Cheap Conversion Van: 1974 Chevy G10

This 1974 Chevrolet G10 is a desirable short wheelbase, half-ton conversion van with the 350 V8 engine and a camp-ready interior. The van was modified by a company called Contempo in 1974, and retains badges from that vendor identifying the conversion work as their own. The van is a project but one that looks entirely worthy of bringing back, especially with an interior that has survived surprisingly well despite its time off the road. Find it here on eBay where the auction ends tonight and bidding is at $5,100 with no reserve.

Like almost every conversion van from the 1970s, shag carpeting runs rampant on the insides. That’s OK, especially when it’s as clean as this one. I’m very impressed by how clean this cabin remains despite the exterior looking fairly tired and the van not seeing much use in the past few years. Curtains remain hung on the window and not in tatters, and the fake wood paneling looks fairly clean and professionally installed. Even if you don’t love shag carpeting, I could live with this for a few years as it still looks downright presentable.

The seller notes that the conversion includes a sink and mini-fridge, along with exterior hook-ups for power. This appears, all in all, to be a fairly well-executed conversion with everything you need to go camping (aside from bathroom and shower equipment). From a restoration standpoint, the seller notes that the van will need a full going-over, from fresh fluids to a tune-up, as it hasn’t been touched mechanically. The lack of rust is a major selling point, and makes the prospect of a mechanical overhaul seem more reasonable.

While I don’t have actual production numbers, I have to at least agree with the seller that I don’t see very many short wheelbase camper conversions. I also dig the fact that the van looks completely stock on the outside, and that you wouldn’t know a shag paradise awaits until you open the door. That single-stage paint will likely bounce back with ease, and I really can’t see anything worth changing on the outside as it currently sits. Tackle the mechanical bits and go camping is the approach I’d take; what about you?


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    “And it has the original carpet” gag puke

    Like 7
  2. tommerp

    Paint it white and start trolling the local neighborhoods!

    Like 3
  3. AF

    Make “Wild Cherry” tribute..Google “Wild Cherry Van”

    Like 1
    • RTS

      Great idea if that’s what you want. The difference is this van will be obtained legally unlike the actual Wild Cherry van which was stolen and rebuilt.

      Like 4
  4. canadainmarkseh Member

    Nice honest looking van I’d replace the shag on roof and walls with tung and grove cedar strips, as for the floor I put In a nice closed loop carpet in a charcoal grey. I’d repaint the outside in a nice cheery red. Because its a short wheel base it’s really only any good for two people so not something that I’d want right now.

    Like 3
  5. Bear

    “…shag paradise…”
    LMAO!! :-P

    Like 1
  6. Ken Cwrney

    Nice to see one of these vans that isn’t
    trashed inside. After so many years, all
    that fancy carpet wears out or gets so
    dirty that it has to be pitched. After that,
    it’s all downhill from there. By the time
    these vans are scrapped, all the things
    that made them unique are long gone
    and all you have left is a tired empty
    box with no life left in it. As for this van,
    freshen the mechanicals, change the
    fluids, and motor off to your favorite
    camping spot. Oh yeah, don’t forget a
    roof mounted solar panel for power when
    you need it. I actually do recall people
    living in these things but I wouldn’t do it.
    I like my A/C and internet too much to
    try it. Maybe one of those van dwellers
    on YouTube might buy it and tell us what
    it’s like to live in a van. Hey guys, does
    anyone else hear that song Chevy van
    other than me?

    • PatrickM

      i like my creature comforts, too.

  7. James Martin

    And that’s alright to me. Look a tiny house with a motor

  8. chrlsful

    mine wuz 6 yrs older w/the motor brwn the seats. Very sleeperish (in that industrial blue, no windows) except for vent roof. Lived in it & used for hire.
    One job – move a couple frm Stowe (ski center) back in the mtns to Martha’s Vineyard (out on a beech island). It wuz winter, I had bald summer tires (19 y/o at the time). We packed that thing like a brick wall against a brick wall against (nice’n tight, all near equal sz boxes). Wife hada sit on the motor we had so lill room left (some kinda i6 ).
    Course it snowed during the trip. We made it in abt 8 hrs despite the sno, even gettin on the ferry in time (usually 6, 6.5 hrs). Didn’t unload till nxt am, kinda tired. Now it’s legal here I can say: “I think the joints were what fueled the rather greuling trip” (couldn’t see but a few ft in frnt of that big pic window of a windshield the whole time). Safe 1 more time… (kids! sheesh!)

  9. Hollywood Collier

    I think it is way cool. I had the same year sky blue short wheel base. Mine was a 6 cyl….3 on tree….with split manifolds ….and side pipes. Built by Outlaw Vans in Metropolis Ill. I got it used and drove that thing for years until I got married to the girl that I dated in it. She said time to sell the rolling motel room. Of course it had Rocket mag wheels and the mandatory N50 Fat rear tires at the time. This van brings back ALL good memories and a more simple time. Thanks Barn Finds for what Yall do. And Merry Christmas to all from Kentucky.

  10. Maverick

    Watch were you park
    The cherry van was stolen

    Like 2
  11. Anthony

    I’d update the interior, even model a corner to make a small toilet/shower area, and rebuild and give it a bit more power as a sleeper, as well as add solar and Wi-Fi with a small generator to bring it up to current work, but I’d leave the outside as is and tour the country.

  12. Chris M.

    The horrors that lie beneath…the horrors…

  13. PatrickM

    BTW, where is it?

  14. Ed Branco

    Don’t know if this is available
    I’m interested
    I had one identical to it in 1980
    Only difference it was orange

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