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Ever wonder what it would be like to drive a real-life Mystery Machine? Well, one lucky car-owner already does, thanks to a hardcore Scooby-Doo fan who customized a classic 1968 Ford Econoline van and put it up for auction.
Unfortunately, we don’t know whether the owner is using it to solve crimes with friends, or just as a cool way of getting around. Here’s what we do know about the grooviest car in town.
1968 Ford van resembles Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine, inside and out
When you think of franchises with iconic cars, you may think of Fast & Furious or Back to the Future before Scooby-Doo—yet the Mystery Machine clearly has clout.
The repurposed Ford van has been painted with the Mystery Machine’s design, in the bright blue, orange and green hues that any Scooby-Doo fan is sure to recognize. It comes equipped with special features that add authenticity, such as Torq Thrust-style wheels and a miniature flower-painted tire mounted on the car’s front.
The van is committed to the classic Scooby-Doo look inside and out, and the interior is colored blue, orange, and green to match. The finishing touch is a detailed Ghost Finder instrument panel installed on the dashboard, according to MotorTrend.
Despite its age, the van offers decent power, with a 302-cubic inch V8 engine and a three-speed automatic transmission.
1968 Ford van sold for nearly 60 grand
The 1968 Ford Econoline was sold on the second day of bidding at the 2019 Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. This real-life Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine sold for a whopping $59,400.
According to the Barrett-Jackson website, “This 1968 Ford Econoline van underwent a body-on restoration” to be “styled after the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo.”
AZ Central reports that other models sold at the auction included a 1960 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe, a 1971 Plymouth Satellite Coupe, a 2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Convertible, a 1998 Pegasus Trans Am “BL Stryker,” and a 1955 Ford F-100 Custom Pickup. While some of these models were built for actual use on movie sets, only the Ford Econoline was built to resemble an iconic fictional car from a film.
Other replicas of the Mystery Machine
While the actual make, model, and year of the fictional Mystery Machine van have never been confirmed, fans agree that it looks similar to any generic 1960s panel van. Some believe that the Mystery Machine is truly a Dodge A100, while others think it’s a Chevy G-Body van.
Despite the lack of consensus over what kind of van the Mystery Machine is, plenty of fans have put their own spin on the vehicle. These customized vans offer up a dose of 1960s nostalgia—and are a testament to the devotion of the Scooby fanbase.
Over time, a few replicas of the Mystery Machine have emerged as standouts, according to Volo Auto Museum. One was made by E.J. Salinas, a college student in Edinburgh, Texas, who allegedly uses his Scooby-Doo-themed van to get to campus.
While Salinas’ van was a gift from his parents, some other fans have built their own Mystery Machine replicas. Jerry Patrick, proprietor of a car customizing company, revamped a 1967 Dodge van to look as close as possible to the “real” Mystery Machine. The customized van took around 90 days for him (and his team) to build.
The finished van has a speed of 75 miles per hour, and it's backside is equipped with 100 feet of LED lighting. Patrick also installed green and blue padded benches around the vehicle's interior, making it the perfect hangout for a gang of crime-solving friends.
“These replicas showcase just how important the show was to so many people,” writes Volo Auto Museum. “In a way, these model vans keep them connected to a show that was a significant part of their lives growing up.”