I shoot vintage vans, especially old camper vans, for obvious reasons. This extended length Maxivan with a high roof is as close as it gets to my ProMaster in configuration. Maybe I should have just looked for one of these?
No thanks; I’m too spoiled by the way the ProMaster runs. But let’s take a look at this ancestor.
I’m struggling to make sense of the faded lettering. I get the “VAN” and “CRAFT” part, but how does the “I” fit into its name? It’s a local product, which is not surprising. There were a number of RV companies based in Oregon, and nearby Junction City was once a hub for several manufacturers in more recent years, but the last great recession wiped them out. Now the industry is almost totally clustered around Elkhart, IN.
Ah yes, this looks familiar, having spent some 25k miles in our ’77 Dodge Chinook. The steering wheel is a bit different; maybe this is a ’76. I do not miss that giant, hot, noisy engine dog house. The Promaster’s little V6 is completely out of sight in front of and below the high cabin, with a flat floor from door to door.
What’s a bit surprising is that this is a B200, not a proper 3/4 ton B300. It’s got the five lug wheels to prove it. Seems like it would easily be pushing its rated capacity with full fluids and gear and a case or two of beer or wine.
Speaking of, this wheel style is what led me to say that that Dodge pickup we looked at the other day had factory 16″ wheels, as they are very similar in appearance and both have that distinctly small ridge and nubs to attach the little Mopar dog dish hubcaps.
The Dodge vans were hugely popular for conversions, and the extended length Maxivan was in a league of its own. And their basic ruggedness means there’s still a few around.
As in another one right across the street. But that’s a shorty, and a whole different type of conversion van. We’ll look at it another day.