Truck Thursday – A Duo of Chevrolet Chevy Van Diesels


Like two cargo ships passing amongst icebergs, these two Chevy Vans sat parked back-to-back on the parking lot on the other side of the street. Both just a little ratty around the edges by now, both powered by the 6.2-litre diesel V8, both probably driven to the moon and back, they were a step closer to Americana than anything else on the lot.


The first one, a 1992-registered, “Cobra”-outfitted van had the roof extended some way higher with a glassfibre top.


The windows cut to the sides were frankly huge, and it looks like it’s been built for as much sightseeing comfort as a custom van can.


The sturdy light bar should fend off larger animals, too.


I’m sure there’s a “Chevrolet Chevy Van” script or badge on every corner of the van.


The second van, a 1989-registered Starcraft, had a regular-height roof but sported the fender skirts as well. No light bar or auxiliary lights for this one, though.


Narrower windows, and more creeping rust. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these not ravaged by salt.



I totally love this image, plastered on both sides of the Starcraft. This is exactly what these vans are about here; to get the feeling of open prairie on the other side of the world. The wagon on the illustration seemed a really crude later add-on, but that’s not too important.

I took these at 3pm and three hours later stepped outside, only to be greeted by the sight of a third one. It must be Chevy Van Wednesday here.

[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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16 responses to “Truck Thursday – A Duo of Chevrolet Chevy Van Diesels”

  1. dukeisduke Avatar

    I wonder what's up with the added-on front turn signals? In both cases the front valance under the grille looks non-stock, with surface-mounted signals. The turn signals should be housed within the grille, next to the lower headlamps:
    <img src="–_01-17-2011.jpg/640px-Chevrolet_Beauville_–_01-17-2011.jpg"&gt;

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      Not sure about Finland, but in the UK a lot of US import vehicles require additional amber direction indicators be added for legal registration.
      I followed a Sedan DeVille not too long ago and was saddened to see an amber indicator lamp on each side astern which flashed rather than the whole taillamp flashing. We wouldn't be allowed sequential lamps a la Thunderbird, either.

    2. OA5599 Avatar

      It probably has something to do with the fact that the vans were engineered to comply with DOT standards, but they are now registered where different lighting regulations are in effect. Note also the lights on the back bumpers of both vans.
      I found it interesting that a G20 should have a towing capacity of a couple of tons, but this is one of the first times I can remember Antti featuring a vehicle without a trailer hitch.

  2. muthalovin Avatar

    Probably was a Wagon Wednesday party.
    Also, you call that a mural?!?! Psssshtt.

    1. Alcology Avatar

      The artist died of dysentery shortly after adding the wagon.

  3. Irishzombieman Avatar

    Been thinking lately about how nice a van would be. I could leave my fishing and camping gear in it all the time, leave the canoe strapped to the roof, take off into the wild with just a stop for beer and food and no annoying packing up or forgetting crucial stuff.

    1. boxdin Avatar

      Exactly ! Bought a new Dodge van in 73, opened a van store, had a wonderful time for 20 yrs.
      Still a vanner for the exact reasons you cite.

  4. POLAЯ Avatar

    Vin here! Somebody call me? Oh, Van again huh? I wanna meet this Van Diesel
    <img src=""&gt;
    He's ruining my film career!

  5. MVEilenstein Avatar

    Until you've seen America from the back seat of a conversion van, you haven't lived. Those low cut windows are perfect for sightseeing.

  6. wisc47 Avatar

    I remember my first big family vacation, we drove from Wisconsin to South Carolina in a Chevy Conversion van. About three quarters of the way there the thing broke down and we rented a Windstar, then had to pick up our repaired van on the way back home. I also remember a road not far from our house where my parents would let me and my sisters unbuckle our seat belts, and my dad would drive over the railroad tracks as fast as he could so we could bounce out of our seats. It was a different time, the 90's. Anyways, not long after our trip, we ended up selling it and I was begging my parents not to. I think I was about 3 or 4 at the time. I had a lot of good times in that old van.

  7. CherokeeOwner Avatar

    In light of the release of the Ram ProMaster vans here in the US, this post leads me to ask:
    Who else saw the pics of the ProMaster and started thinking up what they'd want in a conversion van of it?

    1. julkinen Avatar

      Europe is full of kitted-out Ducatos.

      1. TurboBrick Avatar

        My family had a small Solifer RV that was built on a Ducato chassis, long time ago. I remember diesel being about 2,22mk per liter at the time.

    2. boxdin Avatar

      Me Too I'm wondering if the new Ford Transit and the two new Fiats are going to spur new interest in van camping?

  8. salguod Avatar

    That Cobra is very typical of conversion vans that were very popular in the late 80's and early 90's, so named because they started out as plain cargo vans that were converted to passenger vans. Later, the manufacturers started making conversion specials made to be converted so they had more amenities than your typical cargo van.
    The big windows were ubiquitous as were the tape stripes. The interiors were very cheap, usually the seats were falling apart within a few years. You could pick up a conversion van with those windows, plush swivel bucket seats, the raised roof and all those stripes for about the same money as a standard minivan. That made you wonder about the quality of all that extra stuff they put in there if the price was so low. Poorly made, crappy driving and very thirsty, it's no wonder there aren't as many around these days.
    We had a conversion van of a different style before they were cool. It was a 1974 Dodge MaxiVan with a camper conversion by TEC with the pop top and everything. It was a beast, built on a 1 ton chassis and a mile and a half long. It was so noisy Mom and Dad hand to practically yell at each other on trips to have a conversation.

  9. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    Still see these nearly every day. Mostly Starcraft conversions, but i did see a Chevy Sport Van a couple of weeks ago.
    Here's Peer Günt with a song about Chevy Vans, Trans Ams and backseats.
    [youtube 6BGW8_8DByk youtube]