When you want to - or need to - really get away, there’s no better way than in a 4X4 Van. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Chevy Van pushes all the right buttons, but will its price, title, and - well, creep factor - doom it from the start?
The Bluesmobile was an old Dodge cop car, so how could yesterday’s 2004 Dodge Intrepid RT - which was claimed to be a police special - have given you the blues? Turns out it didn’t, and neither did its price, which was cheap by Intrepid standards, and at 70% a Nice Price for a cop car to boot. Despite all that I’m still pretty freaked out to discover that Dodge was still selling these in 2004.
You know what would freak me out even more? If some pimple-popping bedpost notcher arrived to take my daughter on a date in this 1965 Chevy Van 4x4, that’s what. Now, that probably has more to do with protective parenting and a general dislike of Axe cologne than the expected death and dismemberment clause of this Chevy’s title. I mean, to be assured there is a lot to like here. It’s just not son-in-law material.
What there is to like starts off with the fact that it’s a Chevy Van, fabled in song, hippie acid flashbacks, and... well, that’s about it. Arriving in 1964 to take the place of the Corvair Greenbrier (which BTW, is a name Chevy should bring back), the G-series “Chevy Van” was first and foremost a utilitarian, institutional ride. Common elements such as windows and side doors - and even a passenger seat - were boxes that savvy buyers needed to check off of the options sheet less they get something only a UPS driver would consider swagalicious.
The first model year offered a 153-CID four as its base engine, with a 90-horse six as the optional, getting-it-there-on-time upgrade. This ’65 eschews both of those factory options for a 327 V8 to take up residence in its doghouse.
Those eight cylinders are backed up by a Warner three-speed standard with a column shift, and damn straight the linkage for that is going to have more play in it than a kitten on crack. Behind all that is a home school 4x4 set up that looks to involve live axles on leaf springs supporting its 90-inch wheelbase.
The ad says that it was built that way in the ‘70s and was used at that time for desert driving - without the benefit of A/C. Maybe that was why it was parked for what the ad says was 20 years. Or maybe it was just too creepy. One bit of weirdness you might note here is that in the undercarriage pic there don’t seem to be any shocks in place in the back. Talk about your van a-rockin.’
The Van itself looks to be in pretty solid shape overall, although there isn’t a panel, door or bumper that doesn’t have some kind of ding, dent or off-colored remark on it. It’s jacked up and has some ghetto flares over its 235/75-15 Wranglers. For security lovers there’s only four-doors on the truck, the two in the front, and a pair of barns in the back. That’s right, there are no side doors or windows on the thing.
That makes the interior look like some sort of Resident Evil post-siren abattoir. There’s a steel floor, some wood on the walls where long ago panelling might have attached… and that’s pretty much it. Up front there’s a pair of chairs and then the flat as Kansas windshield. It’s simplicity exemplified.
The ad says that the Van comes with a PTO and that it is “groovy.” I don’t know about that, as I think you’d have a hard time getting Shaggy and Scoobie - much less Velma and Daphne - to ride in it. I wouldn’t even offer Fred the chance, as he’s a scarf-wearing freak.
You might have the chance to buy this wild Van, that is if its price and salvage title don’t kill your interest. We can’t do much about either of those, so we’ll just have to do our voting based on the fact that there’s a tainted title, and the Van’s $2,900 price.
What’s your take on this 4x4xVan for $2,900? Does that price make it a Van-go? Or, does that seem too much for the opportunity to be shunned by parents of young children everywhere?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.