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Bring Back the Custom Van!

Posted in Best of, Custom, Featured, News, Other Rides, Pop Culture, Rides, Vans by MrAngry | March 3rd, 2011 | 6 Responses |

Custom Vans

Back in the 1970’s there was this crazy trend to do up custom vans. They came shod with shag carpet, painted murals, full bars, comfy mattresses and of course the prerequisite side pipes. Some people looked at the van trend simply as creepy, but me, I actually dug it. Listen, there is nothing inherently cool about a bone stock cargo van, but dress it up a little and give it some creature comforts and well, that’s a different story. The custom vans of the 1970’s and early 1980’s went from mild to downright absurd. Thousands upon thousands of dollars were spent on customizing and like any custom project, they were never, ever done. Back then enthusiasts would hold “truck-ins” or “van-ins” to display their creations and let me tell you, the interiors were just as important as the exteriors.

Custom Vans

As we rolled into the mid-1980’s the custom van movement began to die out. Fuel prices had risen and those teenagers that were into rocking in the 1970’s were now growing up and getting respectable jobs (imagine that). Nowadays everyone out there is either restoring muscle cars or antique cars, but vans; not so much.

Custom Vans

Today were seeing “Respect the Van” and “Swagger Wagon” minivan commercials from the likes of Honda and Toyota. Let’s be honest though, while those are great, practical and reliable, they simply can’t hold a candle to the rockin’ boxes of yesteryear.

Long Live the Van.

Hat tip: DodgeCharger.com

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6 Responses

  1. Shorty Long Back* says:

    Please don’t bring back this trend… unless you plan on allowing a mullet come back as well!

    • al says:

      You’re a little confused. Mullets were mid 80’s – early 90’s. Vans were 70’s and hippies.

      Bring ‘em on!

  2. dave says:

    remember the days well i had a ford zefer custom car then chelsea bridge lol i just got a van and going to customize it tranny

  3. dodgsun says:

    i say “bring it on!”
    pity we dont have bigger vans like your 1st pic down under, but we make do!
    http://www.vanning.org.au/

  4. A. Penfield says:

    Vans are not gone. The blue maxi pictured just got the paint updated in the last couple of years. To see todays vans go to http://www.vannin.com or search Radical vans on facebook. Just because the magazines stopped covering them did not mean they went away. The 40th Van Nationals will be in Wisconsin this summer.

  5. Rich says:

    Always wanted a custom van but never had the money–still don’t but would love to do a 2012 version of the custom van with all the technicolgy of today in it. But no one makes the big van anymore so you would have to find the year that big vans were made or get one of the 70’s or 80’s vans and up date it, that I thing would be cool. Already know how I would do one, color, interrior, and the artwork for the outside. O well maybe someday we CAN BRING BACK THE CUSTOM VAN