Medieval Times: Custom 1977 Dodge Tradesman 100

The custom van craze of the 1970s holds a special place in automotive history and this ’77 Dodge Tradesman is a unique survivor from that era.  With the recent finale of the HBO series Game of Thrones, medieval-themed stuff seems hot right now, so it could be good timing on the seller’s part to have listed this van for auction here on eBay. Dubbed the Dream Castle it’s located in East Hampstead, New Hampshire.  With a few days left in the auction and the reserve price not met, bidding is at $4,550 at the time of this writing.

The seller is the third owner and describes the van as solid.  The custom paint is showing its age and has faded over the years so it will be at the discretion of the van’s new owner to decide whether to leave things as they are or splurge for a repaint.  Damage to the front driver side is evident and the result of an unfortunate encounter with a deer.  The seller is in possession of the headlight bezels and offers a replacement grille with the sale.  The front fender flare is missing, however.  The custom wood running boards could benefit from a few coats of spar varnish, and the passenger side runner sags quite noticeably.  Those are obviously minor issues and would by no means prevent one from charioting this ride to the upcoming local Renaissance fair.

Check out the stone archway!  I can’t say I’ve ever seen masonry work performed on a vehicle!  Sure, it’s faux stone but it looks awesome and truly enhances the van’s castle-like feel.  Whoever customized this van also did a great job of incorporating lots of plush carpeting throughout the van’s interior.  On one hand, the van was designed to look and feel like the inside of a medieval castle, but on the other, there’s no forgetting this was the 70s.  Far out, man!

Since there are no photos of the van’s Chrysler Slant-Six motor, we’ll have to settle for another interior photo.  I’m not complaining because there’s certainly a lot to behold!  The wrought iron gate enclosing the bedchamber is a nice touch and no doubt a feature Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs would envy.  I still can’t help focusing on all of the wonderful faux stone accents.  The van comes equipped with a Sparkomatic CB radio to chat with other vanners as well as a Kenwood CD player with Polk speakers.  Sorry, it looks like the original 8-track player is long gone.  With just over 100,000 miles, there is still plenty of life left in this wagon.  The seller reports it runs super nice and that there are too many new parts to list.  The winning bidder is encouraged to fly to New Hampshire and drive it home.  Sorry, there’s no AC but so far this June that’s not a problem here in the Northeast US!  Just be sure the heat works!


  1. Todd Fitch Staff

    Whoa, Jay. Awesome van, man! One of my high school buddies had a ’76 Ford van (not medieval-themed but fully carpeted with a bed and heart-shaped windows) and one father’s comment was “Don’t ever come to pick up my daughter again in that van.” (Uh, yes Sir.) Thanks for the memories!

    Like 7
    • Jay B Staff

      Todd, I’ve got a story about a buddy’s van too, this one involving a keg, 12 guys, and a little bit of off-roading! Not a good combination but all survived!

      Like 4
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        OK I’ll toss in another one. Same van… one time we got pulled over and there was a half-barrel upright in the middle of the van. Someone threw a jean jacket over it and the officer (shining his light in through all the windows after our underage driver politely declined the search request) thought it was a table.

        Like 7
      • Jay B Staff

        Todd, the fact that someone was wearing a jean jacket says a lot about the time period of your story!

        Like 4
      • BCWindsor

        All survived? Even the Keg? I would have thought it would have been the first casualty?!?!

        Like 1
      • Jay B Staff

        Ha-ha! You got me on that one, BCWindsor. A bunch of lightweights no doubt!

  2. William Shields

    I can match your stories. 1980. Drive in. A couple buddies and I notice another high school buddies custom van. Typical style, bed in the back.
    We knew he and his girlfriend very rarely”watched” the whole movie so we thought it’d be funny to open the back doors at the appropriate moment and scare the hell out of them.
    What we didn’t think of was with the nose up parking at the drive in when we threw open the doors they both fell out the back naked and how do you say it politely “intertwined”😛
    A couple of other people said later they didn’t know if the movie was more entertaining or seeing three fully clothed guys running for their lives with a nude fourth one screaming obscenities chasing after them.
    Nobody called the cops but we all got bounced for creating a disturbance and had to watch around corners at school for a while after until he cooled down.
    Fun times!😎😎

    Like 9
    • Jay B Staff

      Now that’s a great story!

      Like 2
  3. Coventrycat

    Looks almost like the cover of a Molly Hatchet album. Flirtin’ with disaster in that Castle Anthrax interior.

    Like 8
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      “I’ve got the pedal to the floor,
      My life is running faster”

      Like 3
  4. Butch

    If this vans a rockin don’t come a knockin!

    Like 3
    • Keith

      A black light inspection is in order before buying this one Haha!

      Like 3
  5. Rube Goldberg Member
  6. markp

    It needs side-pipes!

    Like 1
  7. Paul

    The Iron gate is an unusual touch maybe a CSI guy should look at this

  8. Terry Bowman

    I can relate to the above stories. I can write a novel on my life long experiences with my 72 Dodge Van. Bought it new in 72′(during High School) and retired it in 2005. It went though all the adult events of my life. Many funny moments.

    Like 4
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Hampstead’s not too far away. I wonder if the seller will let me take it for an extended “test” drive. Just have to find a drive-in that is still open – LOL!

    Like 1
    • 12 Pack

      The drive-in in Milford, NH isn’t THAT far from East Hampstead. Just saying.

      Like 2
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        LOL! That’s right, that one is still running.

        Like 1
  10. Stevieg Member

    Up until the recent past (6-8 years) there was a drive in theater still in operation in Kenosha Wisconsin. I used to belong to a hearse owners club that was based out of Kenosha. We had a monthly “meating” @ the drive in during summer months. The gatherings always involved alcohol.
    One of these get togethers I had my ol’ lady with. The alcohol was flowing & she whispered something in my ear. We retreated to the business end of the hearse, closed the curtains & “got busy”. Well someone noticed the hearse had started dancing to some rhythm lol. Since we forgot to lock the doors (details), one flew open & we put on our own show lol. Good times!

  11. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Is it any wonder these vans got such a bad reputation. I once owned a 77 model, but it had seats in the back for my step kids to sit on. It was our family transportation at the time. Ofcourse that was many years ago, kids and woman are long gone. Van went to a body man who filled it with bindo and painted it brown..
    God bless America

  12. Steve Mcintire

    And also everyone that likes this van.
    Let me tell you why I LOVE this van.
    I went to my 1st car/truck show IN this van before and after high school. The steering wheel is different now though(used to be chrome chain)The original owner, Ron also had a white anniversary Vette he would take, driven by his lovely wife. I loved these classics I saw growing up. And I own one today. if I had seen this original post on the day, I probably would have been driving it today. I miss those wonderful owners and the fine rides.
    (( Coincidental..the vette was wht on red
    So is my 82 Chevy C10))

    Like 1

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