Did you know I love step vans? Are you surprised? I’m still waiting to find a really nice International Metro, my all-time favorite. But this version of the Chevy Step Van is also very nice, with its graceful, flowing front end. I was so sad when they went to the boxy, blocky version in the mid-’60s. Here’s one that CC Cohort Hugo90 posted to his own photostream, but not to the Cohort.
What instantly caught my eye was the windshield: it’s not original! There’s supposed to be a nicely rounded pane on each side; this one has three flat sections. And for that I know what to blame: the Ultra Van.
The Corvair-powered Ultra Van “borrowed” the windshield panes from this model of Chevy Step Van precisely because their very nice curves optimize aerodynamics. To accommodate the UV’s wider body, the two panes are cut a bit short and a middle section is grafted in.
The problem is that these windshields have long been out of production, and UV owners have scoured them from junkyards. Some of them have resorted to the same solution used by this Step Van owner: Make a new windshield from a number of flat panes. Here’s a piece on the UV’s windshield challenges.