At $9,800, Does This 1979 Dodge Tradesman Star Wars Tribute Van Light Your Saber?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Upon first seeing the Millennium Falcon, Princess Leia famously jabs Han Solo by mockingly asking “You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought.” Those sentiments could easily also apply to today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Star Wars tribute van. Let’s see how brave its seller is in setting its price.

Yesterday’s 1979 Chevy Corvette was a bit of a hot potato. The comments were full of people saying things like ‘it’s a good deal... but not for me,’ and ‘cheapest mid-life crisis car for those now entering their mid-life crisis.’ All those were astute observations, but the most important determination was in regards to the car’s $7,995 asking price. That proved to be more a keeper, with a solid 70 percent Nice Price win.

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I recently watched an older documentary on the making of the original Star Wars trilogy. The best part of the flick was seeing Carrie Fisher and hearing her humorous anecdotes on making the films. She was a treasure. It was also interesting to learn how little faith the studios and their heads had in what they saw as a minor and objectively weird ‘Science Movie.’ Only then Fox Pictures head, Alan Ladd Jr. saw potential in George Lucas’ vision. That foresight would eventually pay off enormously for the studio, and would continue doing so for decades to come.

A similar, albeit more personal payoff may be awaiting the buyer of this 1979 Dodge Tradesman, especially if he or she is a die-hard fan of Lucas’ beloved space epic. That’s because the van is emblazoned both outside and in with custom Star Wars pastiche. This isn’t some lame name-dropping tie-in package like Nissan’s ‘Rogue One’ Rogue; this is an all the way to the hilt, over the top, Star Wars nerdgasm of a custom.

Underneath the space opera appliqués sits a short wheelbase Tradesman. That means it was originally windowless in back and without the custom paintwork it would be nothing more than your average creeper van. Fortunately, as it presently sits, it exudes little sense of impending stranger danger.

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There are additional customizations to be had here, in addition to the Star Wars paint scheme. The tail hosts inverted Cadillac fin lights and above those sits a roof-mounted basket handle spoiler. The deep dish alloys have been pushed outward and are capped with wheel arch extensions to keep everything looking tidy.

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To make the most of the X-wing and stripe overlays, all of the door handles have been shaved off. This obviously requires remote poppers to open the doors but those seem to have gone missing as the seller claims he can only access the interior by reaching through an open window and popping the inside latch. That’s worse security than the Death Star and something a new owner should address without haste.

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A newish 318 sits under the stubby nose and that’s imbued with n even newer carburetor and battery. The van is claimed to run and drive but is in need of a thorough going over due to having been idle for several years.

The interior is awash in red velour and a Millennium Falcon area rug. I’d kind of prefer a Wookie-skin rug. There are three rows of seats but only one side window in the back so enjoy the prison bus experience, nerds. The vans presented sitting on a trailer which, like introducing an Olympic sprinter in a wheelchair, is not a vote of confidence.

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The seller describes the interior as fair and notes that the exterior suffers some minor rust, as well as cracking in the graphics on the hood due to sun bleaching. It should also be noted that this sale isn’t this van’s first Kessel Run. It was listed for sale back in 2017 where it appeared in similar shape, albeit not sitting on a trailer. Back then it was claimed to have non-functioning A/C and fridge and 90K on the clock. The current ad doesn’t list miles but it’s unlikely based on the description that many, if any, have been added in the ensuing years. The title however, is listed as clean and clear.

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In that earlier ad, the van was listed at $6,000. The present seller seemingly has been calculating for inflation as he’s asking a substantially higher $9,800. What we want to know is whether the force is with him at that price. What do you think, could this somewhat needy Star Wars van be worth that much? Or, is that price just too out of this world?

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You decide!

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Austin, TX Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to John Klier , Nathan Segrest, and aburneraccountuser for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.