It’s a historical truth that the label “Made in America” carries a lot of weight internationally. It implies a product that has been built the American way: meticulously researched, carefully built, and produced by a company that will stand by it’s product.
That’s why in Holland, Mario Van Maldegem is so proud to show off his collection of American made vehicles. “I love American machines,” said Mario during a phone interview. “I’ve got Fords and Cadillacs, including a Lincoln and a Coupe Deville.” An item of his collection he finds himself particularly proud of is a 70’s era Ford F350 Ranger. What makes this truck particularly special is the custom Douglass Truck Body, which was manufactured right in Bakersfield, CA.
Mario’s two passions are restoring old vehicles, and collecting fine American products. His garage is a testament of his love for US culture, with multiple American flags proudly displayed, and symbols of Americana, such as old street signs and logos from US companies decorate the walls. It was here that Mario took on the job of restoring his Douglass bed. Mario has restored the original cream-colored paint job and black finished paddle latches. He’s replaced the original decals that were added to the truck when it was originally operated by Cowboy Auto Services of Houston Texas, including Lucas, STP,and Snap-On stickers.
With the finishing touch of some new Douglass Truck Bodies mud flaps, Mario’s project is now complete. “I don’t plan on working out of it,” said Mario. “This truck is going to be entered into shows now!”
So when you’re putting together your next Douglass service body, you’re not just getting one of the finest and rugged bodies on the market. You’re designing the next piece of an American history that stretches back to 1958.”A dealer here in Holland imported it from the United States,” Mario explained. The dealer acquired it from a third party that specialized in bringing American vehicles to sell in Europe.