NEBRASKA CITY – Mark and Jeannie Lant are among 35 percent of all Americans taking the “old school” family road trip of 50 miles or more this summer, but they will be traveling in style reminiscent of National Lampoon’s Family Vacation.
About a month ago, a conversation turned to the Griswold’s family vacation and Lant concluded they would need a station wagon to serve as the family truckster.
Lant: “That’s when the search began, and, well, the Lord had one for us. I found it in Brock, Neb., and brought it home on a trailer. It didn’t run, so we’ve pretty much been working on the car for a month straight. We’re going to find out if it’s road worthy today, so I’d appreciate everyone’s prayers.”
Lant had to drop the gas tank to install a new fuel pump and replaced each of the window motors. When he added brake fluid it sprang so many leaks, Lant had to replace all brake lines.
The car mimics the Griswolds with suitcases on the top, but features Lant modifications of a dinosaur on the luggage rack and spray foam pouring out of the rear side panel in memory of Marks’ father, John, who he calls the spray foam king.
Lant: “If you’ve watched the movie, you know what their car went through, so, we’ve got some of the writing on back of the car, just like it would’ve been in the movie. She sounds good going down the road and we’re just really looking forward to making some memories.”
Rather than Wally World, they’ll be traveling to Estes Park. Lant said it’s going to be family fun no matter what the moose says.