Sail the Roads in This Ford E-350 Van-Based Boat Car for $55,000
Yes, it's street legal.
COVID-19 may have brought the world to a halt, but that's no excuse to drive like there are no laws or stop dreaming about your next road trip or boating adventure. After all, it's these difficult times that make our imagination run wild while stuck at home for weeks on end. Here's something you can daydream about: a Ford van converted into a boat currently for sale on eBay.
You're looking at the melding of a 1995 Ford E-350 van and the hull from a 24-foot Sea Ray Sundancer, built over a six-month period under the supervision of Mark Ray of Mark's Custom Cruisers in Georgia. Mark and company have built and sold several such vehicles out of boat hulls and plane fuselages, one of them from a Cessna used in the filming of Marvel's Black Panther, and all of them are head-turners. This, being the largest boat-based car they've built so far, is possibly the company's greatest creation.
This example's hull once was home to a berth that slept four adults, though it now rumbles with the six inline cylinders of a 4.9-liter Ford truck engine. Its interior—though more of an exterior at this point—is still fully maritime-spec, and features teakwood floors (recently cleaned and oiled), marine-grade carpeting, and vinyl upholstery, which unsurprisingly matches the polymer-ific '90s Ford dashboard.
It still has its boat horn and bell, but otherwise, it's mechanically a normal Ford E-series. The power steering still works, the radio still plays nothing but surf rock, and both the airbags and seatbelts for five occupants are still in place. In case not having any roof whatsoever doesn't keep you cool, the air conditioning still works, and the all-important headlights, taillights, and turn signals required for street legality are functional. The tires, brakes, and radiator have all recently been serviced or replaced, so despite this van/boat/thing's odometer reading 158,000 miles, it should have plenty of life left in it.
While the asking price of $55,000 (or whatever the winning bid may be when this thing hits Vicari Auction later this year) feels a bit steep for what amounts to a novelty, Mark Ray told The Drive that he primarily sells vehicles like these as toys or promotional vehicles to businesses, pointing out that it'd make a great way to advertise a marina or seafood restaurant. As such, if you're bellyaching about how a normal or even truck-converted E-350 with similar mileage costs a fraction as much, and how you can theoretically live out of one that hasn't been turned into a boat, do what the captain would call stowing it. After all, you could still live the #vanlife by pitching a tent on this vehicle's poop deck.
h/t: Ford Authority
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