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.
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.
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