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Weird Advertising... 1951 Ford Panel Van "The Beast"

When it comes to locksmithing and advertising, by now you know that, my dad, Pete, the Lock Father, likes to keep it weird. And we've saved the best for last!

PJ: Dad, we evaluated your weird vehicles. This is the last, at least at the moment.

Pete: Yup. Of course.

PJ: He's looking for a new opportunity to get something weird, and out of them, this is the one that you've had the longest.

Pete: Yeah, this is a 1951 Ford Panel van. They're hard to find. I saw it sit and I said, “Man, that thing ever went up for sale, I want to buy it.” Sure enough, I saw it at the grocery store with a for sale sign.


PJ: You did. And that's how it came to be. Now, I remember as a kid being in this van all of the time.

Pete: Oh, yeah.




PJ: And there are pretty much two aspects to this vehicle. The first aspect is advertising. Right?

Pete: Yes.

PJ: And what type of stuff you'd like to use this for?

Pete: Well, I drive it around town. I do it for lockouts or quick rekeys; I put it in parades. Any car show where I'm able to get more advertisement. Everybody likes old cars and odd things. Well, I'm the odd guy.

PJ: Especially, driving around here in 2022. People will love to see you.

Pete: Oh. They go "Wow!". And some guys go. "Oh!" That's why you're a locksmith, you charge to that. That's why you have it. I said, ‘No, the only reason I can afford it is that I can ride it off.’



PJ: Okay, the jury's still out on that one. Everyone wants to be the judge. Now, aside from weird advertising and that stuff, my guess and to everyone who is watching, know that you also like to equip it to do work.

Pete: Absolutely.

PJ: And so, in the back, you have a little lock shop.

Pete: Yup.

PJ: To do basic work, lockouts, and rekeys.

Pete: I took mostly automotive keys, for rekeys and lockouts.

PJ: So, I have to ask, though, and I don't know the answer to this question. But I know that you have done quite a few lockouts in this. What in the world that people say when they're locked out of car, and you show up in this?

Pete: "Oh, man, that's cool. I wish I could drive one of those."

PJ: Yeah, very good. Now, show us everything. I think people would appreciate if you answer this question. “When you bought this van, did it look like this?”

Pete: Oh, no.

PJ: It didn't?

Pete: It took a lot of effort and money to put it the way it is.

PJ: Threw an effort.

Pete: Yup.

PJ: And a lot of people will notice that the dashes are blue when we show the inside. Was it because it was blue when you got it?

Pete: Right. And I didn't want to go to the expense. Everything's pretty much original, 1951; everything.

PJ: It is. Now, didn't you do something recently with airflow?

Pete: I finally got the heater. Got an old monster heater and then I got a reproduction '51 heater and I had a tube radio. One of the tubes went out and I couldn't find one so I spent $700 on it - AM, FM, Bluetooth, radio pretty much hooked up but I haven't finished it.


PJ: Okay. So, it's pretty much all original. I'm sure people will be asking what type of engines are in it.

Pete: Flathead six.

PJ: Flathead six and everything's on the tree, right?

Pete: Yep, three on the tree,

PJ: Which I had to remember when I just drove it to be here.

Pete: Right because of my shoulder. I can't get in and out of it right now.

PJ: Yeah. Very cool. Well, let's get everyone on the tour.

Pete: Okay.




It's pretty much original except for the seat. Those are Subaru seats. All the gauges work-radio, three on the tree. The old-fashioned turn signals. All you do is turn the key on and then you push the button, starter. Vacuum windshield wipers - not an electric vacuum. It runs off the engine and they were dying so I had those rebuilt and they work great. Dash, the heaters down below, the emergency brake, pretty basic, simple but it works out well. Be bopping down the road.



We have a toolbox and a cordless drill, miscellaneous parts, and key blanks. It took a lot of the foreign car out. I still have some hanging off, the GM Ford, house rekey locks, and pinning kits. Lockout tools underneath the door tool, if you're locked out of lever on a commercial. You can pick up, put it underneath the door, pull the wire, and it pulls down the lever. So, it's a pretty well-settled key machine. I wanted an old one so it looks more authentic to the year. And vice, you'll see an old credit card machine in there because that's how we used to do it. Now, we have a square so I should take it out, but it's what happens.


PJ: All right. Well, I tell you what ,Dad, it's a pretty cool vehicle. I like how you kept the old key machine in there. I think that's all fun until you have to cut keys on it.

Pete: Exactly. Got the lettering old through the 50s.

PJ: Yeah. I wonder though, with the key machine hooked up and people are going to ask you, do you have an inverter in there?

Pete: No, 12 volts.

PJ: Okay. Very good. Well, now lastly, we have to talk about one of the most important things. What's the name?

Pete: Well, you should know. You're the one who named it.

PJ: I do know.

Pete: He was 10 years old when I picked it up. It's called 'The Beast.' He goes, “Dad, this thing's a beast.” So I had stickers on the wing put The Beast.

PJ: The Beast. So now everybody knows about The Beast.

Pete: That's it.

PJ: And of course, we would love to know what you think in the comments. Make sure you include the #LockBoss to automatically get entered to win one of five free prizes we give away each week on YouTube. Thank you, and we’ll see you next time!

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