CC Outtake: GMC Vandura “High-Roof” Van – I Found The Perfect Vehicle To Take To Europe

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The problem with traveling to Europe is that it’s expensive. Ever since that splendid green ’72 LTD from Eugene got sold off to Germany for big bucks, I’ve been thinking that the way to finance this trip is to profit from the insatiable demand the Europeans have for our CCs. So I’ve been looking to find just the right vehicle to take with us, to use there for our travels as well as to live in, saving the ridiculous amounts that hotels and rental cars go, never mind the tourist-trap restaurants that serve micro-waved frozen meals.

I almost gave up; then at the Whitaker Block Party this past Saturday, I ran into this van and had an Eureka! moment. This is what those Krauts really want, and will gladly pay big bucks for: a genuine vintage Eugene-mobile! And it’s perfect for our travels and lodgings, although we may want to skip the Stelvio Pass.

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And I may want to keep my speed down a bit on the autobahn, considering that overhanging corrugated steel roofing. I was able to talk the less-than-sober owner out of it for $900, and found a hell of a deal on a fast express freighter out of Seattle that’s taking the polar route now that the ice cap is history.

I had been thinking of buying one of the many hippie buses around, but then I realized that in Europe a regular driver’s license won’t let one drive a 40′ bus.  Too bad, because I was really looking forward to the fresh eggs from the chicken coop on the roof.  And I’m not so sure how well the chickens would have fared on the arctic ocean voyage. So this is the next best thing, and it’ll be much easier on gas too. Unfortunately it’s not a 6.2 GM diesel V8, otherwise we’d be running it on old cooking oil. I’m sure there’s plenty to be had over there for the asking.

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The Germans discovered Oregon some years back, and it’s become a hot destination, especially the coast. They like to rent big motorcycles and ride down the coast on 101. Where in Europe can you find virgin old-growth forests, mountain trails with no one on them, deserted beaches and a coastline that is so pristine and undeveloped? And is so uncrowded? Gee; do I really want to even go? Well, they’re going to go bonkers over this Oregon-themed van.

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And we’ll enjoy the view of the Alps through its ample front windshield, although that overhang is going to cut off the view of the mountain tops some.

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And Stephanie is so excited about the cooking facilities, which includes a tiny wood-burning stove for cooking homemade meals and heating our bath water. We’re going to stock it up with grains, brown rice, dried beans and other staples, so we won’t have to buy hardly any food in those overpriced little shops over there.

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So how much can we get for this rig in Germany after our trip is over? $15,000? Why not? Someone over there probably paid close to that for that ’72 LTD . This handcrafted-in-Oregon van is a one-of a kind, a slice of hippie-Americana much rarer than that Ford brougham. The way I see it, we’re not just going to cover our airfare with this; we’re going to come home with suitcases full of cash. What could go wrong?