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On The Road With Johnny B ..Car Crushes,TR6's And The Legend Of The Scooby Van


Heart pounds..Your palms sweat. The wanting. The longing.The shape of her body. Is it love at first sight or just plain old lust? I remember my first time. I was 13 or 14 years old and my father’s friend pulled into our driveway with a shiny new chestnut brown TR6. Hey, what did you think I was talking about? This is a family magazine. Piggies.. Anyway, love or lust, that is in my memory as my first car crush.

My friend Lynn McLeer blames me for her first time. When she first saw my red 1969 TR6 she was hooked. I must admit to an addiction that is out of the norm when it comes to things that roll. I say “things that roll” because one of my favorites was my 1966 Honda 50 step-thru motorcycle. Not exactly a Harley but a lustful purchase at the time. Found at a yard sale 14 years ago for the sum of $300.00. I since added chrome side covers and kickstand to add some bling. Sort of like "born to be mild"

Because I refused at a young age to drive normal stuff, my first new car purchase was a 1981 AMC Eagle 2 door sedan. Visions of forging rivers and woods filled my 21 year old head. I know AMC stands for “Almost A Car” or “All Mistakes Combined” but it proved to be a reliable semi quirky car. But still have you ever seen an AMC Eagle moving under its own power lately?

All this semi-lustful thinking leads to some stupid ideas and purchases. A purchase of Mercur Scorpio from an auction made me understand that if the fuel tank reads half full its not always half full. After a nice seven mile walk in the boondoggles of PA love turned to hate real fast.

Sometimes this behavior leads to some good things too. Some of my long time friends remember the Scooby Van. Many years back I purchased the Scooby Van from the back yard of a 90++ year old gentleman for the earth shattering sum of $200.00. In fact the whole backyard looked like the 70s Ford burial ground. Kinda like the grim reaper of autos meets Quinn Martin productions (you know Streets of San Francisco TV show.) Named by my friend Barry's very young son Thomas. "Look Dad it looks like the Scooby Van." The name stuck.

The Scooby was a 1971 Ford E150 camper conversion. It had everything good and bad about the 1970s. 302 V8-Good. Shag rug-Bad. Auto trans and power steering-Good. Mustard yellow paint-Bad. But Scooby’s sole mission in the beginning was to be the transport and hillbilly hotel for the Carlisle shows for me and my buddies. So after a winter of shoveling bondo into the quarter panels the Scooby Van made its first of many trips to Carlisle.