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Custom Shorty Van: 1974 Chevrolet G10

There’s no denying that old-school vans are the top bananas of the period-cool vehicle food chain. You can readily identify makes and models that capture an era fairly accurately, but a short-wheelbase custom G10 van is the ultimate manifestation of the era in which it was made. This one is the desirable “shorty” specification but it also wears a wicked paint job, custom wheels, side-exit exhaust, and an interior that makes you wish you still had long hair and bell bottoms. The Chevrolet is listed here on eBay with a numbers-matching engine and transmission and bids to $6,600 with the reserve unmet.

Does it get any better than this paint job? I’m a sucker for orange as it is, but it looks even more killer with that lightly patina’d gold decal stripe. The Chevy features the same large rectangular window on both sides of the rear quarter, while the middle window is different, likely owing to its placement on the sliding door. This G10 is also from an era before the ugly “park bench” bumpers became a standard feature in the interest of safety concerns. These slim chrome bumpers really make this van stand out, and both bumpers appear to be in excellent condition. The chrome pairs nicely with the polished centers of the aftermarket wheels and the side-exist mufflers.

It always amazes me how many of these vans were built in the 1970s and still survive in the same condition today. These were party machines on wheels and used to go on road trips from coast to coast, so you’d think they would all show up with absolutely trashed interiors. The interior really is in outstanding condition, with full carpeting, a rear couch, and a solitary bucket seat in the middle tow. That seat is somewhat odd, and I’d toss that in favor of a small kitchenette with a sink and stove. The wood paneling on the walls is a nice touch and adds some warmth to the interior. The seller states this is original paint and the color inside the door jambs and on the floors certainly seems to match.

I don’t think that couch folds down or otherwise adjusts but it looks plenty spacious. The one thing that’s missing? Curtains on the windows! There’s also no mood lighting as far as I can tell, so there are some easy upgrades for the next owner to make. The seller confirms the only item not working is the radio, and that the G10 benefits from new tires, new fluids, and a new battery. There’s always a market for custom vans, especially those in short-wheelbase form like this one. The original details and perfect patina make this Chevy a standout, and while I want everyone to go home happy, I do believe this G10 deserves to beat its current reserve price – so hopefully, a higher bid comes in soon.

Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    Too bad that someone added the side windows.
    These look so much better without them.

    Like 14
    • Cadmanls Member

      It’s a conversion van, that’s why the windows were installed. Had a couple of them, only way to move a family of six comfortably. Had a couple of Chevys and a Dodge.

      Like 5
    • Jack M.

      Passengers tend to get carsick without any windows. If it was a boogie van like this, you could lose the windows.
      https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/7567710739.html

      Like 4
  2. CCFisher

    The windows were likely added long after the van was customized. Otherwise, they would have been better integrated with the graphics. I also believe the interior was heavily modified from the original customization. These vans typically had shag carpeting, plush velour seats, speakers, and a table of some sort. This was probably a pretty cool ride in its “day two” form. As it is, it’s just an old van, and not a particularly useful one.

    Like 9
    • nlpnt

      It’s possible that the earlier custom interior was either trashed or failed a blacklight test.

      Like 7
  3. Mike B

    I see why you dig it Jeff. The coolest van my teenage eyes saw was a black I don’t remember what with the Boston album cover (the spaceship guitar), uninterrupted by side windows. I guess it was more than a feeling.

    Like 7
  4. Maggy

    All it needs is a poster of Spicoli and Mr. Hand.

    Like 2
  5. Chris

    That looks an awful lot like s good friend of mine cousins van. He used to tow a big old sea swirl boat with it to the delta and kake barriessa. Super cool.

    Like 2
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Time for a remedial English & spelling class.

      Like 4
  6. Chris Cornetto

    I never paid much attention to these. They were everywhere. Out of high school in the early 80s these were still super popular. I worked in a junkyard and many a Vista Cruiser gave its roof to one of these vans. I often wonder if any of those Vista roof vans survives today. In 2002 I worked for a towing company and towed a 77 Nomad away for scrap. It’s brakes had failed,(rusty lines) the van came from California originally to the east coast and then towed a horse trailer. The unit was in superb shape for its age the 400 ran super nice. I thought it terrible to just take it to to the shredder. I gave the company the 100.00 bucks scrap price for it and it remains with me today. A two tone brown and tan lots of real and fake wood, tilt wheel, orange plaid and tan appointments. I love the darned thing. Big chrome grille, goes anywhere at 11 miles to a gallon. Some kind of of aluminum wheels that really period the unit. A disco ball hanging from the mirror and an 8 track player. Let’s not forget a lets boogie tag frame. Good to see these, not everything needs to be a muscle thing to be cool.

    Like 9
  7. Shuttle Guy Shuttle Guy Member

    I’m in love!

    Like 1

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