Someone really needs to do this generation of vans justice and write up a decent CC post about it all. And it ain’t gonna be me. Something in this Chevy Van just brought out the lazy in me, so I’ll spare myself the usual research and wordy write-up for the usual dozen kind CCommenters who still bother reacting. It’s just not worth the effort.
I don’t think GM put much effort in this G-Van design, either. I mean, they just kept making these for years with virtually no changes. I put 1985 as the model year, but that’s just a wild stab in the dark on my part – I’ve not been able to narrow it down beyond that decade, so I went for the middle.
I’m not saying that GM were necessarily wrong to keep yearly changes to a minimum. That’s how vehicles attain icon status, after all. Think Jeep Wagoneer, Chevy K5, Ford Crown Victoria… But I’m not sure the third generation (1971-96) G-Series Chevy Van is as iconic as all that – do they have fanatical following in their country of origin? I’m not getting that impression from the echoes of the worldwide web, or of the few CC posts featuring these.
Whoever bought this thing also did think it was worth much of anything. I mean, they put a few extras here and there. That side exhaust thing, horrid though it is, for instance. And new wheels, but somehow they cheaped out on the air for the tyres and left the whole thing gathering dust and rust under a house in Tokyo. Go figure.
Same deal inside: the OEM steering wheel, an aggressively ugly piece of black plastic, was replaced by something even worse. Why bother? Especially since we’re dealing with a completely base grade vehicle here, with window cranks and all.
So yeah, I’m not keen on the Chevy Van. It’s getting old, so it’s mildly interesting from a CC point of view. But it’s obviously not interesting enough for its owner to take care of it, nor to warrant a full history by folks who have first-hand knowledge and easy access to these, so I won’t bother too much about it myself. Besides, I caught a much more attractive American van the other day, so we can all look forward to reading about that sometime.
COAL: 1985 Chevrolet G20 Sportvan – Go West Young Man, In A $1 Van, by Nelson James
Cars of a Lifetime: 1986 Chevrolet 4×4 Van – Once We Were Lovers, by JunkHarvester
COAL: 1978 Chevrolet Van – The Iron Maiden, by Jim Grey