Almost 4×4: 1973 Chevrolet G20 Camper Van

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Yearning to plunge into “van life” – with an Austin Powers twist? This might be the perfect vehicle, here on facebook Marketplace, a 1973 Chevrolet G20 camper van, listed for $27,900. Most of the work to convert it into a 4×4 has been completed; it still requires a transfer case and front driveshaft. Groovy, baby! This example is from the last generation of Chevy’s van, which began with that flat-faced, flat-four’d darling called the Greenbrier in 1961. By 1971, the van acquired a real snout, a real hood, and a real front-engine configuration. Manufactured as the G10, G20, and G30, defined by gross vehicle weight rating and each with a couple of wheelbase options and several engine options, the Chevy van achieved Practicality Nirvana. This one is well equipped as a camper, but others could be found working as ambulances, school buses, band transport, delivery vehicles, or in police departments – you name it. This van is in Miami, Florida, so think about a roundabout way to get home, and try out its camp equipment. We have Patrick S. to thank for this seventies-licious tip!

This van is equipped with the ubiquitous 350 cu. in. Chevy V8 and an automatic transmission. The odometer reads 74,000 miles but there’s no claim about original mileage; the van is said to drive smoothly after a recent service. The suspension has been lifted 4″ and the shocks are new (I hope so); the tires are described as “newer”. No shots of the underside or engine bay are included in the listing. The roof extension allows adults to stand upright in the main living area.

Like the burnt orange paint on the solid body, the tan plaid interior is in respectable condition. A few spots on the carpets, torn upholstery on the next-row seats, a couple of fitment issues particularly around the (working) air conditioner unit – mostly this interior has defied the van’s age. How potential buyers will feel about actually living in a used “home” while camping is a question mark. I could see that some folks might want a lower price, to accommodate a complete renovation. The folks who won’t care about “used” might not cotton to this price.

The van comes with a working stove, refrigerator, and sink that easily connect to a 110v plug and water hose at a typical campsite/RV park. It can sleep three to four adults in a fold-down arrangement in the main cabin and (the original) cots above. Investigating prices turned up this example with newer … everything that sold for just over $21k. As much a fan of original vintage vehicles as I am, I think our seller is posting an aggressive price; what do you think?

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Comments

  1. jageaterMember

    Michelle – outstanding write-up, as always. However, the Chev Greenbrier vans (and Rampside trucks) had a flat-six, not a flat-four, like all the Corvair derivatives, in fact, it was a Continental airplane engine.

    Like 8
  2. Jim Kennedy

    Michael Rand, the Greenbrier, as all Corvairs were flat 6 cylinder engines not 4.

    Like 3
  3. Big D

    $5k too high

    Like 6
  4. Michelle RandAuthor

    Thanks for the correction on the Greenbrier motor, sorry about that!

    Like 4
  5. Stan

    😎 Cool Van for the mountains 🎿 🏂 or the beach ⛱️ 🏄‍♀️

    Like 3
  6. Davey Boy

    Would be cool if it were actually four wheel drive. How much will it cost to finish it? I guess it comes down to how much do you like this particular one. Personally I feel it should be finished for this amount. Just my opinion.

    Like 12
  7. rustylink

    there might be a run on 4×4 RV’s after Burning Man this year!!!! Sell now!

    Like 9
    • Russell C

      Wasn’t there some old saying about 4×4 only means you just end up getting stuck much further away from paved roads?

      Like 13
    • Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

      Even the 4WD’s had a tough time at Burning Man!
      A neighbor took his MB GLC there with a golf cart on a trailer. When he and wife arrived after sundown they found the gate across the road so he went off-roading to go around it, promptly getting stuck in the muck up to the frame..more than 5 hours worth of digging and dragging got them got back on the road and a ticket for their impromptu foray.

      Like 2
      • RobM

        I saw a photo of a Jeep Wrangler buried up to its frame at BM. Once that mud dries into hardened concrete that Jeep will need an excavator to get it out.

        Like 1
  8. Scrapyard john

    If this van started life as a 2wd model…“Just needs a transfer case and front driveshaft” could be translated “has nothing installed for the 4wd to function other than the front axle” 😆.

    You’ll have to source the T case, remove the existing transmission, disassemble said transmission partially to remove existing tailshaft, install transfer case, and install (or have made) both front and rear driveshafts. Oh yeah, you’ll need to cut a hole in the floor and possibly fabricate the linkage a little for the transfer case shift lever….and there doesn’t look like a whole lot of room where said shift lever should be. This may be the reason all of this hasn’t been done already.

    Like 13
    • Hans H

      Could do a divorced transfer case. Common back in the 70s. Lots of work there. The TC lever will fit, many have been converted to 4×4.

      Like 2
    • nlpnt

      It’s a lot of work to make it 4WD and a lot of work to put it back to stock. Or you could just paint your show pumpkin orange to match the body and run it that way.

      Like 3
  9. Danno

    Those G10/20/30 vans are really nice designs, they make fine-looking campers with or without a lift kit.

    Like 3
    • EuromotoMember

      Book um’, Danno

      Like 1
  10. Philbo427

    I was digging’ the van pics the. I saw that AC window unit stuck in the rear window! 😆

    Like 4
  11. MoparMike

    I’ve never seen a cab ac setup like this before, on the back of the dog house with the evaporator on the floor between the seats.

    Like 2
  12. UDTFROG

    Ilke it, being a guy who may soon be homeless it sur appeals to me. . does it ‘DRIVE’ as is??

    Like 0

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