of art and a tribute to the icon popularized by Hannah Barbera over 30 years ago. I wrote a letter to Hannah Barbera and the Cartoon Network when I began this project. I never received a response from them and so I continued as planned. I guess they are too busy cranking out new Scooby-Doo cartoons and merchandise. Isn't that great? I, for one, could not be more pleased that they have brought back the cartoons for our enjoyment. I really didn't realize how big of a deal Scooby has become. When I told my friends of my idea to paint an old van like the Mystery Machine, I thought I was among a small few that even remembered what the Mystery Machine was. When a potential van surfaced, I was practically dared to carry out my passing suggestion. I acquired the van and locked myself in the garage with it for three months. When I first began driving the van around, I could not believe the public reaction. They loved it! I was immediately assaulted with honks, waves, and shouts of, "Where's Scooby?". Frankly, you begin to get tired of hearing that everywhere you go. Day after day, someone sees the van for their first time and is compelled to yell, "Where's Scooby?". Fully aware that they don't realize I've been asked that question approximately 5,679 ( and counting) times, I always reply politely and with a smile. Courtesy is also a must, because the van is an ambassador for Scooby-Doo. Even though this was never intended, it is a responsibility the van , it's driver, and occupants must live up to. Scooby-Doo has brought nothing but enjoyment to millions of people, and that standard should always be upheld. In that spirit, I have never refused anyone who asked for their picture with the van(There have been a lot). It has been the subject of at least three photo/writing projects by college students. I have loaned it out for high school homecoming parades. It has been the surprise ingredient of Halloween parties, camping expeditions, and even a wedding anniversary. I've turned down numerous requests to be featured in local newspapers, radio, and television, only because I thought those commercial outlets should not use the Mystery Machine without permission from the original creators. I've been offered money to show up at children's birthday parties. I refused the money, but managed to make it to one birthday party, so far. Whether they know it or not, the Cartoon Network really cleaned up on that one. The availability of the Mystery Machine encouraged the party sponsors to spend hundreds of dollars on Scooby-Doo party favors and toys. It has been a blast owning a Mystery Machine, and I still love driving it around. Alas, there is never enough garage space, and other realities of life dictate that it is time for me to sell this van. I think it would be a shame to see this artwork replaced with a conventional paint job. That's why I'm looking for a Scooby-Doo fan to carry on the tradition. This van is nothing but a copy, but it is the source of lots of fun. It starts conversations about the old and current cartoons everywhere it goes. Long Live Scooby-Doo!

UPDATE: This van has been sold, and now has a new home on the East Coast. Be sure to wave if you see it!!

What Makes It Go?

This Mystery Machine is a 1968 Chevy Van. It is officially designated a G-10, 1/2-ton van on a 90" wheelbase-the shortest Chevy Van made, I'm told it is even shorter than a Jeep Wrangler. This does not mean the interior is short on space. (Read about the interior under "Inside the party van.") Not to be confused with the Greenbriar, Corvair vans built by Chevrolet, this van is powered by a standard, water-cooled, 250 cubic inch straight-6 mounted in the front. The engine sits between the front seats. The dog house (No pun intended, Scoob.) opens to provide plenty of access to any part of the engine-not like most other vans. The 250 provides plenty of pep for the light-weight van. It gets a minimum of 17 miles per gallon. The Chevrolet straight-six is a very common engine that was used with little change for many years. It is extraordinarily dependable. When tune-ups or repairs are necessary, they are easy because of the simplicity of the design, and replacement parts are very cheap and easily obtainable anywhere. The small-block V-8 was an option on these early vans and would fit right in, but I love the torquey, six cylinder. It has a great sound to it. I wonder what it would sound like with one of those exhaust resonators that are so popular right now on small cars and trucks? I'll leave that up to the next owner. The odometer currently reads 95,000 miles. I think it is safe to assume that the vehicle has 195,000 miles on it. The previous owner said the engine was rebuilt 40,000 miles ago (now 52,000 miles, as I have driven it 12,000). I did a compression test that showed each cylinder has a strong 120 psi, leading me to believe the valves and rings are tight and the previous owner's claim is true. I have driven the van a lot, including some very long trips (see "The Spook Lights and Monkey Island"). I would not hesitate to drive the van daily or on long trips to just about anywhere. I just put a brand new set of tires on the van to facilitate such journeys. Power is transferred through a 3-speed manual transmission with column-shift (a three-on-the-tree). The manual transmission is highly dependable and fuel efficient. The column shift can be quite a novelty to drive. I thoroughly enjoy driving it and so do all my friends who have had the courage to try driving a standard transmission. I don't know what model rear axle is in the van, but I recognize it as the same axle used in many full-size Chevrolet cars and trucks. One of the things that makes the van so dependable is its simplicity of design. There are no electronics to go bad. There is no automatic transmission fluid or power steering fluid to leak. The van is wondrously easy to steer- no doubt a result of its light weight. The short wheelbase and tight turning radius make it easily maneuverable for getting in and out of parking places. The brakes are manual as well, but you'd never know from the ease and responsiveness of the pedal. The suspension is as full-proof as it gets. The axles are held in place by leaf springs at all four corners. The front axle is a one-piece I-beam. The only thing that can go wrong with the entire suspension are the shocks, which I replaced as the first order of business when I bought the van. Some people think of solid axle suspension as old and outdated. You will feel the lack of sophistication when you accidentally drive over a curb or a particularly bad patch in the road , but much of that is due to the short wheelbase. It rides and drives great on the road. It even corners well. Your only limitation is that you don't go so fast that you tip the stubby little van over on its side. This van is equipped with the optional factory anti-sway bar for better handling. It is listed on the build sheet which is still glued to the inside of the body. I was told the van was originally purchased by a man for his wife, so she could haul antique furniture home from auctions and sales. At a later point in its life it served as the work vehicle for a house painter.

UPDATE: This van has been sold, and now has a new home on the East Coast. Be sure to wave if you see it!!
Sign My Guestbook Get your own FREE Guestbook from htmlGEAR View My Guestbook

get this gear!