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It’s A Shorty! 1979 Chevrolet Sportvan

Peace out man, it’s the ’70s and that means, among other things, it’s van time! All the rage in that now long ago decade, they’re still a fun and functional vehicle. Today’s review covers a 1979 Chevrolet G10 Sportvan and it’s a beauty, highly unlike many of the mystery machines that I recall from my partially misspent youth. This short-wheelbase Chevy is located in Lakewood, New York and can be found here on Barn Finds Classifieds for $29,500.

Chevrolet vans came in a multitude of varieties in ’79 but basically broke down into short wheelbase versions (110″) or a stretched variety that measured in at 125″. Beyond that, capacities included three, G10 (half-ton), G20 (three-quarter-ton), and G30 (one ton). And of course, one final delineation and that’s with windows (for passengers) or without (for cargo).

Refinished in modern Dupont finish, the hue looks like a shinier version of Russet Metallic which was a ’79 option. But the seller adds, “All doors and windows removed to correctly change the color. Reassembled with all new door rubber seals/window felts and glides” which makes me think this Chevy has experienced a color change. And, if you stroll through all of the images, you can see this Chevy being restored from its original color of what looks like Light Camel – I’d have to say the color change was a great move. Continuing that ’70s vibe are the chromed side pipes (functional) and new Cragar S/S wheels.

Get up and go is provided by a 165 net HP, 350 CI V8 engine working through a Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission. The seller adds, “I had the transmission completely checked over and resealed by a professional shop. Also the same with the rear end. New axel (sic) seals and bearings and also new pinion and carrier bearings. Ready to drive anywhere“. The mileage recording is listed as 77K miles and assuming that it’s authentic, it’s a minimal amount for a Chevy small-block engine that has been properly maintained.

Back in the day, shag carpet was the in-vogue interior treatment – and the longer the shag and more outrageous the color, the better! It’s nice to have that styling gem behind us. Of course, faux wood paneling was popular too and that’s what we find inside this Chevy. The seller tells us that the paneling is original, which I find surprising but the floor has been covered with new vinyl waterproof planking, it looks well facilitated. I’m not certain about those front bucket seats, they look similar to the original equipment but are perhaps a bit wider. Regardless, they are in sound shape with what appears to be high-quality vinyl upholstery as opposed to tacky-looking plaid fabric which was another ’70 styling cue.

Years ago, a van like this would have been the domicile of a “marijuannie smokin’ hippeye” as an old friend used to label such colorful characters but those long ago days are now just a remembrance – fond or not. So, here’s your chance to relive those halcyon days, in style, and without the “cool dude” baggage. Now if I could just find my Skull and Roses Grateful Dead eight-track tape…


  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    Nice looking van!

    Like 6
  2. RoughDiamond

    Impressive van! Looks like this one was done right. Hopefully the Seller will get his or her price.

    Like 6
  3. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    I am a Mopar guy… But this GM van is beautiful to me. The color is just right and the interior. I hope there get the asking price. It’s worth it. 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 2
  4. Charlie Member

    A guy I knew in the late 70’s had a 74 shorty he put a 70 LT1 into out of a wrecked Vette with its TH400 . It had nothing but shag carpet all over inside , an 8 track stereo and sidepipes . It would whoop alot of the local fast car crew’s cars . It did high 12’s on street tires at a van fest I was at . I love those short Chevy’s !

    Like 7
  5. 19sixty5 Member

    I dig it!!!

    Like 2
  6. Rick Member

    @Charlie. High 12’s? Really. What were you smoking? No way to get enough grip from a stock van. Way too light in the rear.

    Like 5
  7. Emel

    ‘Cause like a princess she was laying there
    Moonlight dancing off her hair
    She woke up and took me by the hand
    She’s gonna love me in my Chevy van and that’s all right with me’.

    Chevy Van by Sammy Johns

    Like 11
  8. Glenn Schwass Member

    Nice. Brings back memories of a kid in school and a lot of burnouts. That one got the Philadelphia Rust of death eventually.

    Like 0
  9. Tracy

    If the vans a rockin don’t come knockin!

    Like 0
    • 19sixty5 Member

      Had a friend with a ratty ratty old Chevy 54-55 or so panel truck, one back door had a bumper sticker in the window that said “Don’t laugh, your daughter may be inside” This was around 1969 or 1970.

      Like 1
  10. Mitchell

    Grateful Dead? CCR or Canned Heat maybe also. As i was in
    training for automechanika we had one like this, a ’20 panel van.
    Uphills it was the master of towing heavy weights but rust
    and poor finish sent it soon to the recycler.

    This here would be a fovour with only a single chromed tube
    along the side or probably small running boards.
    Toyota drivetrain plushy interior better seats with lateral
    support and a rearview cam for the parking lot.

    Like 0
  11. JW

    Is this still available? If so, how much?

    Like 0

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