Live Auctions

This Van’s Rockin’: 1966 Dodge A100

This van has been sitting on the Barn Finds assignment page for a while, and nobody’s grabbed it. I’ve looked at the ad more than once, and I just can’t resist—this is just too silly. This customized 1966 Dodge A100 van is available here on eBay. At the moment, it’s bid to about $1100.  You’ll have to retrieve it from Twentynine Palms, CA to make it yours, and you have to figure out how to register it given that it’s sold on an Arizona title with a bill of sale.

Just look at these glorious photos and you’ll be compelled to bid. How can you resist that velvet-texture paint? The porthole window. What appears to be in mobile-home terms a “tip-out” that increases space on the inside or provides shade on the outside (hard to tell from the photos). So what if some of the photos reveal what appears to be body damage? You don’t buy this because it’s a Concours-level van, but precisely because it can be beaten on and abused—or camped in—without apology. After all, you’re not exactly going to be in your right mind when you return to this motel on wheels from the Dead concert, are you? Anyway, there’s beauty here. Look at the dash. The steering wheel with that thing that allows you to turn a tight circle (surely someone will add the name of that gizmo in the comments). The string of little wool balls across the inner edge of the windshield, the barefoot gas pedal, the 70s-style plexiglass motif covering the rear of the bed area, and the dwarf doll. OK, this has just officially gone too far, but you can rectify that doll thing and still celebrate the chrome wheels and shag carpeting which will coddle you in elegant comfort. All this needs to be complete is a sticker that says, “This van’s rocking; don’t come knocking,” which it surely would have had in period.

What’s an A100?  A compact van marketed by Dodge in the US from 1964-70. The engine in this one is apparently the 225-CID slant six, pushed to more miles than can be accurately recorded. But you’ll have a hard time killing that engine, and the seller promises that the van is running (though he has not started it in a year), and made a trip from Palm Springs to Monterey, CA in the recent past. It does need some work on the shifter linkage.

So if you’re thinking that Airbnb is not your scene, or if your life consists of following your favorite band from one festival to another, get in there and make a bid. If you suddenly decide that the Dead are no longer your scene (we’re all getting older, aren’t we?), you’ve still got a sweet little van to go from cruise night to cruise night in. You might be wise to keep some cold ones in the fridge, though, for when friends drop by.

Comments

  1. misterlou Member

    It’s called a Suicide Knob. My dad insisted they be on all the family cars. In hindsight, a curious choice on his part. Very illegal for sale in the Golden State.

    Nice reference to the artist Donald Judd.

    Like 8
    • nlpnt

      FWIU they’re illegal for use in most states, with the exception of people who need to steer one-handed for reasons of disability. I’ve never heard of bans on sale or possession in a box though.

      Like 2
      • bowmade

        and Clinton didn’t inhale

        Like 1
    • Dwcisme

      In Ontario (Canada, not California) you need an endorsement on your licence to use a spinner. The wool balls, I’ve always referred to as “dingle balls” (had an interesting ride in New Orleans in a taxi adorned with them. My boss just about fell out of the car when his door flew open on a turn). If the van has good bones, it might be worth removing and replacing some of the….ah, more questionable modifications.

      Like 3
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      No pic of the engine bay, but if it is non-PS (and it probably is), then you’ll be happy to have that knob on the steering wheel.

      Like 1
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    Also called “Neckers Knobs”.I’ve never heard of them being illegal
    in CA.I’ve got an older one that I inherited from my Dad.

    Like 11
  3. Tony Primo

    Princess Auto (Canada’s version of Harbour Freight) stocks a few versions of “steering wheel spinners”. My employer removes them from all of the new forklifts. If you don’t know how to use them, you can give yourself a nice wrap on the knuckles.
    https://www.princessauto.com/en/polished-aluminum-steering-wheel-spinner/product/PA0008989907

    Like 10
  4. erik johnston

    I sure like this van. We called those steering knobs-Brodee knobs,and in wash. state I belive they are illegal.

    Like 4
  5. Davey Boy

    In Utah, We call them necking knobs and “at last check” which was several years ago, they are also illegal here. I doubt that has changed. As for the van, LOVE IT. Wish I had the room. It would be here.

    Like 4
  6. Cadmanls Member

    Not to get too far off the subject, this is about the A-100. Lowe’s sells these for garden tractors in the lawn equipment department. Anyway this is one awful van. Someone took it way too far I suppose trying to inject a bit of humor, geez I hope so. Good luck!

    Like 2
  7. Jim in FL

    I’m going to allow it. I live in a town that has a lot of cool surf buggies and this would be a fine addition. Has a little more power than a microbus with the slant six. The cragars look good, you can get changed inside, holds a 9’6” longboard. A lot of local cars never go west of the island or over 40 mph. There really aren’t that many of these around. To the seller, add some engine pics on the eBay ad. We get that it’s a period piece, but it isn’t art. Barefoot gas pedal, wow. But no engine shots?

    Like 5
  8. ChrisCo

    I’m interested, but wondering why he’s owned it three years and it’s still in previous owner’s name. Could be why it’s still sitting at $2025 with 2 days to go. She’s worth a watch.

    Like 4
  9. Roger

    My dad required the suicide knob on the family wagon, as he had a disability ( polio).

    Like 5
  10. john

    Scooby Doo- Where are you?

    Like 3
  11. Adventure Van

    Found a nice suicide knob from Bell Automotive fashioned after a #8 billiard ball recently at an estate sale that I plan on proudly mounting to my Vanlife GMC van. I also found my old barefoot gas pedal from yesteryear. I’m in NY so they’re probably both illegal, but hey, you only go around once and I sometimes subscribe to the credo: “There are no rules, there are merely guidelines.” At least for the petty stuff haha

  12. Cap'n Jay

    Had a ’67 vintage with 273 V-8 went to the Mardi Gras 3 times in that van and spent all the nights sleeping in it.
    Had a step beneath the side doors which would hit you just below the shin when you opened it. PARTY, PARTY PARTY ! Found it years later in a junkyard in Bullitsville, ky

  13. Ronald Pringle Member

    I was stationed at Twenty Nine stumps after my return from Vietnam and was on beach watch patrol twice. There are thousands of square miles of beach but never seen any water.

    Like 3
  14. Jay McCarthy

    My first van was a 66 A100 with a slant 6 and 3 on the tree

    Like 4
  15. Malcontented Misanthrope

    Gas, grass or ass..nobody rides for free

    Like 12
  16. Ken Nelson Member

    We called it the Neckers Knob – you could steer with one hand on the knob and the other arm wrapped around your GFs shoulders and its hand on her RH knob……..

    Like 3
  17. Ken Nelson Member

    We called it the Neckers Knob – you could steer with one hand on the knob and the other arm wrapped around your GFs shoulders and its hand on her RH knob……..

    Like 1
  18. Gere

    1966 Dodge A100.
    Can you diggg itttt. Yes!

  19. Robert D Bandfield

    My dad and uncle and grandfather had them on their cars back in the day. Remember buying them at peb boys.

  20. NW Iowa

    My dad had similar knobs on our Oliver loader tractors, 88 propane and 1600 industrial shuttle. He taught us kids to never hold the wheel with thumb wrapping around because in ruts in the frozen cattle yard, you WILL break your thumb! Using the knob in those instances would hurt or break your wrist. Years later, I worked at a tractor salvage yard, they had boxes of used knobs. I put one on a postal Jeep I used for rural paper delivery. That thing was white knuckle driving over 35 MPH due to loose steering. Same with my ’50 Chevy 1 ton pickup w/knob. I LOVE that van!!

    Like 2
  21. chrlsful

    love these for the slant6 (got 300K from one ‘in the day’ in a dart waggy) and what may B the last usa production ‘split w.shield’.

    Hada cheb 108 (WB) then (just before the dart) made up this way. Just a lill more utilitarian as I used it for work (haulin) AND my house (kids! U never no what they will do nxt – even if they WUZ you). Good 2 see, thnx !

  22. chrlsful

    Seems a young lady’s ride. Bet she hada interesting ‘youth;. I did… However, wish I found 1 like this to put our road sides upagainst.

  23. John M Stecz

    Back in the days of common sense and professional drivers just about every truck driver had the spinner on there semi rig,never heard them being illegal .but in California it would not surprisee

    Like 2
  24. mike kibler

    i drove one of these at a package express delivery co back in the day. it was a great van. never any problems

  25. Emel

    Groovy man……all we need is some Ballantine beer and some herb.

    • Dwcisme

      And some Boones Farm.

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