Incidentally, while the van doesn't look like much on the outside, internally it's in much better shape than you'd expect a vehicle with 280,000 miles to be, with a relatively new engine and transmission. I've been less likely to spend money on cosmetic improvements like repainting and reupholstering, concentrating my resources on things that keep the van rolling.
I'm glad I used the "To me, gas is only $2.70/gallon!" line. Sugarman used it as a "hook," as I'd hoped he might.