Well, so much for the Broadberry. It was vaguely helpful to visit - I learned that the vehicle is a '77 Chevy with only about 40,000 miles on it - but they didn't seem to know anything else about it, really. I was hoping to learn about the A/C sticking up from the roof, and the vents in the sides, and other stuff about how they like running such an old vehicle. They guy just didn't seem to be that familiar with it.
They've had offers on it too, and apparently the figure to beat is $12,500; that's more than double my goal cost. That bowled me over a little, so I didn't even ask about how it's running or service history or a n y t h i n g :(
Now, I do have an option or two here. I can send him an email with some further questions, to figure out whether this is worth additional effort. If this vehicle is in great shape and I wouldn't have to do anything to it mechanically, I could still consider it. Even then, I would still have to look for outside funding help to stay within my budget. The question is whether this vehicle is any better than the other step vans I find on Craigslist. There are at least 10 in my price range within 200 miles. A Pros and Cons list is in order.
Another obvious step I should take asap is looking for possible funding sources. There might be some art grants floating around out there that could help me afford something over $5000. I'm also tentatively considering a Kickstarter campaign. This scares the poop out of me frankly, because I am self-conscious and don't approve of selfish Kickstarters, and because those campaigns are a LOT of work in and of themselves.
For now, tonight, I am going to start a spreadsheet with needs, wants, and costs that pertain to the vehicle and buildout. With that in hand I should be able to more realistically compare vehicles based on how much work they do or don't need.