Shaggin’ Wagon – A Very “Far Out” 1970’s Custom Van

Shaggin’ Wagon – A Very “Far Out” 1970’s Custom Van

I am Dennis gage and welcome to my
classic car well this week we’re in Appleton Wisconsin for their old car
show and swap meet and man this is a cool event it’s held at Pierce Park huge
Park and Appleton is a really nice pound – I’m telling you this part this show
there’s some stuff here I’ve never seen let’s get around and check all this
stuff out tripower doing great thank you you know I dig this show I mean this is
this is a cool event you’ve got it you got a lot of cars here there are well
over 900 cars this year man and you know Appleton is a really cool town – there
was a cruising but Friday night or something we stopped by classic JD’s
drive-in or something yes ladies but man how long you been doing the show this is
the 41st year have you been involved with it for very long since day one so
have you always done it here in Pierce Park it’s always been improve spark
we’ve talked about moving it out because we could grow the show and get much
larger but we chosen to keep here because the people that bring their cars
have been very outspoken about it keep it in your spark it’s a beautiful park
in its huge this really says close one in cars here with this ring to get
around I mean this is really nice I like Wisconsin shows anyway because
people are really into it you know and they’re real friendly and and there’s a
lot of cars up here there are I just telling someone today I said I believe
you can go anywhere in a city of Appleton stand anywhere and within two
blocks gonna be a collector car well funny you say that because that’s
exactly we got into town and it was kind of like that it’s like every every few
minutes some would roll down college Street like oh hey that’s cooler I
haven’t seen one of those in a long time but it just kind of rolls by again this
is a big car hug let’s go look at a few of these cars well Cassie this is really cool this is
a Power Wagon record dually mm-hmm I’ve never seen one of these no probably
won’t again because they never made one of these basically right yeah what year
is this it’s a 1946 but they never made the 6×6
version right no it was actually a military truck really yep when we bought
it somebody had already put a dump body on the back of it uh-huh and we took
that off and what was the rent with the record because what else do you do with
the six basic yeah well so have you I mean really but I mean it looks like
it was made this I mean this is Power Wagon so gnarly-looking anyway and then
to put a dually you know 6×6 wrecker on I mean man so you kept a pretty stock
looking cab yeah trying to keep it as original as that would be fiber board
kind of headliner yeah those are so strange and then you updated the gauges
though yes so you can actually drive it now though you can actually use this now
and go like 70 down the highway yeah Wow they were not known for 70 miles an hour
no no they weren’t no what a great record bed what vintage would this be
the record is probably from the sixty sixties yeah and you just you just found
the oldest record you could just found all this we could was it a tough build I
mean a tough conversion it wasn’t wasn’t too bad I mean we did it in three months
it was I mean we really just wanted it done you did it in three months yeah Wow
so this is interesting so it’s kind of got this dual boom what’s the deal yeah
so you can oh oh you guys Oh either side I checked that out and it
just swings back in okay we latch it boom you hook it up oh I know for a fact
that you don’t get 70 miles an hour out of the old flathead six so let’s go see
what’s under the hood okay oh yeah 5.7 Hemi you can get 70 miles an
hour out of that yes Wow that strikes me as it would be a much
bigger engine than the flathead six but it’s not as big a cram as I thought it
would be yeah it does just fit though just way down in there I bet at the
Power Wagon rally this is a hit yes we took best a show last year no kid we
missed by one this year oh man yeah all right I mean I dig this 1946 Power Wagon
6×6 dually wrecker I love this truck thank you sir thanks Cassie yeah that’s
sweet so Lance this is really a beautiful car
thank you I saw you rolling in from the front gate I’m like I didn’t know what
this is and men that tan top in this blue
it was just like beautiful color combination this is a 51 Frazier and
it’s really was it the last year of Frazier last year Frazer
did it go away or was it absorbed by Kaiser I guess you could say it was
absorbed Joe Frazier left the company uh-huh and then Henry Kaiser the
shipbuilder continued on with his venture I see building cars well they
sure were proud of their crests back then – I mean that insignia is pretty
fancy know what I noticed when I was standing here is there’s almost a little
bit of shark nose gram in it yeah Joe Frazier was part of that company ah okay
so there is some of that carry over from from Graham oh Henry Jo – absolutely in
52 through 54 it looked very similar this on a shrunken scale is this an
original color so this is the original I mean this is beautiful thank you it’s
blue sad metallic you’ve obviously redone all the chrome on it absolutely
quite a lot of it tests this is a big chunk right here yeah yeah not only does
it have a split windshield and kind of the heart windshield about 50 of the
Iser but it also has window frames that stay up when the windows are down
correct that’s pretty weird essentially was to give it rigidity to the original
hard tops and then they carried it through to these which were actually
more of the show cars getting people into the showroom looking at the cars
and trying to get them to buy out a sedan how many do they make of these
about 134 that’s it there may be 30 left there may be 15 to 20 on the road you’ve
got the original leather I’m assuming correct I and love that steering wheel
yes is that restored or no that’s an original that’s the original one for
this card and that is fancy and a horn ring is fabulous the gauging is really
nice you’ve done everything back to the way it was yes everything is Keizer
Fraser specific this is a luxury cruiser and these I get a little bit of Kaiser
Darren it’s certainly the same shaping and even the Kaiser man hadn’t said
something that’s kind of like different man had the layman hands ran up the yes
underline even interesting good so it’s a continental actually
right they didn’t make their own engine no they did not
so it was used in even the checker taxicabs and it was working forklifts
yeah I mean the other application it’s a bulletproof engine it’s just yeah is
that in the oil pass yes okay that goes over to a single throat carburetor
correct you got your intake stacked right on top
of your exhaust over here and well this is great
Lance a fifty-one Frazier Manhattan convertible that’s 100 40 some-odd yep
amazing thanks man thank you fabulous so Jim you actually came in
cruising in this this 71 Vista Cruiser behind me and I was like oh that’s cool
but your buddy was driving this van here which my cameraman saw and went oh man
that’s the able to express I’m like what sample of Express and apparently it’s a
famous fan from back in the day and this isn’t even a tribute this is the
analytics misses the Emerald Express so 1977 t4g 20 so it’s a heavy 1/2 it’s got
64,000 miles on it Larry Warner bought this new in 74 it’s
got the original green and white under the pane and him and his buddy painted
it so they did the lacework there’s hours and hours with the lacework they
put all the paint on here hand-cut these letters and it’s been sitting like this
in 74 yeah it’s just crazy and I mean it was built for the show car circuit back
in the day yeah he did he used to take it to the indoor show circuit so people
in Pennsylvania would recognize this because he went around all those places
I got about 30 waist-high trophies from world of wheels and of course the
interiors on these were just so ridiculously over-the-top if you like
the outside the inside will kick you and this is all the shag from 74 that’s this
is the way Larry did he bought all this cowl custom door handles and things was
the wood grain on the dash stock or was that part of his customization Larry did
that he hand-cut all that his wife made the curtains those original curtains
from back in 74 well those I mean that’s like 74 wood paneling right that’s
basically what that is he might have got it right out of the basement and it’s
like it’s party central even the drivers driver side swivels – yep that’s right
the spare tire is under the hassle oh are you kidding me we got a little
bit of a icebox there the TV I’ve never fired up but you know if you get a
signal on too cute yourself does have a stereo
it’s got this 8-track player which works has got 12 speakers in here and they
sound terrible of course they do like they did in 74 you know CB works it’s
got the PA speaker under the hood so Larry put all this together and it’s
just been sitting like this sense so there wasn’t even that much restoration
and why didn’t you do it nobody’s done yeah are you serious yep backlight up
there there’s a little Vox box speaking pulses to the music to the music it’s
like 70s 3d yeah oh this is just hilarious when you take this someplace
it’s just got to be a magnet it’s crazy it’s like driving a circus around people
just attract to it if I go down the highway there’s truckers beeping their
horns and bikers giving me the peace sign it’s a lot of fun it’s a lot of fun
hey and it’s powered by what 350 350 four-barrel yep yep so it’s and it’s all
the original engine in their original drivetrain course Larry put the thrush
beside pipes on back in 74 and they still work have you been branded
everything other than brand last year I got brand that I learned yeah I know I
tell anybody that’s driving it you better watch out for the pipes oh this
thing is awesome so 1974 Emerald Express looks Brown
believable the real deal look a Saab a Saab Sonett or Sun apt
will go at Senate so this is a 1974 right yes I remember when niece came to
the US and you know there was the rx-7 and there was that the 240z kind of that
same era kind of the same body lines but it’s really it’s it’s own thing for sure
it sure is it’s so narrow a fiberglass body is that right correct fiberglass
body and they were made in Sweden yep did you extend the nose or was that the
nose of this car it had a big giant a really heavy ugly bumper on it and I
thought that maybe we didn’t need that so much I would have to agree with you
that is a really striking nose and I think I never noticed it cuz of that big
clunky bumper that they typically have locked all the good parts yeah yeah have
you done any other mods I mean you’ve updated the headlights it look I’ve had
the flip up headlights and I hope I felt that it didn’t need those also there’s a
big aerodynamic problem right the interior is you know it’s kind of
surprisingly roomy and is that the correct upholstery for the area this is
really kind of a 70s euro looking – so what’s this guillotine there by the
that’s the seat belt and like Saab likes to do is keep everything simple and you
just kind of cross it in there so that was your shoulder harness and your belt
Wow yeah so is it what it’s a four-speed yep
man no did they didn’t originally have the sunroof did they know the sunroof
was added by the previous owner and you got a fuel cell in it I put a fuel cell
in just to make it more enjoyable and take out some of the headaches
yeah an car otherwise stock back here pretty close yeah it also had a big
giant ugly buggy bumper there too huh let’s go look at that power plant that
gets this thing around let’s do it this is the European Ford Motor Company it’s
a V for which they change to after the three cylinder two-stroke yeah cuz it
was it was two-stroke and it was only three cylinders it’s got that offset
valve cover like that six cylinder Ford it is that six on there only they cut
off a couple cylinders and that’s the same engine otherwise same block that
amazing so these are rear-wheel drive probably Drive they’re front-wheel drive
yeah and the weird part is it goes engine differential than transmission
how does that happen all right so 1974 Saab Sonett just sign it three
correct thanks for bringing it out look that’s that pleasure that is a cool car well Eric this is a neat car and not
kind of rare a little bit rare a little bit right most people don’t even know
what it is this is a 76 Capri – a Capri – it’s actually a German car yes they
were made in Germany and imported here for about 71 to 76 and marketed as the
sexy European sports car this was the last year they imported yes and the body
changed ends in the last two years correct yes
so the first ones same roofline but what was different same roofline but they had
sort of a hockey stick shape moulding on the side and a fake vent in front of
yeah wheels totally took that off and just made it a little more modern
looking so these flares are fiberglass flared a fiberglass they did some
aftermarket kits in the 70s so people could make their own clones but one of
the tell-tale signs is that each fiberglass fender flare has a Ford logo
stamped in it and they were pretty raw inside originally or they fully decked
out I just raised this up right yeah I had some fun with this and instead of
spending money on reupholstering things I just got it at spent money on gauges
and I’d imagine the spoiler was part of the kit those are were the stock
taillights – stock taillights and dual exhaust but it had it it came with
either a four or six but anything even the six was dual was no no the the dual
exhaust was an upgrade on they are aspersa this thing’s been you know kind
of souped up a little bit under the hood let’s go see it a little bit so is that
a steel hood still steel hood okay man you know that’s such a compact
six-cylinder engine it is it’s nice it’s easy to work on and we had a rebuild
that it bored out 30 over increase the compression mid grade race cam had some
custom headers made and found a rare often Hauser four-barrel intakes a penny
for it but for the luxury of sucking a lot of gas real
quick what what more can you end up all right well I struck me about this engine
was the offset on the valve covers they’re staggered yep I was told that
the V fours and the Saab Sonett are essentially the same engine just that
right well and you’ve got to be the only kid on the block that’s got one yes it’s
a lot of attention at the stoplights yeah people not knowing what it is what
is that yeah so well so and to answer that question it’s a 1976 Ford Capri 2
RS correct wow thanks for pretty much well thank you appreciate it
cool car oh man the old car show and swap meet here in Appleton Wisconsin is
an absolute kick and I’m telling you before it’s all said and done all right
thousand cars here got a couple Wisconsin and check this baby out

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Omg Dennis, 3 more green vehicles??? Please…
    There is white, black, gold, silver red, yellow…and so many other cars in different colors.
    I think 3 green vehicles for show is definitely out of control.
    There were so many awesome and interesting cars at the introduction of the show that I hope there is a second or third show later that is showing some of those as well.
    I know green is your fav color but can we limit then to just 1(maybe 2 the most) cars, please?
    I imagine you are also for this "New Green Deal" as well?🚗🚓🚘

  2. Just making me drool! Can't wait for shows here in TN, but until then, your videos will suffice 🙂

  3. Been going to this show for years. Last year was the first year I got to take my grandfathers roadster there and park with the fellow members of the local Model A club. Awesome show with well over a thousand cars annually.

  4. So I am guessing that Pierce Park is named after the Pierce family in Appleton. The Pierce family started the family named company that currently manufactures fire apparatus, Pierce Manufacturing. The company is located right in Appleton but is now owned by Oshkosh. I wonder how many of the company employees had cars/trucks at the show? Great episode Dennis!

  5. I'm old and retired so I can plan my Saturdays around seeing My Classic Car in the morning. Always interesting cars, something you won't see anywhere else. As a kid, 60 years ago, a neigbor had a big Dodge Power Wagon, all black, not a tow truck and it made so much noise it kind of scared me. Not a fan of those custom vans but the story there is terrific. Thanks, Dennis.

  6. I've never heard of a Saab Sonet III before but after hearing all the modifications the guy made,
    I looked up pictures of an untouched original and omg it looks drastically better with the bumper still on and the pop-up headlights. That guy ruined the design the engineers went for. Anyone who's also curious feel free to look it up too. It really is more stunning all original.

  7. The Sinclair Dodge 6×6 was cool. Really rare to see a Capri. I’ve been to quite a few shows in my years; and this was like the third one I’ve seen. I’d love to see a modern Pro Touring take on one of those. Perhaps turbo charged or a Ls. Coil-overs all around. It would be pretty epic.

  8. I have seen a lot of Kaisers but this is the first Frazer I have seen. It's amazing there are any left let alone in such good condition.

  9. we love you dennis gage, you have brought so much to the classic car culture, almost 500 episodes have been created, ive seen every one of them, life not the same without you dennis, you take us car nuts to a happy place no matter how much hell surrounds us, i cant wait to finish my classic car restoration, 10 years spent so far , he ave just a few months left to finish.

  10. That's my Dodge Mirada CMX at 00:38 that intros into this episode. Had as usual a great time at Pierce Park!

  11. at 2:17 is a '77 Can Am Lemans. I bought a new one with black bench seats at Grossinger in Chicago when I lived in Schaumburg. Sold it and regretted it, as I loved the look. I think this is the second Can Am I've seen on My Classic Car.

  12. If you have enough footage, do 2 or 3 videos from the same show. I saw a few cars I would love to see more of. Thanks!

  13. looks like everone had a great time seen a lot of cool cars in the background a years worth the material

  14. The 70's vehicles sure were interesting. I graduated from college in '76 and for a bit of a vacation that year a friend of mine who owned a '72 Capri gave me a daytime ride to San Diego ( I lived in Newport Beach) and back. The van-thing had been popular for a few years by that time and I recall seeing some with huge graphics on the sides, usually by Frazetta (if I'm remembering correctly) and it was always some busy,over the top battle scene with some too – muscular red eyed guy with a huge blade over his head. I think it was known as "The Berserker"…….odd.
    Cool, however to see the Emerald Express taken care of so well.

  15. Make your plans now to be part of the 2019 Appleton Old Car Show & Swap Meet, Sunday, July 21, 2019, back at Pierce Park in Appleton,Wisconsin. More info here:

  16. I received alot of compliments on how nice my car looked. Thank you. I was given that saab back in the nineties, beat up and incomplete i put the car together as a toy because of the sunroof that ruined the body. I have $1500 dollars into it with $800 of that being paint. Can't find a cheaper thrill machine than that. Thanx again dennis for making my classic car look great.

  17. That Chevrolet G20 'Emerald Express' van is groovy!  Luv the original shag carpeting.  🙂  That is quite the time capsule!

  18. Great show & awesome venue!! 👍👍 I lived in Appleton for a couple years (also Green Bay & Michigan’s UP) & folks up there are very passionate enthusiasts of their classic cars! I live in SC now… tired of the ❄️ 🥶🤣

  19. At 0:05 for about a tenth of a second they show a maroon 1949 Willys Jeepster. I had one of those way back in 1969, it was my first car. I loved that car and could now kick myself for ever selling it

  20. The Emerald Express really brought back memories! Back in the 80s I designed and built conversion vans for a little company in Ocala Florida called Camelot conversions!

  21. There was a '54 Burgundy Packard Convertible with the side trim removed that looked elegant. I'm sorry that you didn't get a chance to review it.

  22. I really dig the Emerald Express but I'm not understanding why it was being knocked and made fun of so much. What is so blasphemous about 8 tracks? Why does 12 speakers sound terrible? And no, the tube TV will not blow up if you turn it on. What kind of bullshit are we stuck with today? Cold, hard aluminum and silver and steel. Back in the 70s that's what we had. in 40 years from now we'll be making fun of the year 2019. Right?

  23. O melhor programa de classicos antigos, mesmo não falando inglês assisto sempre que posso.

  24. The Emerald Express. This is what started my love for vans in general. I had a Ford SuperVan (back in 79) It was a 1970 302, 3 on the tree. I currently have a 1993 Chevy G20, 4.3 auto trans. Looking for a full panel early 90's to mid 80's to do my thing. BUT I remember when this van was the featured Van in mags. Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics ect in the late 70's. And it is still around doing shows. WOW!!!! Blast from the past.

  25. At 52 seconds is mine and my wifes van! 1975 Plymouth Voyager! Original paint. My dad bought it new in 1975. Untouched and unrestored! All created by my dad. Michael Osieczanek. The engine rebuilt 318 by Teresa's dad Lloyd Ort!

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