CC Capsule: 1968-’70 GMC Van • Under the Sakura Rain


The cherry trees put on a spectacular show this year, making this old GMC van seem even battleship greyer than it is. Looks innocent enough, doesn’t it? It’s got some stories, though, I’m sure.

For much of April it rained cherry petals as the various species did their thing, one after another. This van is no curb monument; I see it in use often enough—it seems to run well—to have noticed its side marker lights are miswired.

Cragar S/S mags in appropriate condition to suit this van; finned brake drum, and an airplane-style pair of chocks. H’mm…something something parking broke something? Good ol’ BFGoodrich Radial T/As; let us hope they never go out of production.

It’s a boxy box on wheels, similar to the contemporary Fargo-Dodge A-100/A-108 and Mercury-Ford Econoline.

Not babied, but not abused, as it seems.

Hey, wow, those giant whip CB antennas, so long they had to be arched forward and lashed down with a clip to avoid unwanted friction at the entrance to a parkade or garage. Laurie’s ’71 Wagoneer had one.

It shouldn’t be possible for a sealed-beam headlamp to be cockeyed; in theory they only fit with the correct clocking. But old parts just sometimes don’t work together as intended; ask my spine. Maybe the chrome visors interfere? Eh. At least they’re not the unsafe eyelid type.

Oh, now here we go; there’s a pretty fair amount goin’ on here. The dashboard is covered in some kinda of phur—I don’t reckon the defogger works much, but there’s a later high-back bucket seat with one of those massage-ball drapes on it, and a club lock on the steering wheel: it gets driven at length, and the owner wants to keep it.

Good job there’s a guard dog on duty.

I’m not sure what the latter has to do with the former. Maybe this is a workaround for those I May Be Slow…But I’m In Front Of You decals being legal only for use on a VW Bus.