Flat Window Van: 1964 Chevrolet G20

1964 Chevrolet G20 Van

I’ve been on the hunt for a classic vehicle to make a road trip in and for some reason, I think one of these Chevy G20 vans would be perfect for it! I just came across this ’64, which was built in the first year of production, and I thought I would see what you guys think of these groovy vans. It’s got an interesting look to it, I’m not sure I’d call it patina, but at least it isn’t a rusty mess. It’s been parked since ’92 and hasn’t run since, so it’s hard to say what all might be wrong with it. If you’d like to beat me to this one, you can find it here on eBay in Carmen, Oklahoma with an opening bid of $1k.

1964 Chevrolet G20 Van Interior

The price might seem a bit high, but you don’t find these early vans often. When you do, they usually have serious rust issues. This one might need paint, but it’s solid inside and out. The inline six isn’t a powerhouse, but it will get you down the road just fine! So, do any of you have experience road tripping in a G20 like this? If so, I’d love to hear more about how it worked!

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Comments

  1. Badnikl

    I like it, it looks good. Paint it white-red or orange wheels-white hubcaps-keep it simple
    and make it mechanically perfect. Don’t even put a radio in it. Cool little truck!

  2. Dave Wright

    My dad had a fleet of these in one of his truck companies. He used them for parcel delivery around town mostly. Good little Chev trucks but his drivers had so many accidents ( particularly in the winter) that the insurance company made him sell them. They were terrible in the snow and wet. Couldn’t stop them or keep them on the road. The wind would blow them in the ditch if they were running light in slick roads. If carefully driven they are vastly superior to a similar vintage VW, more power, good heat, more robust overall. The mileage wasn’t as good but most of the VW drivers in this country went through more engines than shoes…….made a lot,of money changing bus engines in the old days. Off course like many cars…….,they become more interesting with age,

  3. Leroy

    I wonder if the driver’s rear wasn’t damaged and repaired since it’s the only place the paint is still decent.

  4. Jered

    Love our Dodge version.

  5. Wayne Thomas

    Swap a Vortec 4200 4.2L straight six out of a Trailblazer with about 300hp for sufficient motivation that will surprise a lot of people for a great sleeper.

    With so many bland crossovers today, restoring/restomodding a van like this makes a family friendly vehicle that is totally reliable, but has a sense of style that makes a school run cool.

  6. boxdin

    Not factory windows, take them out and patch up the holes.

  7. Paul

    Had one back in the day .Was driving from California to Connecticut in Jan towing a Fiat Multipla with a Moto Guzzi in the back of the van, My wife was driving thru Iowa at 2 am while I slept. A drunk driver forced her off the highway and the van rolled multiple times down the embankment. I could hear the bike and heavy toolboxes roll around behind my head like clothes in the dryer. Figured our goose was cooked for sure. When the rolling stopped we were alive although my wife required 50 stitches on her scalp. This is 2 am in the absolute middle of nowhere.The Multipla broke free, rolled to a stop in a field and I was driving it the next day after I was released from the hospital. Long story short…Great Van!!

  8. Rob

    I had a ’64 GMC (same flat window body style) back in the ’70s (side doors and windows were optional on both the Chevy & GMC’s back then, ‘n mine had neither), so essentially it was a 4-door panel truck/van, ‘n they were great lil’ trucks. Many of my friends had ’em as well, as I was in a Van Club in SoCal, called ‘West Coast Vans’, but that’s another story. Here’s a pic of one of my friends from another Club back then, tho he’d pulled the 6 and replaced it with a 327 Vette engine, and jacked it up in the air a bit for better off-roading. The photo was taken at Tiger Run, CO at the 1st Annual National Truck-In in 1973. Like to have it, but too many other projects now.

    • Steve

      “Vangina”!!! Classic! I have never heard that one!

  9. boxdin

    Vanner since 72 much like yourself. That pic has been in many van magazines over the years, hope you got residuals!

    • Rob

      If I remember right Boxdin, ‘That’ particular photo of Kirk’s Van was taken by Terry Cook of Truckin’ Mag.. Since I see you used to work for Van World, was it your Mag that covered the West Coast Vans Halloween Happening at Lake Havasu back in the 70’s, as I was Club Sec back then, ‘n had made all the trophies (Lil’ Wooden Vans), and a pic of me dressed up in a helmet ‘n chain-mail was in that story; I’ve since lost that Mag. Here’s another shot of Vangina, which tho most pronounced it the ‘other’ way, Lol.. was in actuality Kirk’s wife’s name Gina.

      • boxdin

        I was the owner of Van World Inc, not the magazine but a converter in Abq. I was at Colo Nationals in 75 or so, pretty much the last time they came west.
        It was a wonderful time w all of us having vans and getting together for so much fun! Even w vastly better vans these days the youth is not like us, they don’t care for vans at all.

  10. Bruce

    My Dad had a ’67 flat window except it had no windows except in the doors. The interesting thing about it was that it had a 4-speed on the column. I believe that ’67 was the only year for this. The linkage was unbelievably long going from the windshield back to the transmission. There was hard (bar) linkage for 1-2 and 3-4. For reverse there was a cable to pull it into reverse that was spring loaded to pull it out of reverse and into neutral when you moved the shift lever from Reverse to neutral. This worked pretty well except in the winter when occasionally it would ice up and it and the spring would not pull it out of reverse. When you shifted into first, and tried to go, the truck would lift a little and stall. It was hung up between first and reverse (or stuck in both first and reverse). You would then have to put the shift lever in neutral, crawl under it, and bang the the reverse lever to help the spring slide it into neutral. No wonder it was only a one year item… :-)!

  11. ken

    One could have a far more interesting life in this thing. When I had my ’64 GMC Flat Window with the 194 cubic inch “six” back in the early 70s, they weren’t yet vintage and still I made a lot of interesting acquaintances…..dunno how many hitchiker’s hopes I dashed as I motored on past their outstretched thumb and their hopeful, almost certain, look…felt kinda guilty, given all the kind folks who had picked me up over the years. Or how many VERY INTERESTED cops pulled me over for no apparent reason……how much beer, likker, smokes and pot I was offered by folks needing a ride….declined it all!….or how many people wanted to buy it right then and there……but all they ever had was likker, beer, pot, or smokes…….my scruples made me hesitate…besides, didn’t these folks ever have any CASH? ….anyhow, I really needed my wheels right then…..and a good Flat Window was never THAT easy to find.

    Finally I got T-boned making a stupid U-turn…..smashed that van in half…..threw my (unbelted) passenger into the rearview mirror….lacerated the heck outta his scalp….he bled like a pig, but healed up fine……..got the ol’ van running again in a week or so and sold it….last I saw, it was crabbing down the street to its new El Paso (or Juarez) home. You could do worse than a neat old Flat Window Chevy or GMC van…..a fun driver, and a simpler life…..just be sure to get a good radiator.

  12. Rick

    Think it’s amazing that Chevy still built the Corvair van for one more year after this model was introduced.

    • misterlou Member

      It looks like it shares the same instrument cluster as the early Corvair.

      • Rob

        It did Misterlou.. and alot of us back then, that had the early trucks, replaced that Van’s cluster with the Corvair “Spyder’s” cluster.

  13. Joe Howell

    I had a later bubble windshield 68. The little six would pull a lot more than the brakes liked to stop. I could tune the engine up on a rainy day sitting in the dry. One thing about them, like a flat nose bus if you have an accident you will be the first one there. Disc brakes, A/C and more power would be great upgrades.

    • RBatsch

      I had a ’68 ‘Handi Bus’ with a 307 and 3 ‘on the tree’. Lots of fun to drive but you had to have deep pockets even back then, for gas. Never got better than 8 mpg!

  14. Kevin Lustgarten

    Could it be (sorry) converted to an automatic?

    • Rob

      Yeppers Kevin, an old 3-speed powerglide (slushbox) would do the trick..

      • Steve

        Powerglide is only two speeds! Better to go with a 204r, with four gears and 1st in it is not as deep as a 700r4.

  15. Ken

    “Gave a girl a ride in my wagon…she got in and took control…” Sammy John, 1976

  16. Livermoron

    My dad had a 66 windows version through the later 70’s and early 80s. It was two tone – yellow on top and a dark blue on the bottom. He told me it used to belong to a bakery in Portland OR where we lived but I never saw another like it. I always sat on the engine hump (called it the hot-seat). No seat belts of course. One time the brakes weren’t working so great and he had to use the emergency brake and I remember his arm shooting out to catch me before a splattered into the windshield. At one point he bought some white spoke wheels with bigger tires in the back – I thought it was the coolest thing. It had a manual 3-on-the-tree that he taught me to drive stick on. I haven’t thought about that truck for a long time – nice to reminisce.

  17. Mike

    For some years, my Dad had 2 of these, 1 Chevy and 1 GMC he bought them when my older brother and I started driving, they belonged to the Body Shop, and we used them to go after parts, the GMC did not have a passenger set so I was stuck driving it, that and it had a 3 speed on the column and my brother never could drive a stick for anything. Well some where in the 80’s after I had gotten married, Dad decided to retire them both, so he offered me which ever one I wanted, I picked the Chevy, we repaired the body damage, repainted it, and replaced both seats. I added some neat features to it, and added a bed in the very back, added a roof mount AC unit and my wife used it for camping for I don’t know, I had to replace the motor a few years before we let it go, I sold it to a cousin of mine and he drove it everywhere for many years. I have been in the market for another one Carmen OK is not that far, I might need to make a road trip this next weekend. By the way in case anybody is curious the metal cover behind the passenger seat in the floor is the battery box!!!

  18. Steve

    IIRC, Chevy offered a manual four speed in these… with column shift!!!

    • Bruce

      They sure did. I believe it was only in 1967. See my post somewhere above about my Dad’s.

  19. Steve

    There was one of these vans for sale near my house (walking distance!) a few years ago for $500. Solid truck, ran, needed brakes, even had slot mags… Only problem was, I was not working at the time…Isn’t that always the case when a good deal comes along???

    • Dave Wright

      There is a better looking 1967 on eBay in Georgia for 510.00……..a red one in parts and salvage cars.

  20. James Schroeder

    I had a 65 GMC that I never really got to enjoy. Not long after doing an engine swap to an inline 300, it was totaled in the blizard of 79. I still want that van! It’s on my bucket list. I loved the 3-on-the-tree.

  21. chad Member

    owned one (’69, in blue, same 3 speed, 6 cyl, longer wheel base?) in early 70s I used 4 wrk (& to live in). Moved another hippie/his girlfrnd from Martha’s Vin. to Burlingt., VT in the dead’o winter. So poo0r only had near treadless tires. She sat on the engine, him in the pass. seat. The back wuz so full of boxes it looked like wall of brick or block against wall of same after wall… (I wuz good in those days). It gave good weight so the sno (even on interstate hills) didn’t stop us, so I differ w/1st comment.
    Only windows were DYI ‘jollettete’ on each side in back & 3 up frnt. And yes, it drew the cops’ attention.

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