Owned since new by Van Cleve Ford in Eatonville Washington Laddies Van was driven by George (Laddie) Van Cleve for the daily demands of a small town automobile dealership. Laddie was the son of the owner and thus born with Ford blue blood. As mechanic/service manager his knowledge of the Ford product line expanded with each successive year and he became renowned as the expert in all things Ford. Never one to be content with stock Ford offerings Laddie was and is to this day a believer in “fixing factory defects” and to Laddie lack of power IS a defect.
When Laddie retired he drove his trusted but tired van home from work for the last time. His intention was to someday restore it to its former charm.
Laddie soon learned that even in retirement a Ford guru doesn’t have all the spare time he needs to complete even present projects let alone future ones. He asked me if I would be interested in restoring the Clubwagon. When I proposed a V8 “Resto-Mod” I saw a light in his eyes that removed any need for him to actually say yes…. Laddie’s van was mine.
What you see today is the result of two and a half years of effort. I promised myself that the finished product would reflect not only my ideas and ideals but those of the man who sat behind the wheel for all those many years. My success is reflected in his eyes every time he sees it. Though I now drive it, it is and always will be, Laddie’s Van.