Vans and the Places They Were By Joe Stevens

Street Parked Classic Gypsy Van
Image Credit: Joe Stevens

Apparently we’re on a bit of a van kick. Let’s keep it a-rockin’. Having spent a decent portion of the 90s in a gray-on-gray (-on-gray) Ford Club Wagon, this particular Hoon laments the near extinction of the full-size van as a common family hauler. It’s like one day we woke up and wondered…where’d all the vans go? Paralleling the van’s path from norm to outsider status, film photography is almost gone.
Stevens has picked up on this with his film project:

Over the course of the project the vans themselves have become more and more of a rarity. The reasons are as simple as rust and changing tastes; and as complex as government “cash for clunkers” initiatives encouraging more fuel-efficient transportation. Notably, at the same time these vans have been disappearing from our roads – film photography as a visual medium has also begun it’s slow death. Consequently the goal of the project is to one day shoot the last remaining van on the final frame of photographic film in existence. Then the project will be finished.

We believe the appropriate response is to set up a mobile film developing lab in a van.
Head on over and check out the side-scrolling beauty: Vans and the Places They Were.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

  1. CptSevere Avatar

    Now, that's pretty cool. The black Ford with the bird window was the most evil. Sinister, indeed.
    As far as the photo lab in the back of the van is concerned, it's been done. When I was in the Utah National Guard, my outfit's Photo Section had its own photo studio set up in a custom camper body on the back of a Deuce and a Half. They could only develop black and white in there, but that was still quite the nifty setup.

  2. P161911 Avatar

    My neighbor just got a slightly used Ford E-350 15 passenger model. White with gray interior of course. He apparently needed something bigger than the Excursion for a family with 4 kids. He took out the last row of seats for cargo space.

  3. joshuman Avatar

    While I completely understand the proper application of the horizontal scroll on sites that feature mostly images it still takes me a few frustrating seconds to figure out where the rest of the images are. Hey, there's an Aerostar.

  4. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    Kinda makes me a little nostalgic for the Chevy van we had as a family mobile as a child. Cargo model, no rear seats, except the ones on skids that flew all over the cabin….

  5. Seth L Avatar
    Seth L

    Brilliant project and gallery.
    My grampa would buy a bare-bones econoline and customize it. Sell, and repeat. I've always wanted to do the same, but I'm afraid I'd get to attached.
    Anyone think the Transit Connect is going to get any traction in the custom van world? I like it, but it just doesn't have the presence of that the old boxes do.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      It depends on whether or not Ford decides to offer the Wizard Mural option.

  6. […] Read the original: Vans and the Places They Were By Joe Stevens : Hooniverse […]

  7. Impalamino Avatar

    Love me some full size vans. And on to my oft-repeated and infinitely boring van stories:
    1) Some of my earliest memories are of riding in the back of my cousin's conversion vans in the very early 80s. It had a table and a refrigerator in the back. It seemed enormous at the time. Later, their cat died in it and wasn't discovered for a week. The van was sold shortly thereafter.
    2) While working for my uncle in the late 90s, I performed mobile 12v work out of two Chevy Vans—a '78 "20" and an '86. The '78 was rusty to the core, but ran a rebuilt 350 and studded snow tires year round. Spark-throwing burnouts in a van with a giant company logo on the side? Yes.
    2a) I was borrowing the '86 (also with huge company logo) during a cold, cold winter while my Jeep was disabled. Because it takes FOREVER for a full-size cargo van to heat up, I occasionally donned a ski mask while driving. During one such occasion, I was going to visit a friend in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood—I noticed news vans, and later found out that a murder had occurred in the area. How did I find out? My irate uncle called me to ask why I was driving his van, wearing a ski mask, on the news, during coverage of a murder. Apparently the action shot of me driving through was irresistible to some programmer with a healthy sense of humor.
    3) My cousins (of dead cat fame) ran a nursery, and Dodge Tradesman vans were their main transport vehicles for Gladiolus (flowers). There is still at least one of them around, parked in a barn, totally pristine and rust-free. I want it so badly I can taste it.
    /End vangasm

  8. […] when two of them link to the same thing independently, I know it’s worth checking out. Both Hooniverse and Telstar Logistics discovered Vans and the Places They Were, the custom van photography of Joe […]

  9. […] when two of them link to the same thing independently, I know it’s worth checking out. Both Hooniverse and Telstar Logistics discovered Vans and the Places They Were, the custom van photography of Joe […]

  10. Susan Davis Avatar

    I just like following these stories. It just makes my afternoon.

  11. old vanner Avatar
    old vanner

    I've never given up on, just downsized from an Econoline to a Toyota Sienna minus the mandatory rear bed… our age we prefer a motel. Everything else got moved to the Toyota. After all, a true vanner never die, they just downsize!

%d bloggers like this: