One of my favorite parts of having worked in the automotive aftermarket world for a little bit was attending car shows. My favorite was the GoodGuys’ show in Scottsdale because I was in Arizona in November instead of the Midwest in the beginnings of winter. Not enough vans though. So my second favorite was attending the All Truck Nationals in Carlisle, PA.
This show had every type of pickup truck and SUV that you could imagine. There was an entire row of GMC Syclones and Typhoons. I had a thing for the Typhoon for a while after that but never bought one. In a loud corner of the show was the van display. Loud is a relative term at an auto show, but the van corner always stood out.
This group of 1970s & 80s Ford, Chevy, & Dodge vans were “interesting.” The owners all appeared to have really enjoyed the 60s & 70s. They were very friendly and all of the vans were themed. Wizards, wolves, Neptune, & one that was “Luck of the Irish” were all on display. It was a great display of vans, but at the same time, I could definitely catch Hepatitis hanging around there.
There is something about a van that has always appealed to me. My dream overland build would allow me to wake up and get from my bed to the driver’s seat without having to go outside. That’s the dream.
Van life has not really changed in recent years. The overland hipster #vanlife community has embraced the van for the same reasons that people did in the 70s & 80s: self-contained travel. A van can do almost anything, but also bring all of your stuff with you. Quigley, U-joint Offroad, Sportsmobile, Van Do It, and any number of outfitters have risen to prominence recently for camper vans.
Here’s a trailer for Vannin’: A Documentary, currently available on Amazon Prime Video.
Become their king
The only way you could up the amazingness of these vans is to add an axle. This 1980 Dodge Six Wheel Van is available currently in Hermosa Beach. The seller will NOT respond to email, only phone calls. OK, Boomer.
There is not a lot of information in the ad and since the seller won’t respond to emails, we don’t know a lot about this vehicle. The interior is brownish velour on the seats. The headboard looks like acoustic sound tiles. Gray carpet looks like it has been added recently.
The outside of the van looks black but could be dark, dark brown. Orange, yellow, and maroon stripes wrap around the whole van. There appears to be a stained glass porthole on the driver’s side. The rear windows are covered in louvers, very 80s.
There doesn’t appear to be an additional driveshaft to the second rear axle.
It’s a pretty sweet van. The $12,000 price tag is pretty steep.
Need more? Check this one out. I still want a van. However, it will have to be a vehicle purchase for the future. Maybe my retirement home.