Black Oil & Night Soil: Shag Carpet, Meet My Friend Wood Paneling

Upon arriving in Berkeley, California, December of 2000, I moved into a small house that my brother, Randy, had been living in on the cheap. Our landlord, Gene, was a junk man. He lived in the back among a dozen or so used cabs, sandwich bread, and mannequin limbs.  I needed transportation, so Randy struck up a deal with Gene and procured me a 1978 Chevrolet G30 full size van.  It was period custom, ran awful, but oozed 70’s sex appeal.  Deep carpeting, wood walls and first generation cassette technology, combined with yellow, orange and brown fat stripe exterior made for a hot California welcome wagon.  Randy was even genius enough to fill it with clear, inflatable PVC furniture.  Only one year later, but after countless hours of carburetor and vacuum line tinkering, my G30 fell victim to the heavy hand of CA smog laws.  Fortunately, I was able to barter a deal, right at the shop, for an even trade to a 1977 Toyota Corona.
In honor of that sweet California custom meat box, today we’re scanning the U.S. for custom vans.  In garages, under tarps, in the woods or still cruising the avenues, I know they are out there.  Give us what you’ve got America, let’s boogie!

Custom van, Ford
Roll On


  1. Ghost flames, Frazetta murals, and a breakfront worth of cabinetry.1979 Custom Dodge Van
  2. Lowrider may come with a shortened top, but you’ve got mirrors, and a wet bar to get you through.1974 Dodge Tradesman Van
  3. Shorty drag van longs to repave the streets in rubber.1968 Chevrolet 90
  4. Too Blue comes stacked with square headlights, spokes, scoop, endless carpeting and a painted brake booster.  1977 Ford Econoline
  5. The old west just pulled up, and it is loaded with a CB, two owls and mucho amounts of Pueblo print. 1977 Dodge D200
  6. Fat meats, shag walls, wood floors and a cot for long hauls.1973 Dodge Tradesman 100
  7. Oak barrel furniture. Enough said.1979 Dodge Tradesman
  8. Nothing’s deeper than cruising to the beach in a dungeon.1976 Dodge B200
  9. Shag walls, linoleum floors, chandelier, and diamond windows. Flower Power – get some !1974 Dodge B200
  10. Renault Estafette “Hi-Boy” blows all minds across the galaxy. 1960 Renault Estafette Hi-Boy

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11 responses to “Black Oil & Night Soil: Shag Carpet, Meet My Friend Wood Paneling”

  1. Batshitbox Avatar

    That Renault… I love a listing where every picture has some kind of tow strap, chain or other funicular assistance in evidence.
    Although, the Chevy 90 really takes that one step beyond… was the seller trying to show the “rust free” body & under carriage? Or posing a “Picture yourself on the 1/4 mile, wheels up and devil on your tail!” moment?

  2. JayP Avatar

    I would get so much tail in that Frazetta Dodge.

  3. memikeyounot Avatar

    I’m so glad that you didn’t have a picture of a ScoobyDoo mystery van. The few times I’ve seen the cartoon, the less I’ve liked it. Same goes for the 100’s of Mystery Van’s that show up. Usually really awful renditions.

    1. David Link Avatar
      David Link

      I have a strict, no Scooby rule that I stand by.

      1. Monkey10is Avatar

        Scooby Dooby Don’t!

        1. cap'n fast Avatar
          cap’n fast

          here in colorado it is scooby dooby do dodododododOOOOOOOooooo…….

  4. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    I would absolutely love to get back into a mid 70’s Dodge van again, but prices sadly seem to be going above my budget as of late. :/

  5. Elliott Avatar

    Does this count? It has wood paneling, carpet, AND a 340 c.i./727 auto powertrain!!

  6. flatlander Avatar

    Ill play long time lurker here . my latest purchase from two weeks ago . 1989 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 2.5 liter turbo auto trans long wheel base red cloth interior . It was modified as a lowered floor wheelchair accessible minivan in September of 1989. It has 39580 miles on the odometer. And rust free;) Think hotrod wheelchair van .

    1. cap'n fast Avatar
      cap’n fast

      you could name it “ironsides”

      1. Flatlander Avatar

        I was actually thinking either Puff the magic wagon or dragon wagon.

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