Ex SWAT Van: 1963 Grumman Olson Kurbside

“Honey, I’m going to take the SWAT van down to the store to get some groceries.” The more I look at this one the more I want it. This is a Grumman Olson Kurbvan former SWAT vehicle and it can be found here on eBay in Pueblo, Colorado. There is an unmet opening bid of $2,500, or what my wife spends on shoes every year. This is a no-brainer.

Like most of us, I’ve had a fair amount of vehicles in my lifetime. Some of you have had several times more than I have but I’ve had a pretty wide variety of them. One of my favorites was an 1970 Chevrolet-powered stepvan, I believe a P-10, a shorty ex-laundry van and it was great. It had a single pedestal seat and a lap belt and you could drive with the sliding door open and it was so dangerous and cool. It looked exactly like this one other than the red wheels and white walls.

The seller says that this is a former special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team van and there are some markings on it to verify that. Being an aluminum van body, there is no rust, of course, and being in that area of Colorado, the underside and frame and everything else should be fairly solid. I don’t believe that they use salt on the roads there, can anyone verify that? And, if that’s true, can anyone who lives there put me up for the next few decades? After 56 years of salty roads and rusty vehicles, I’m ready for a change.

It’s dirty but fairly good looking inside. I think that my Chevy stepvan had a radio and I also had a bed in the back, as in a full box spring and mattress, and some lights on the ceiling and other band-era accouterments… It really was a fun vehicle to drive with the driver’s door slid open. This is a longer van so it would have been even better for carrying band equipment in the back. Or, explosives, if I were a SWAT team member. It has motorcycle hauler written all over if for me, with a bunk bed on one side, that would be great.

The seller says that their mechanic told them that this is a Ford inline-six of some sort from the 1990s and it isn’t the original engine. They also don’t know if it even fires or not. This would be a fairly big project given the unknown condition of the underside or any of the mechanical systems. And, it needs front glass and some curved glass, and a grille, and and and… And then, what would a person use it for?


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  1. Don H

    Looks like an old UPS truck🚚

    Like 4
    • Mike P

      UPS had some that looked a lot like this when I started in ‘83, we called them bread trucks.

      Like 1
  2. George Mills

    Immediately one of my childhood favs come to mind:

    Like 2
    • Dave

      I thought exactly the same thing! Thankfully there are radio stations near Pittsburgh that play this song along with other great hits of the last 60 years.

      Like 2
  3. Keith

    Here’s a future party barge for the Daytona 500!

    Like 4
  4. Keith

    Better yet another Cheech & Chong Up in Smoke Van!…..LOL!

    Like 5
    • Poncho

      Or perhaps the Dog Mutts Cuts Van from “Dumb and Dumber.”

      Like 3
  5. Wayne

    Defiantly a Ford, but not from the ’90s. It has a Ford steering wheel also, so I would say this is a Ford chassis not a an old “P” series GM. (Which GM sold to Workhorse back in about 2000.) This is a 240 or 300 Ford 6 cyl. If the engine is from a newer Ford, it could be a 300 with the original 240 manifolds and carb. As they would bolt up. However, EFI was the best thing to ever happen to the 300 6 cyl. So I would upgrade to that spec. and get some more MPG and HP. (This I would do if i was not able to locate a donor Dodge truck for it’s diesel engine.) The replacement windshield may be a problem. Grumman Olson built many of these, so some glass company would hopefully have them. If not, Grumman Olson has been out of business now for a few years. So it could be a problem.
    I would use it to tow the car trailer. Install a couple of fold down “bunk” style beds, a large shower, fold down table and a small sink. And make a bracket on the back of the van to hold a BBQ grille. Add an awning and now you would be ready to spend the weekend at the track.

    Like 3
    • Porkchop

      You already know the engine isn’t early 60’s.. the carb is one the wrong side :)

  6. Mark_K Member

    You are correct. Colorado uses magnesium chloride instead of salt. Rust isn’t a big problem here, but chrome wheels fear winter since the mag chloride has been know to screw up nice chrome wheels.

    Like 3
  7. Todd Fitch Staff

    Doooood; did I leave my comb in your SWAT van? Within 24 hours of buying this vehicle I would recreate this scene as accurately as possible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Atks5rRqQkg The possibilities are endless. Thanks, Scotty!

    Like 1
  8. Porkchop

    I own a ’56 that I paid $3000 last year in slightly better condition. He is starting bidding near the value ;-)

  9. schooner

    Step-Dad had one for his electrical contracting business back in the 60s but a better use was for towing a 32 ft boat to the Chesapeake, Cape Cod, Lake George, all over. Chrysler Corp based with a 318. Hot, noisy, geared to pull an elephant inside out, yeah probably was dangerous but to a 9 or so YO kid, so cool. It’s still in town as a flower delivery van. What a waste.

    Like 1
  10. Charlie H

    My 58 originally had a Ford chassis and in fact is registered as a Ford. It’s now on a 79 Suburban chassis. It’s always been polished aluminum and was a bread truck in NY state. I’ve owned it 20 plus years.

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