** Continued from Page 1: The Original Cloud Dancer **



I created this website since, amazingly, lots of people still remember the 1974 Ford van 'Cloud Dancer' and were sincerely interested in learning about how I tracked it down/status of the van. Therefore, this website will provide the latest details of the van and how my restoration is coming along.  Keep in mind, however, that I am a complete novice/schmuck so I'm learning as I'm doing.

Hence, the story begins...

My quest to find 'cloud dancer' basically turned into a personal challenge. Most family/friends said it could never be done... most predicted it would be in a junkyard by now. Since people are asking how I did it, here is a quick summary -- maybe this will help others. Indeed, I've since heard from LOTS of folks who tell me how they regret selling their old hot rods and/or vans from many years ago and now acknowledge they would absolutely love to track down their original vehicles. Hence, hopefully this website will help others. If nothing else, it will show how stubborn I evidently am.

Quick Summary of how I tracked down "Cloud Dancer":
1. All my postings online looking for the van led to dead-ends. I created facebook pages, posted on newsgroups, contacted vanning clubs... it was all dead ends. Many vanners remarkably remembered the van but hadn't seen it in many many years -- that is when I knew I was in trouble.

2. Out of desperation, I contacted my old insurance company and said I was trying to find my 74 van from high school. They chuckled and said those records aren't even on computer. I basically begged and explained the story. The woman was kind enough to go through cardboard boxes in the archives and get me the VIN number after a few days.

3. I contacted the NJ DMV. They would NOT release any info about the van. There are privacy issues. SOooooooo.... I looked at the available forms/etc, and there is a form (per a legal statute: N.J.S.A. 39:2-3.4(c)) that says there are exceptions for the dmv to release info about vehicles. Basically, the exception is for factory recalls, dealers needing to get in touch with customers, and "monitoring the performance". In this case, I personally owned the van previously, and personally did custom work to the van (wiring inside, horns, batteries, etc) many years ago and I wanted to monitor the performance. Note: Umm.. It likely 'helped' that I'm an attorney. The name of the form in New Jersey is called "Title Search, DO-22A (R 8/10)".

4. SOooo.. NJ eventually released the info to me -- which was basically another dead end. NJ said that I was the last owner of record -- from 15 years ago and they had absolutely no other records about the van. Hence, that meant that I evidently sold the van to somebody that didn't live in NJ and the van has never been back to NJ since. But what State did it go to? Nobody could tell me... Similarly, because it is a 1974, the VIN number is shorter. Most databases don't go that far back. Supposedly, the VIN number changed in the 80s with more digits so even when I tried to use the VIN number I had, it would come back with an error since it wasn't enough digits.

5. Hence, I went state by state doing something very similar with the paperwork/freedom of information act/etc... I figured it couldn't have gotten that far... so I checked with PA (dead end), I checked with Ct (dead end), I checked with CT (dead end), and then I got to NY. NY wouldn't tell me anything... but then I somehow stumbled upon some type of motor vehicle record which suggested the van was alive just a few years ago (that was the ONLY time I had ever gotten any type of promising indication).... Hence, I submitted more paperwork to NY and requested the info. The nam eof the form in New York is called "Freedom Of Information Law Request Form, MV-15F (11/11)".


Loooooooong story, but I eventually received information from the "State of New York, Freedom of Information Law Office" located in Albany, NY, with a "PO BOX" who supposedly had owned the van and was currently residing in White Lake, NY (wherever that was).

6. SOooo I STILL couldn't jump in the car and take a drive via only receiving a PO Box. SOooo.. I sent the PO Box a letter... People said the guy would never open the envelope since he'd think it is junkmail... SOoooooooo... on the outside of the envelope I printed out pictures of the van.. I KNEW he'd have to open the envelope then once he saw it... After a few weeks, the guy got in touch. He said he did own the van, but that it has been sitting in his BARN for lots of years collecting dust. I didn't even bother asking anything else about the van. Instead, I just asked if I could go visit it... He probably thought I was nuts but he was a great sport and it and we scheduled it for a week later. I was NOT intending on buying it. I just thought it would be a funny story to see whatever happened to Cloud Dancer.

7. Family/friends thought I was NUTS for driving 5 hours just to 'visit' an old van that wasn't even for sale and that I didn't even knew ran... but I figured I just had to visit after all the work I did... so I went... I figured it would be a fun trip since I'm a single guy. At the time, I was hoping to make a weekend trip out of it.. but I couldn't get a date with any women (they ALL said I was nuts), so I just went by myself.

8. When I showed up, I brought the original fire extinguisher from the van that I accidentally had in my basement for the past 25 years or so... as soon as I got there, I gave him the fire extinguisher back since it was rightfully his... you can see it in the photo when the doors are open. One thing led to another, and I ended up buying it back. And that is how it was done in a nutshell...

50% of the people said I was nuts to buy it back, 50% said I was nuts if I didn't. Either way I'm NUTS, but at least I won't look back with regret and say "I should have." Now I can look back and say, "Damn. That was stupid but I tried." I honestly like the second alternative far far far better than the first. Plus, I figure I could always re-sell it if it becomes toooooooooo much for me/isn't fun... but it just didn't make sense to leave it sitting in a barn particularly since it really is in reasonably good condition considering its age/etc.

I had the van towed home on November 1, 2013.

There is a sentimental story about the 11/1/13 date but I won't bother detailing here. Lets just say I was keeping a promise. :)


Before November, 2013:

* Click Here To See Pictures of "Cloud Dancer" which was discovered sitting in a barn in NY for many years with no plates. *



IT BEGINS! -- November 1, 2013:


Short Video of 'Cloud Dancer' being safe and taking a tow truck ride home back to New Jersey on November 1, 2013.

NOTE: On the way home, while on the tow truck, the sunvisor @$%% broke off. Imagine, the van survived 40 years and the day it takes a tow truck ride, it breaks off. Sucks!!

Hence... I'm now in the process of trying to find a replacement sun visor. If you have one for a 1974 Ford Van for sale at a DISCOUNTED price, please get in touch. <-- If you are reading this, I am STILL looking. I see them for about $180 new on ebay/etc, but by the time I'm done with painting/installation, it'll cost even more... I'm hoping to find one cheaper. Sorry. I'm on a TIGHT budget (and I'm frugal).


11/1/2014 -- LESSON LEARNED:

I was sooooo excited to drive 'Cloud Dancer' that after it got off the tow truck, and after I got over the initial shock of the sun visor disappearing/breaking off, I ran to the store to buy a new car battery for the van. However, I was in such a rush and so excited that when I connected the new battery to the van, guess what I did. Yup, you guessed it, I reversed the battery cables (i.e. positive on negative and vice versa). Doh! I saw black smoke coming from some wires and I eventually disconnected the battery cables when I figured out the sparks were NOT a good sign. Yes, I am a klutz! Once I corrected the battery cables, I was terrified if the van would even start now. But alas, the van started and I drove it -- even though it didn't any turn signals, etc. It even magically drove for about 2 hours on a highway the very next day.

Update: I later discovered that I fried the alternator via reversing the wire cables. Hence, I had the alternator replaced. I suppose it could have been a LOT worse. Of course, perhaps the alternator was bad to begin with since the van was in a shed for many years. Who knows.


11/2/2014 -- LESSON LEARNED:

When driving the van, make absolutely certain the radiator cap is TIGHTLY fastened. Failure to do so will result in a LOT of white smoke coming from the engine compartment. Yes, I learned another lesson the hard way but fortunately no harm was done.



** SPECIAL THANKS to a Vanner called "Super Beast."  **

Long story short, I had a vanner by the name of "Super Beast" go out of his way to meet and help me out with the van the very next day after I bought the van.  He happened to see some of my postings about me tracking down the van and graciously met me.  Unbelievable!  Wow!  What an awesome way to get re-introduced to vanning.  This guy didn't know me, never met me before, but there he was bright and early helping me with the van that I owned for less than 24 hours.  Amazing!  (He was also a gentleman by not laughing hysterically at me when he diagnosed the white smoke pouring from my engine compartment was due to me foolishly not fastening my radiator cap properly).  He has since come to my rescue on more than one occasion.  You always "hear" about how vanners help out other vanners.  After being gone from the vanning community for sooooo many years, I was astounded to see that the comradery has not diminished one bit.  He is a true vanner. 

Thanks again "Super Beast."  What an incredible re-introduction to vanning.  :)



Progress As Of/About November, 2013:

Since the van has been sitting in a barn for years, it seems the van had several critters which lived (and died) in the van.  Yuck!



Progress As Of/About November, 2013:

Progress of re-wiring the van w/ 3 fuse boxes, 2 batteries and hundreds of lights, etc:

The big silver contraption you see on the on the doghouse is an indoor heater.  It is COLD here in NJ during November but I didn't want to wait months for the warm weather to arrive.  Hence, I ran an extension cord from the house, put the heater inside the van plugged into the extension cord, let the van 'warm' up from the heater, and I sat in the van and worked on it -- while wearing a winter coat.





Progress As Of Thanksgiving/Chanukah, 2013:

I must be nuts, or at least have nooooooooo life, because I wired 75% of "Cloud Dancer" over the past 3 days (Thanksgiving/Chanukah, 2013). Here is a HORRIBLE video of the van thus far... you can't really see much... but you get the idea... The radio, CD, musical horn(s), etc, are also now wired. Its NOT done yet.. the stained glass still has to be lit up, etc.. but its getting toooooooo cold... so I'll finish it when the warm weather returns.



December, 2014 -- LESSON LEARNED:

When trying to replace the 'oil sensor', make absolutely certain that you go to the store and buy the specific 'oil sensor socket' for your specific vehicle. Failure to do so (i.e. trying to use a normal socket/wrench/etc) will result in you snapping the oil sensor in half while it is still connected to your engine making removal even more difficult. Doh!


Progress As Of 4/23/2014



























Progress As Of 6/9/2014

 The van is running really good.  It seems to be running even better now than when I owned it 25 years ago.  I remember when I owned it in high school, I had to let the van warm up before I could hit the gas otherwise it would stall out.  Maybe I'm crazy, but now I simply start the van and immediately start driving it.  Go figure.  Perhaps the van is like me:  It gets better with age!  :)


Progress As Of 6/15/2014

I pay $1 each for my switches/etc at the flea market for the van. Everybody said for me to instead buy from an autoparts/radio guy for better quality. Hence, I paid extra and bought from a USA ebay seller with 171,793 positive feedbacks. I liked it because it avoided me having to connect wires to the switch. I hooked up the switch I bought from them (which included the attached wires). It kept blowing fuses immediately. I thereafter tried a different brand fuse. Within 5 minutes, the fuse oddly refused to blow (even though the fuse literally MELTED) which thereafter caused the switch wires to melt/catch ablaze on the other end of the van... I've since fixed it....   that was scary! Hence, I'm no longer using this companies fuses or this other companies switches anymore.


Progress As Of 6/15/2014



Progress As Of 6/17/2014



Progress As Of 6/21/2014

I'm getting ready to re-do the front carpet in the van.  I discovered a number of small holes in the floor (via rust / prior drilling).  Nobody could come up with an affordable solution so I created my own:  I used a PENNY to cover each hole.  Problem solved.  Total cost:  About 8 cents (plus industrial strength glue).  :)


Progress As Of 6/31/2014



Progress As Of 7/4/2014




Progress As Of 7/5/2014


Progress As Of 7/10/2014

Even though "Cloud Dancer' is amazingly coming back to life very quickly, and is running great, I reclutantly decided that I'm NOT going to bring 'Cloud Dancer' to the 2014 National Truck-In held at Greenwich, NY. I'm too chicken to have the van make an 8 hour schlep. Plus, if there is a mechanical problem on the way, I don't want to miss the show worrying about how the heck to get the van home/repaired. However, if the weather is nice, I ABSOLUTELY will be going to the public van show on Saturday, 7/19/14. I'm sooooooooooooo looking forward to it. I'm going to take off of Work on Friday and get in the area on Friday afternoon, get a hotel, see some sites, and then attend the van show on Saturday.

Although goofy, I'm likely going to printout on a piece of paper the words "Cloud Dancer" and scotch tape it to a t-shirt (which is the name of my van). This way, if you happen to see some klutz walking around the show with a piece of paper scotch taped to their shirt, you'll know whom I am. PLEASE feel free to introduce yourself. I will also likely have a girlfriend with me kicking and screaming about wanting to leave the awesome van show, but you can just ignore her. ;) Here is what I'll likely scotch tape to a t-shirt:

Again, PLEASE do introduce yourself at the show if you see me walking around. I haven't been to a van show in about 25 years (when I previously owned 'cloud dancer') so I'm DEFINITELY looking forward to it


Progress As Of 7/17/2014



Progress As Of July 19, 2014:




Progress As Of 7/20/2014

I attended the 42 National Truck-In in Greenwich, NY... Awesome vans!!

Here is a quick video I made of some of the photos I took. I'm definitely not the greatest photographer, but perhaps some folks may like to check it out:

What was really funny was a number of vanners came up to me at the show and introduced themselves when they saw me wearing my "Cloud Dancer" tshirt. They said, "Hey... you are the guy that tracked down your high school van. Cool!"



Progress As Of 7/27/2014



Progress As Of 8/7/2014



Progress As Of 8/9/2014

Doh! I designed my custom pillows for the van...

It looked red on the computer when I designed it, but compared to the RED in the van, its really orange.




Progress As Of 8/7/2014



Progress As Of 8/14/2014




Progress As Of 8/14/2014

(This is the Sun Visor that I bought at the Nationals when I jumped the fence and snuck in because I didn't have my Van)



Progress As Of 9/7/2014



Progress As Of 9/13/2014






Progress As Of 9/14/2014



Progress As Of 9/23/2014

The wooden framed picture you see on the left door of the van has a bunch of text. You obviously cannot read the text in the photo, so CLICK HERE if you want to read what it says. Basically, it is a quick history about the van that people can read when they see it at a show.

The photograph you see on the right door is from a magazine that the van appeared in many years ago before my time.





Progress As Of 9/26/2014






Progress As Of 9/27/2014

Amazingly... After 25 years, I took my van "Cloud Dancer" back to the very same car show at Raceway Park this Saturday where I initially found the van while in high school. As anticipated, I pretty much was the only van there. But who cares... The van hasn't been to a show in about 25 years, and it was only about 45 minutes away from my house. It just seemed soooooo ironic and appropriate to bring "Cloud Dancer" back to the very same show where I found it... particularly since I had just finished the majority of the interior. Perhaps even better, the van ran perfectly despite it being one of the longest trips I've taken with it.

Like a schmuck, I forgot to take pictures except for one or two that I snapped when I initially parked the van.

The black paint was glittering big time in the sun but its difficult to capture in a photo.

The index cards you see taped to the van in the picture above was my creative way of posting 'wanted' ads. Basically, the index cards had my contact information and indicated that I was looking to purchase the missing knock offs for the wheels, broken front fender that I damaged in high school by crashing into a snow bank, etc.


Here is a better picture of the black paint glittering in the sun. Ironically, most of the paint is in great condition. However, there are several spots on the van that are approximately 6"x6" where the paint literally is just falling off. But amazingly, I'd say about 95% of the paint is in really good condition particularly considering the damn thing came out of a barn!

I'm in the process of figuring out how to 'repair' or 'patch' the couple of botched 6"x6" areas of paint. If you are in the NJ area and can help with the paint issue, or do airbrushing, please do contact me.



Progress As Of 10/5/2014

( From the painting/work I did back on 8/14/2014 - photos above )

Note: I'm STILL trying to find cheap knockoffs for these wheels!




Here is a crappy video of me trying to show how the paint sparkles:


(I decided to take the van for a little ride.. and ended up taking this picture on a deserted road)





Progress As Of 10/5/2014

I took 'Cloud Dancer' to a car show in Flemington, NJ, on 10/5/2014. Secretly, the big reason why I took the van back to Flemington is because I attended a show there 25 years ago. Specifically, I attended the 1989 "Garden State Fallout 3". The ONLY reason I remember this specifically is because I still have my trophy after all these years -- I just recently dug it out from my basement.


Amazingly, while at the show in Flemington, I bumped into a buddy of mine, Paul Stransky, that I hadn't seen since high school back in 1989.

My buddy remembered every detail about the van. The above picture of the van was taken by him while at the show.



Progress As Of 10/25/2014

I replaced some of the white material with this white fur. I like this better. Plus, the white material previously used looked a little too much like snow. It was 'supposed' to reflect a cloud (hence, the name of the van is "Cloud Dancer"), but I like the white fur better.



Progress As Of 11/1/2014

( EXACTLY 1 year later )

To my shock and amazement, EXACTLY one year has passed since I had 'Cloud Daner' brought back home to New Jersey on a tow truck on 11/1/2013. Perhaps even more amazing is the van is running great and the interior is restored. In fact,I think the interior is better now than when I owned the van 25 years ago. For the most part, the only thing left is the exterior paint, the missing knockoffs, and the front passenger side fiberglass flare that I broke off about 25 years ago in the snow. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with the paint since I don't have the skill to do it myself and I don't want to drop loads of money paying somebody else to do it. However, my idea is to basically have a reverse paint job. Essentially, the original paint was white with black wings painted. Since the van is now black, I'm thinking of having the white wings painted on it. This preserves the initial theme of the van, tells the irony of the van's history, and hopefully won't cost a fortune since the majority of the black paint already on the van is remarkably in good condition.

Therefore, I don't plan on updating this website very often any more. Indeed, with winter coming, I don't even plan on taking the van out of the garage until the weather improves. However, I had an absolute blast spending the summer bringing Cloud Dancer back to life, driving it to a few local car shows, and getting reacquainted with the vanning community. Therefore, if you see the van one of these days, please do introduce yourself and let me know you saw this website.










May, 2015 -- LESSON LEARNED:

After storing the van in your garage all winter, and finally trying to start it months later, make SURE there is not a hole in your gas tank before you bother replacing the fuel pump. Doh!

Note: It's a looooooooong story, but it was IMPOSSIBLE to find a replacement fuel pump. Evidently, the one in this van is somewhat unique because it was only made for less than a year and had a California emission thingy incorporated into it. I took my original fuel pump to EVERY autoparts store and NOBODY could come up with any solutions - other than to supposedly start looking in junk yards! Then I stumbled upon a very small, but incredibly helpful/friendly autoparts store in Manville, NJ. This was the very first time I went there and I HIGHLY recommend them if you ever need a piece/help. They pulled out their old dusty books, solved the puzzle and even found me the ONE existing fuel pump that happened to be on Ebay (which was still in the original box and collecting dust after all these years). I bought it on Ebay for $32 and it works perfect! Here is the Autoparts contact information:

PDQ Auto Supply of Manville Inc.
240 N 1st Ave
Manville NJ 08835
(908) 526-0888

Note: I have absolutely NO affiliation to this autoparts store. In fact, that was the very first time I went there. But this is the ONE and ONLY place that solved my predicament and really helped me out so I'm posting this referral on my website. It is the least I could do. IF you ever do contact them, feel free to let them know that a guy with a 74 van REALLY appreciates their help -- even though they'll likely have no idea what the heck you are talking about. Turns out, the guy that helped me happened to have a very similar 70s van years ago - as he explained.

Vanners are awesome!

Note: Interestingly, I am the guy that patched the gas tank hole 25 years previously while I was in high school. I only just discovered that gas leaked when after replacing the fuel pump the vehicle still wouldn't start. Out of desperation, I poured some 'extra' gas into the tank. It still didn't start so I didn't think it was a fuel problem. However, the next morning I came into the garage and immediately smelled gas. Hence, I discovered the hole in the tank - the same hole I patched up previously. Hence, I spent $5 on the same patch puddy and re-fixed the gas tank. Heck, it lasted 25 years last time so why not do the same thing again.


The van now has an mp3 player, 7" tablet, GPS and backup camera

May, 2015 -- LESSON LEARNED:

I now know several ways NOT to hook up a tablet and/or gps directly to the fuse box.  Hence, as of this writing, I have now fried TWO tablets and a gps.  However, somehow, the backup camera and mp3 player are working great.  :)


NOTE:  I could not find the material to match the van.  However, I happened to be at a flea market and saw a brand new dress for $1.00 which matched the material.  Hence, I bought the dress for $1.00, cut it up, and used it to create the above dashboard.





Here is more evidence I had critters living in the van over the past 25 years while sitting in a barn.  However, because I'm stubborn (or just desperate) I was able to clean them up and make them look nearly new as they did 25 years ago when I previously owned the van while in high school.  Too bad I don't clean my house as well as I do my van.  ;)





Progress As Of 1/15/2015 - 5/25/2015

Summer has FINALLY arrived!  Unfortunately for me, however, I somehow managed to severely injure myself!  I had an MRI done and I have 2+ herniated discs.  They say I may need surgery, etc.  Anyway...  after visiting five (5) doctors, an orthopedist, physical therapist, etc., and spending over $1,000 in co-pays with my shitty insurance, I decided to simply ignore all of the advice of the doctors, orthopedists, surgeons, physical therapists and got myself better. 

I ain't no doctor.. but here is my advice:  If you ever hurt your back or neck like I apparently did, BEFORE you start considering surgery, you should consider buying an "inversion table."  They cost about $100 new.  I paid $40 for mine on Craigslist.  Basically... it just uses gravity to take the pressure off your vertebrae (by you hanging sort-of upside down at about a 75% angle).  I never bothered to hang completely upside down.  Likewise, my other advise is BEFORE you start consuming massive amounts of pain killers and steroids like over five (5) doctors told me to do, I STRONGLY recommend you first try and soak in a very warm bath tub.  Amazingly, do not be surprised if the pain gets substantially reduced in under 5 MINUTES -- which is far better than the absurd medications the doctors will likely prescribe for you.  Likewise, you should also consider adding a cup of Epsom Salt to the bath when you soak.  Again, I ain't no doctor... but I am now 100% completely better and nobody can figure out how it is possible -- but I did it!!   I had even created a "Fuck You MRI" website with a clock ticking down the seconds for a deadline that I set for myself -- forcing me to get better.  :)   Anyway... back to the van!!



Progress As Of 4/21/2015

I JUST decided to take my 74 van out for my very first drive of the season (while improving from my 2+ herniated discs)... I was doing about 50mph and the hood popped up, ripped off my wipers, blocked my visibility, and then went flying into the road after it busted off from the van... fortunately there wasn't a car in front of me because I would have rear-ended them since I couldn't see... and somehow I don't think it hit my windshield otherwise it would have definitely been smashed.... but looks like it hit the sun visor.. the very sun visor that I replaced because that broke off last year.. I pulled over and picked up the remains of the hood.. its got a good dent and is totally scratched up.... I can't re-fasten it to the van because those broke off as well so now i have no hood.. Kind'a sucks... I'll have to figure out a way to put the pieces back together somehow... Meanwhile, I'm supposed to be taking it easy because of a herniated disc and here I am running around in the middle of the road picking up pieces of my van while dodging traffic... nothing like a nice relaxing evening before meeting the orthopedist.



Progress As Of 5/25/2015

As noted above, the hood for my 74 van busted off at 50mph. Trying to find a replacement is near impossible.  Several incredibly kind vanners went out of their way to try and help me locate a replacement hood.  However, the replacements worried me due to rust/etc since they came from junk yards/etc.  Plus, even if I did manage to replace the hood, I know it'll be impossible to match the glitter paint anyway.  Therefore, I came up with a kooky idea to try and build a replacement hood myself -- even though I have NO CLUE what the hell I'm doing, I'm a novice and have almost zero tools and even less money.  So where did I go?  An automotive store?  A welder?  A body and fender guy?  Nope!  I went to the Home Depot!  I saw that they were selling aluminum sheets (apparently for a furnace or something).

Therefore... event though I had no clue what the hell I was doing, I decided to buy two (2) pieces of aluminum and gradually cut it down to size to fit the hood using my crappy little wire cutters (which just looks like a large size scissor).  The reason why I needed two (2) pieces of aluminum, is because they didn't sell one piece that was long enough.  Hence, I came up with the idea to simply have a split hood.  Here are some pictures of how it came out:


 I thereafter painted the aluminum with the special glitter effect I used previously for the rims, mirrors, bumpers and grill.  Therefore...  it should now 'arguably' appear like I intentionally created the custom hood.  Even though the fact is, the hood broke off and I simply couldn't replace it safely and/or inexpensively.  The total cost for my replacement hood?  About $50 total.  The 2 aluminum sheets cost about $20 total, but then I went out and bought the hinges, screws and paint.  So yah... about $50 total all from the Home Depot!   Plus... my 2+ herniated discs are completely gone so now I can once again enjoy the van!  :)



Progress As Of 7/3/2015

I decided to hook up yet another horn.  This time, I installed an air horn. 

Interestingly, I'm completely running out of room under the hood because of all the crap I have hooked up (i.e. police sirens, musical horns, air horns, etc)

I will eventually improve the appearance under the hood. 

The air  horn is activated via the red button I installed on the lower portion of the steering column that you see in the below picture.


FYI: I had a HELL of a time trying to figure out how to install the Air Horn. The diagram that came with the Air Horn simply did NOT make sense to me. Fortunately, a vanner provided me with a diagram that did make sense to me and which enabled me to hook up the Air Horn with no problems. I'm providing them both here in the event some other novice runs into the same problem/confusion that I did:




I also decided to permanently install additional plugs/usb/cigarette lighter adapters. 

I figured this was wise so that if/when the van breaks down, I can easily plug in my phone/etc and seek help

Plus, it seemed silly to have hundreds of lights and multiple horns, but no place to plug in my phone. 



Progress As Of 7/17/2015

I finally took the van on a longer road trip (about 1 hour away).  I attended a van show in Millstone, NJ, today. 

Guess what! I WON a trophy... but to be honest, I probably won by default. It had rained in the morning so there wasn't a very big turnout.

Nonetheless, I was happy about the trophy... because to ME... it signifies that Cloud Dancer is BACK. It drove 1 hour each way and made it to a van show.





Progress As Of 8/28/2015

This is kind of neat: My local newspaper did a story on the van and even sent a photographer to my house.

Click on the word NEWSPAPER to view the article in .pdf format:





Progress As Of 9/24/2015

At the last minute, I decided to take Cloud Dancer to Keystone Madness (whichs is a Vanning event in Pennyslvania about 120 miles away).

Here is a photo of me quickly re-building the bed in the back of the van in anticipation of Keystone.

(Note: The wood says "Sorry. Not Home. My mean boss is making me work late." <-- I previously used this outside my house on Halloween)

(Chances are, the old wood got discarded while it sat in the barn since they likely didn't know what is was for)


Things didn't exactly go as planned as Keystone Madness, but the Vanners could not have been any nicer. I had a blast.

Here is a "thank you" note I posted on the Keystone Facebook page. It was the very least I could do.

And here are some pictures from the trip:



Progress, October 3, 2015

While waiting to have my radiator replaced, I decided to add some more rhinestones to the van.  This time, I added them to the sunvisor. I'm not sure if it'll hold up when I drive it at higher speeds, so I added multiple coats of clear coat.  Here is a picture.


Progress, November 2015

I'm happy to say that I was able to have the radiator replaced.  Amazingly, I found a brand new radiator and had it delivered to the house from Car parts.  Surprisingly, lots of other car places had brand new replacement radiators for my 74 ford van as well.  With coupons, it only cost about $150 for the radiator!  ** SPECIAL THANKS to a Vanner called "Super Beast" for once again helping me out.  **


Progress, March 12, 2016

I started working on the outside of the van.  I do NOT have the skill or money to have airbrushing done on the van.  It costs a fortune.  Plus, to be honest, the van isn't exactly the perfect canvas. Indeed, in various places the paint is a bit screwed up (i.e.  large section on the passenger side door).  Therefore, I came up with an affordable solution.  I ordered reflective holographic vinyl for $50 and then hand traced/cut whatever shapes I wanted.  This includes the lettering on the sides of the van that say "Cloud Dancer" along with the giant unicorns on the side of the van.  Again, it isn't the perfect solution, but for $50 to do an entire van, I suppose I can't complain.  Plus, the logic I'm using is that the vinyl covers up much of the botched paint areas.  Note:  In hindsight, I should have sanded down the botched paint first before applying the vinyl.  However, live and learn.  I can always re-do it in the future.  Here are some pictures of the process:




Progress, May 12, 2016

I re-did the back windows.  Instead of the letters "C" and "D" (for Cloud Dancer), I replaced it with unicorn heads.  I likewise replaced the back bumper with rainbow glitter.... although you really can't tell in the picture:




Progress, June 4, 2016

Here is a very short video of me pulling the van out of the garage.  It will give you a better idea of how the van sounds/looks.  This is the first time I pulled the van out of the garage since November, 2015:


Progress, June 4, 2016

Time for another installment of "cheapo vanning" with Puzzele... As you may know, the spinners were missing from the wheels when I re-discovered the van. I've been told that True Spoke spinners work but they cost $200 and I'm toooo FRUGAL. Plus, they are known to fall off sometimes (and all 4 are missing this time around). Plus, they won't have the sparkle effect I added to the wheel. Hence, I came up with a more affordable solution. I went to my favorite auto parts store: HOME DEPOT and discovered a small circular metal thingy. Apparently it is for ceiling fans. Cost: $2.50 each. Hence, I drilled a few holes and created my own spinner with a butterfly theme (to match the butterfly etched sunroof, etc). Issue: Will my ceiling fan butterfly spinner stay on the wheel at higher speeds? I dunno. So far, so good.. but if they fall off, no big deal. I'll spend another $2.50 but I'm looking for suggestions since my system is far from great.


Progress, June 20, 2016

I spent a TON of time gluing rhinestones... I'm buying them from the $1 store. Talk about Vanning on a budget! ;)

The above is the back window(s) that I'm re-doing.




I now have rhinestones going completely around the top of the van.



Rhinestones outlining various sections of the lighting on the outside.


You can also see the "butterfly" spinner I made




6-26-16: I'm on my way to a local car show benefiting the Make A Wish Charity.




Progress, July 8, 2016

More Rhinestones



Progress, July 16, 2016







Progress, September 17, 2016




Progress, September 22, 2016




Progress, September 24, 2016



Cloud Dancer won the "People's Choice Award" at the Raceway Park show today.

I was SHOCKED particularly since there were lots of incredible cars there.

Even more interesting, I discovered the van initially at the identical same show many years ago while in high school. How ironic.




Progress, October 1, 2016





Progress, October 4, 2016



Progress, October 12, 2016





Progress, October 24, 2016












My latest goofy idea: Fasten stained glass to the ceiling.

What could possibly go wrong?

I HOPE it holds. On a positive note, I only made one hole in the roof while trying to figure it out. Ooops.





Progress, November 1, 2016

This took a loooooooong time. Even more pathetic is the fact that you need to stand on a ladder to even see it!





Progress, November 16, 2016


The stained glass triangle on the ceiling (over each seat) represents a horn... to keep the theme of a Unicorn. I know.

It's hard to believe I don't drink or do drugs. Imagine if I did!?



Progress, April 26, 2017

(I FINALLY started working on the van after it has been sitting all winter)

(Stained Glass Butterflys throughout the interior, etc).






Progress, April 26, 2017





Progress, May 21, 2017

Well.. You really cant tell from my crappy photography, but the roof is now mostly restored. I've since added glitter and rhinestones.

And yes, believe it or not, I am heterosexual. ;)





Progress, June 4, 2017


After 20+ years of bitching, I FINALLY "repaired" the fiberglass that I damaged by driving my van in the snow when I originally owned it in high school/college/law school.

Total cost: $15 (see below)







Progress, PART I of front fender repair (June 4, 2017)



Progress, PART II of front fender repair (September 7, 2019)






Progress, August 5, 2017

I call this latest Cloud Dancer addition, "BUTT BLING."

(I added lots of rhinestones to the seats)


I call this latest Cloud Dancer addition, "BUTT BLING."

(I added lots of rhinestones to the seats)






Progress, August 12, 2017


Added Rhinestones to the rear sunroof. 






Progress, August 19, 2017

I bought the butterfly for $2.50 but then spent an embarrassing amount of hours adding my rhinestones.

But hey, the ceiling was just toooooooooo boring in Cloud Dancer.



Progress, August 21, 2017

Even though I don't drink, it just didn't seem appropriate to have a BAR in Cloud Dancer without a MIRROR ceiling.

I bought the square mirrors at the .99 store (5 for $1). I thought the square mirrors made it look bigger/unique instead of just one piece of glass

(Plus, I was too frugal to buy a glass cutter).

The pictures don't really show it well.. but you get the idea.







Progress, August 27, 2017

You can't have a van called "Cloud Dancer" without Clouds.
PS: The mirrors were 10 for $1 at the dollar store.







Progress, September 3, 2017 (Labor Day Weekend)

Added Butterfly rhinestones to interior front windshield.





The overhead was disintegrating due to the age... So I cleaned it up and added white to match the theme.






There was a boring red carpet section behind the driver side door... so I livened it up with mirrors/etc to match the ceiling.






Added mirrors & disco balls to bar & overhead console.






There was a boring red carpet section behind the driver side door... so I livened it up with mirrors/etc to match the ceiling.






Added mirrors & disco balls to bar & overhead console.






Progress, September 4, 2017 (Labor Day Weekend)

My friend sold me their laminator for $5 at a garage sale. 

Here is what I did with it:

I made various laminated signed for Cloud Dancer that will be displayed during shows giving short stories about stuff:



About The Glittery Vinyl

I’m not particularly crazy about the vinyl I used on the outside of the van (i.e.  Unicorns, lettering, etc).  It is far from perfect and admittedly can't compare to some of the insane paint jobs you may have seen.  However, I don’t have the talent, skill or money to have airbrushing done which generally costs many thousands of dollars.  Plus, truth be told, there are various sections of the paint that are “screwed up” that I needed to hide so airbrushing would have been even more costly.  My objective was not necessarily for perfection, but instead, fun on a budget!  Hence, I needed an inexpensive solution to decorate the outside of the van (while “covering up” the botched areas of paint) while possessing zero ability to paint and a refusal to spend real money. 

Solution?  I bought the shiny vinyl material online for cheap and simply cut out whatever I designed using a pencil and a regular old pair of scissors.  A professional vinyl cutter was too expensive.  I created the unicorn on a computer, enlarged it, and then printed out little sections on a bunch of 8.5"x11" pieces of paper which I thereafter scotch taped together to become the shape/size I needed.  After, I cut out the unicorn shape on the shiny vinyl by utilizing the unicorn pattern created by my pieces of paper scotch taped together.

I may change it in the future, but for now, how else can you decorate an entire van for $50 with only a pair of scissors (while hiding botched paint areas)?  J  As for the rhinestone throughout the van.  No magic there.  Just a lot of free time, a horrific sex life, and a ton of visits to the dollar store.   Will this stuff hold up over time?  Beats me.  But if it does, I'm a friggin' frugal genius! 


Stained Glass Tail Lights & Front Sun Visor)

 These are the original stained glass tail lights (I know taillights is technically one word, but the word just looks goofy).  When I originally bought the van years go, I found the receipt for the custom made stained glass tail lights tucked underneath the rear seating.  And even back in the 70s, it was very expensive!  Unfortunately, the receipt has since been lost. 

 When I re-discovered the van in the barn and had it on the tow truck to get it home, I happened to fiddle with the tail lights as I never expected them to have survived (if not stolen).  And, no kidding, once I touched the stained glass while on the tow truck, it fell apart.  I took all the pieces home and ended up gluing it all back together.  Had I not touched the lights just before the journey home, much of it would not have made it. 

 By way of example, this van initially had a front sun visor  when I put it on the tow truck (similar to what you see now over the windshield).  However, by the time it made the journey home and the tow truck arrived at my house, I quickly discovered that the sun visor tragically busted off while on the tow truck on the way home.  I couldn't find a replacement so I eventually drove to a van show a few hours away. 

 Ironically, you can't gain admittance into a van show without a van (and Cloud Dancer was nowhere near ready to be driven), so I eventually jumped the fence, snuck into the show, and bought the sun visor you see attached.   Finding parts for a 74 van requires desperate measures!



About The “Split” Hood

I was sooooooo excited to have the van actually start (long story), that I jumped in and started driving.  Unfortunately, I apparently forgot to close the hood properly.  Hence, at around 50 mph, the hood blew open, hit the windshield and blocked my vision.  While praying I didn’t crash into anything or anybody, the hood broke off and flew into traffic.  The hood was destroyed but miraculously the etched windshield survived (as did I). 

Trying to find a replacement hood was near impossible for a 74 van.  Therefore, I came up with a kooky idea to try and build a replacement hood myself.  Admittedly, I have NO CLUE what the hell I'm doing with almost zero tools and even less money.  So where did I go?  An automotive store?  A welder?  A body and fender guy?  Nope!  I went to the Home Depot!  I saw that they were selling aluminum sheets (intended for home furnace).

Therefore... I decided to buy two (2) pieces of aluminum and gradually cut them down to fit using my crappy little wire cutters.  The reason why I needed two pieces of aluminum is because they didn't sell one piece that was long enough.  Hence, I came up with the idea to have a split hood.  The four (4) hood clips are intended for a fence (also from Home Depot) but seem to work well.  I also thought it looks similar to hood clips on a Mustang.  Cost?  About 20 bucks.  J



About The Metal Front Fenders

About 20+ years ago, when I first owned the van, my girlfriend invited me over her house during a terrible snow storm.  Since this was my only vehicle, I drove it everywhere regardless of the weather conditions.  Unfortunately, on my way over, I hit a snow bank and busted the front fiberglass fenders.  For the next 20+ years, I never could find an affordable replacement.  Even when I sold the van, and bought it back many years later, the damn fiberglass was still broken and never repaired so I was pissed-off all over again! 

Hence, after 20+ years of whining (and perhaps some desperation), I got sick and tired of looking at the damage.  Therefore, I once again came up with a kooky idea to try and build replacement fenders.  Admittedly, I have NO CLUE what the hell I'm doing with almost zero tools and even less money.  So where did I go?  An automotive store?  A welder?  A body and fender guy?  Nope!  I went to the Home Depot yet again!  I saw that they were selling aluminum sheets (intended for home furnace) and bought some.  This is the same thing I did for the "split hood."

I cut the home depot aluminum with wire cutters and bent them into shape by hand.  Admittedly, they aren’t perfect, but after enduring 20+ years of crying, I think it is far better than it was and my repair was only about $10!  J 

PS: My girlfriend back then dumped me, but we are still good friends to this day.  I think she is even happier than me about this particular repair.  Why?  Because after 20 years, she finally stopped hearing me complain about that time I "busted my van" trying to spend time with her.



About The “Butterfly” Spinners (center of wheel)

Why a butterfly?  Take a look at the front sunroof.  It has a large butterfly etched on it from the 70s.  Hence, I wanted to preserve the butterfly theme just like the unicorn theme which was designed when the van, Cloud Dancer, was originally created. 

When I re-found the van in the barn, it was missing all four (4) spinners.  I’ve been told that “True Spoke” spinners would work but they cost $200.  I’m a FRUGAL guy and really don’t want to spend $200 on little center caps… particularly since they’ve fallen off previously and I’d have to re-paint them anyway to match the “sparkle” silver I did on the rest of the rims.  Plus, really, is anything on this van normal at this point? 

Hence, I once again went to my favorite auto parts store, the “Home Depot.”  I ended up using a metal cap thingy (apparently intended for a house ceiling fan).  Total cost:  $2.50 each.  I then drilled holes in it and fastened the metal butterflies to it.  Now I have custom unique spinners.  Will they fall off at higher speeds?  I honestly have no idea.  But if you see one missing, then you already know the answer.  However, if you see all four, then I’m a friggin’ frugal genius!





Progress, September 5, 2017

This will likely be one of the last photos I post. Amazingly, Cloud Dancer is nearing completion. I will finish the hood when I return from Arizona but wanted to get the bulk of it done before I leave for my vacation... Otherwise, I know that when I return I'll be like, "What am I, NUTS?"





Progress, September 21, 2017

I added rhinestones to the wing on the hood.

I also added rainbow so it should glittery different colors in the sun





Progress, September 23, 2017

I took Cloud Dancer to the Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey Car show.

I won a trophy for peoples choice!

I'm NOT worried about the trophy, but this was the perfect show to win at. Why?

Because this is the very show where I first discovered Cloud Dancer while in high school.

I went to this show for nostalgia. What a great way to perhaps conclude this website!





Tiny update, 2018:


Cloud Dancer is just about finished...

so I decided to add one of the finishing touches...

I FINALLY found fancy glasses that are red & clear in color (which I rhinestoned)...

and I added roses to each (although I may replace them with glass roses once I find something I like).


Here is a funny memory... at least funny to ME when I found out about this years later...

When I dated my ex-girlfriend when she was a teenager (whom I still friends with even to this day 20+ years later), I picked her up for the first time in Cloud Dancer.

Well.. I had a ROSE in a glass very similar to what I have in these photos.

Unbeknownst to me, my ex-girlfriend waited the entire date for me to give her the rose.. until she eventually realized it was for the VAN.





January 17, 2018

Talk about irony!!

Hence... Long story short:

1. I found the van "Cloud Dancer" at a Raceway Park, NJ, show and bought it while in high school.

2. I sold "Cloud Dancer" years later after graduating from law school.

3. I tracked down "Cloud Dancer" 17+ years later and bought it back.

4. I restored "Cloud Dancer" on a super tight budget (as described above).

5. I bring "Cloud Dancer"back to the identical Raceway Park, NJ, car show many years later and win the trophy!

5. And now.. Raceway Park is apparently shutting down.




Hence.... I think this is an excellent way to CONCLUDE this webpage.

Please feel free to contact me... or sign my guestbook... but suffice it to say:








** WAIT!!! THERE IS MORE!!! **

I decided to occassionally update this website.... so here is the latest:



June 18, 2018



July 9, 2018




September 8, 2018

For no particular reason, I decided to completely re-do the dashboard. Here is my latest creation:



September 22, 2018

Thanks to vanner Geno. I don't know who you are or where you come from, but I loved your suggestion to rhinestone the cowboy hat for my van Cloud Dancer. Here you go...









Progress, September 29, 2018

I took Cloud Dancer to the Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey Car show.

I'm NOT worried about the trophy, but this was the perfect show to win at. Why?

Because as indicated above, this is the very show where I first discovered Cloud Dancer while in high school -- so I decided to go back again this year.















Progress, April 28, 2019

I finally decided to take Cloud Dancer out of the garage. I've been busy playing Virtual Reality Video Games.





Progress, April 28, 2019

I ended up re-doing the bottom front fender.

Needless to say, I added more rhinestones!





Progress, May 4, 2019

Welp... Here is another example why I SUCK at auto mechanics. Long story short, I cannot find the friggin' clip to hold the gas pedal onto the metal thing-a-ma-jig (basically, there is a metal bar that connects the gas pedal to the engine to accelerate). Hence, I ended up once again using Garbage Bag Ties and Zip ties to hold the whole thing together.

Gringe all you want auto mechanics.. but at least this works.

PS: I also notice that the ignition wires are practically touching the very hot headers and there is no place to clip the ignition wires onto the valve covers. Hence, I used a piece of wire dangling from the air cleaner to hold up the ignition wires away from the headers.

Gringe all you want auto mechanics.. but at least this works.




PS: Here is the infamous clip that I cannot seem to find that hold the gas pedal onto the metal thing-a-ma-jig . Probably cost about 10 cents. To show you the size, I put it next to my Chuck-E-Cheese Token.

I didn't have any change but I do have Chuck-E-Cheese tokens. :) (A girl I previously dated took me to Chuck-E-Cheese because she knew I'd like it. Needless to say, she ended up dumping me). But hey... at least I still have some tokens.








Progress, May 9, 2019

Some vanners are preparing to have a local Van Show. They asked me to create a flyer for the show.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any royalty-free, copyright-free, clipart of custom vans anywhere online.

I'm sincerely NOT sure if this is a cool idea, or appears conceited, but I figure lots of vanners likely have a similar problem of not having FREE vanning clipart when they want to advertise an event/etc.

Since I suck at drawing, I decided to take a photo of my own van, stick it into the computer, hit a few buttons, and see what the computer spits out.

Hence, below is a link where you can download any/all of the "clipart" that I made using my van.

I intentionally made it look like clipart/cartoons/limited colors for easier printing.

Feel free to use the following "Cloud Dancer Clipart" on any vanning events you want for FREE.

All I ask is that you NOT profit off of this clipart I generated (i.e. don't friggin' put it on a t-shirt or bumper sticker and sell it), unless of course you contact me first and wanna give me some money. :)


Again... NOT sure if this seems cool or conceited. All I know is I couldn't find ANY free, copyright-free royalty-free clipart, so I created my own.

Click on the picture below to bring you to the page where you can download the "Cloud Dancer Clipart" and see each enlarged:






Progress, June 23, 2019







Progress, June 30, 2019





Progress, July 30, 2019

I am doing more interior work... including wiring/fuses/etc.

I am putting this diagram here to help ME (in the future) and perhaps others as it is near impossible to see/read what the proper fuses/amps should be.

Note: I also have added multiple large fuse boxes hidden in the back of the van - with a second battery & isolator as well.

I will eventually, likely, post photos of that as well as people are asking how I power hundreds of lights, air horns, musical horns, etc.







Progress, August 9, 2019

Click the above link for an episode of "Cheapo-O Vanning!"







Progress, August 11, 2019



Progress, August 14, 2019




It finally dawned on me that I really SHOULD have labeled all these friggin' wires when I re-wired the van!!


The truth is...  when I re-discovered the van.. I never really thought the van would actually run again... or be restored...  when I told my dad how bad the condition was (i.e. would stall, smoke, leak gas, dead animals inside, randomly not start, interior destroyed, etc) my Dad's advice was, "WHO CARES... YOU GOT THE VAN BACK...  JUST HAVE FUN WITH IT."  And that is when I re-wired the entire van in 3 days... I didn't really take it seriously because I didn't want to get overwhelmed and/or I probably didn't really think it would matter anyway.

Remember.. I wired the vast majority of the van in 3 days shortly after I re-discovered it -- that video is near the top of this webpage.


  Hence.. I'm now quickly going to label some of the wires/organize things a little bit better.  See below...







Progress, August 15, 2019

Via the INSANE amounts of wires/switches I've installed, I realize I really need to organize/label some of the switches/wires/fuse boxes to make things easier to repair and/or future owners.

Hence, I'm posting some basic diagrams/charts here. They look silly, but trust me, they'll save a ton of time and aggravation.




Via the INSANE amounts of wires/switches I've installed, I realize I really need to organize/label some of the switches/wires/fuseboxes to make things easier to repair and/or future owners.

Hence, I'm posting some basic diagrams/charts here. They look silly, but trust me, they'll save a ton of time and aggravation.



Over the years, I finally realize that writing labels on MASKING TAPE is a BAD idea.  It fades and smudges.  Hence, I now started to print out some of the labels and attach them to the wires to make future modifications/repairs a LOT easier!!

Hence, I'm posting some basic diagrams/charts here. They look silly, but trust me, they'll save a ton of time and aggravation.





Via the INSANE amounts of wires/switches I've installed, I realize I really need to organize/label some of the switches/wires/fuseboxes to make things easier to repair and/or future owners.

Hence, I'm posting some basic diagrams/charts here. They look silly, but trust me, they'll save a ton of time and aggravation.




I have now created wiring diagrams for the multiple fuse boxes/switches. They are hidden beneath the seating.










Progress, August 23, 2019

I had a guy stop over to buy some video game stuff. Turns out, he was a cool hippie type guy so we chatted for a while...

I was working on Cloud Dancer doing more rhinestones (with a TOOTH PICK) when he stopped over.. He said he has experimented with a lot of drugs and could NOT believe I was sober/straight.

Imagine me on drugs? Buwwahhhaa!! Do drug dealers take COUPONS?






Progress, August 24, 2019

I loooooooooooove COUPONS !!

I spent $1.00 (with FREE shipping) and got a bunch of CLOUD DANCER stickers made to match my t-shirt!

What am I going to do with them? I have NO friggin' idea.. but I had a COUPON !!

PS: Yes, I know ladies.. You won't date me because I use COUPONS... Well... you know what: NO STICKERS 4 U !!











Progress, August 27, 2019





Progress, September 15, 2019

I took the van to a nearby van show.

(I was asked to create the flyer for the event which I happily did. Clipart was provided by Vanner.)


I took the van to a nearby van show.



Progress, September 15, 2019

After 45 years... CLOUD DANCER has finally FLIPPED!! Nobody is more amazed/surprised than me...

Meanwhile, my $5 patch job continues to hold on the gas tank.





2020 - The entire YEAR

Due to the deadly Covid-19 virus, all of the events were cancelled.

I ONLY drove the van ONE time the entire year.  I drove it 30 minutes to a friends house for an oil change.







I'm TRYING to get the van moved from NJ to AZ.

Unfortunately, no vanners can help and 99.99% of the auto transport businesses are using bait/switch.

Likewise, they want more $$$ to move the van than I paid for the van!!






I'm STILL trying to get the van moved from NJ to AZ.

A closed trailer apparently doesn't exist based on countless calls/bait switch trucking companies/etc

So now I'm worried parts of the van will break off when I transport it.





March 4, 2021

I am planning on relocating to Arizona.  I have spent the past six (6) months trying to hire a reputable company to move my van.  NONE of the companies were legitimate.  They were all using bait/switch.  I would receive price quotes in writing and guarantees in writing for an enclosed trailer for as low as $1,095 but then these companies would double/triple the price.  On top of that, I read a TON of reviews alleging that the folks would still wait weeks to get their vehicle and/or have to pay more money and/or drive several hours to pick it up from where they erroneously dropped it off.


So....  This was either incredibly Jenius or incredibly Jackass... After MONTHS of attempting to deal with "reputable" companies (EVERY single one attempted to screw around with bait/switch bullshit), I ended up doing a hail mary with "some guy." ... He saw my above goofy animation trying to get my van to Arizona and agreed to move the van to Tucson, Arizona, for a very affordable price ($1,000).  The reason was because he was going there anyway with an empty trailer. 


As a precaution, and a last minute decision, I quickly purchased a GPS tracker and hid it inside the van.  The battey would only last a day, so I hooked it up to a 1000 amp jump stating battery.  My hope is it would keep the gps tracker charged enough for the trip.  I also disabled auto updates and would only 'ping' the location of the van once or twice a day to try and keep the battery alive long enough to make the trip.

* Depending on the battery life, I intend on updating the status in the comments every 12 hours...

Don't even ask what I packed INSIDE the van... lets see if it makes it.


Here is a quick summary of the move to Arizona:


March 4, 2021


March 4, 2021


March 4, 2021



WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! 🙁 The guy has gone radio silent and only drove about 120 miles in the last 27 hours.

Wait! My math sucks. I forgot what day it was. It's only been 12 hours. Right? He drove until about 5pm yesterday, thursday. It is now 5am the next morning, friday. He is likely sleeping. He was supposed to contact me/send a photo yesterday, thursday, but o well. Stay tuned!



March 5, 2021



In Texas now.

92% battery (which ain't great since the battery should still be at 100% but it should at least make it).




March 6, 2021

81% battery life remaining.




March 7, 2021

A few hours away. In Arizona! Creepy photo. Again, no front end in the photo. So how much stuff busted off the front of the van in transit? We shall know soon...

He is 45 minutes away.   26 miles to go.

64% battery life remaining


He has gone 1.2 miles in 45 minutes. Argh!!


Cloud Dancer has arrived!!

Now did the sun visor survive? Did the front end blow off including the hood which I made for $20 from lowes (for a furnace)?

Did the butterfly wheels (held on by ceiling fan attachments for houses) vanish?

These are all good questions... I, however, have NO answers because I have ZERO pictures thus far. Stay tuned...

PS: I will now call the tracking company and cancel my $20 monthly membership. I only needed it for this project. 🙂





March 7, 2021

🙂 Cloud Dancer has made it to Arizona!! 🙂

Did the sun visor survive (that broke off and vanished the last time it was towed so I had to jump a fence and sneak into a van show to buy a replacement hours away)? Did the hood break off which I made for $20 from lowes (for a furnace)? Did the butterfly spinner wheels (held on by ceiling fan attachments for houses) vanish? These are all good questions... I, however, have NO answers. Why? Because although I asked for photos/film of everything so I can access the damage, here are the ONLY photos/video taken.

PS: I have been TOLD that the van made it safely.... But these photos make me suspicious. Hmm......



🙂 Cloud Dancer has made it to Arizona!! 🙂

Did the sun visor survive (that broke off and vanished the last time it was towed so I had to jump a fence and sneak into a van show to buy a replacement hours away)? Did the hood break off which I made for $20 from lowes (for a furnace)? Did the butterfly spinner wheels (held on by ceiling fan attachments for houses) vanish? These are all good questions... I, however, have NO answers. Why? Because although I asked for photos/film of everything so I can access the damage, here are the ONLY photos/video taken.

PS: I have been TOLD that the van made it safely.... But these photos make me suspicious. Hmm......




March 9, 2021


GOD has spoken!

I wanted proof that Cloud Dancer arrived safe and I didn't lose the butterfly wheels, visor and countless rhinestones... and GOD blew the friggin' cover off... so here is a photo proving Cloud Dancer made it safe....



March 9, 2021


Since people are inquiring, this is how the rhinestones/visor/etc possibly survived the trip to Arizona... Perhaps this might help others.

I TRIED to hire companies but they didn't call me back. Hence, I went to Walmart and spent $20 on this plastic stuff and did it myself. Here is a short video I sent to my Dad so he knew what was coming.



August 19, 2021

Oddly, a vanner buddy of mine said it was "fucking disgusting" that every photo is with my mouth open. Hence, I made this animation in his honor. No need to thank me. Buwwwahhhaaaa!!!

PS: For those of you that know me, you of course realize there will now be a *LOT* more photos. 😛 😛 😛




August 22, 2021

Saying goodbyes to just a few in my awesome Vanner family... All thanks to Cloud Dancer. 🙂




Cloud Dancer After Sitting for 2 Years!! Part 1




Cloud Dancer After Sitting for 2 Years!! Part 2

It is finally at its new home in Coolidge, Arizona !!



March 27, 2023





October 21, 2023

I took Cloud Dancer to a local car show 3 miles away from my house in Coolidge.

They didn't have a category for VANS, so I selected "uncategorized."

Evidently, you can't win a trophy for "uncategorized."  Doh!!





October 22, 2023

Doh!  It seems I sprunk another gas leak, AGAIN. 

My $5 patch from high school is giving up... So I keep adding more "Seal All".

I KNOW that I'm supposed to drop & drain the tank BEFORE trying to patch a leak, however...

This van is old.  Even IF I was to remove the tank, I'd likely never be able to re-fasten it due to age.

Plus, I SUCK at auto mechanics so really don't want to start disassembling my van, particularly FUEL tanks!

I also don't think I can siphon ALL of the fuel out and I'm scared to run it with low gas due to the amount of crud in the tank...

...So I just keep adding patches to it making the above mess.




October 23, 2023

I checked on the patch kit.. It FEELS like a water balloon. 

I think the fuel is leaking out of the tank.. and the patch kit is catching it like an inflatable balloon.

I reluctantly decided just to peel ALL of the patch kit off.

It surprisingly came off a little toooooooo easy.



October 24, 2023

The gas started to FLOW out of the tank like a water hose... NOT drop, but flow out nonstop.

As mentioned above, I really don't want to drain the tank entirely...

And I didn't feel safe collecting gasoline in my garage this way.

So I used "Seal All" which is the ONLY thing that I knows which can STOP a fuel leak WHILE IT IS LEAKING.

(This is the same stuff that created the above mentioned water balloon effect over all these years)





October 25, 2023

This time, OVER the little bit of "Seal All" (which is the ONLY product I know which stops a fuel leak AS it is leaking),

I put a bunch of "TankWeld" by JB.

I even made a SMILEY FACE. 

If it starts to leak, it might leak from the smiley face eyes, showing the van is CRYING.




For purposes of throughness, and for me to re-trace my steps in the future if it leaks yet again,

these 2 products are the ones that I used to hopefully patch the leaking gas tank.







(I did everything on a super crazy tight budget. I wanted the van to be FUN, and *NOT* an expense)



Amazingly, there were no significant mechanical issues whatsoever. Most repairs were due to age/mainteance or my own mistakes such as frying the alternator when I idiotically connected the battery cable backwards (see above) or rotted belts or fuel leaks.

* Note: Maybe a little more than $750 since I had to replace the radiator that I cracked when driving itt to PA and my $5 patch job that I did back in high school (20+ years later) eventually gave up *

CLOUD DANCER NOW RUNS GREAT!! (although I admittedly rarely drive it)




In the meantime, here is a free "Park The Van" video game that I made. 

You can play it online. Just click on the picture below:










You can always contact me at www.PUZZELE.com (which is my last name) or email me at: