CC Outtake: Chevy Van 30 Mongrel

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A mongrel is a plant or animal produced by the interbreeding of at least two different breeds; the product of mixed or undetermined origins. Although the term is applied mostly to dogs, I’d say it also works quite well for this Chevrolet van/truck mash-up.

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It’s hard to say whether this thing started life as a van or a truck. The badge says Chevy Van 30–the heavy-duty one-ton variant in the G-series van lineup–which had eight lug wheels and beefier suspension. It’s difficult to say how much of that remains since the G-series is unibody, while this particular van/truck (or vruck) has a full frame.

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Another possibility is that it started life as a cab chassis–perhaps a motor home or cube van. However, the rear of the cab casts doubt on this theory, as it’s obvious that a stock 1973-1977 van body has been radically shortened to create the cab. The side marker remains, as do the tail light extrusions. The rear doors have been welded shut, leaving it with a ’63 Corvette-inspired split-window treatment.

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Around back, we can see that the box is sourced from a 1990s dually pickup. Could it also be the source of the frame and running gear? Possibly, but note the addition of a chrome gas cap on top of the fender flare. One has to wonder if the bed was adapted to the frame, and thus the gas tank is not where you’d expect to find the stock version. Do I see the remains of a GMC script on the tailgate, making this not only a van/truck hybrid but also a Chevy/GMC mix?

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I missed the owner just as I was leaving, so the origin of this mongrel shall remain a mystery. It is undoubtedly an extremely useful workhorse, and likely a very effective tow vehicle. The van nose would give it a lower overall length versus a traditional pickup truck dually (thus increasing maneuverability), and the higher cab would allow a commanding view of the road. And a CC bonus: this Volkswagen Cabrio had taken up residence in the adjacent spot.