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Survivor Conversion Van: 1987 Ford E150

It seems to me that conversion vans are hot at the moment. It could be the post-pandemic pricing that’s affecting everything from house rentals to grocery items, or it could just be that conversion vans are damn cool and deserve our dollars. This 1987 Ford E150 certainly does, as it features low miles and an interior you’d actually want to sleep in. The mileage is reported as being just under 31,000 and the seller claims it was stored indoors up until last year – which makes me want the next owner to hurry up and get there so this survivor conversion van can be back under cover. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $12,650 and no reserve.

Now, this is when conversion vans were all about comfort and living off the land. Today’s Sprinter vans and associated conversion class of vehicles are overloaded with tech and creature comforts that make you feel like you just paid $80,000 for a mobile office. If I’m living off the land for a few weeks, I don’t want a vehicle that’s capable of sending faxes and broadcasting my every move. Give me the E150 with fake wood paneling, plenty of curtains to block out the outside, and soft velour to lay my weary bones on. The interior of this rig is in gorgeous condition; no baked-in funk here.

The only funk is the disco-era grooviness that oozes off of this thing. From the badgeless grill to the front air dam to the Cragar wheels and hood scoop, there’s period goodness everywhere you look. The best part is, despite residing in the snow belt, the van was clearly looked after, and kept out of the elements when winter came knocking. The glass and lenses are crystal clear and the little details – like the amber still in the turn signal lenses – help to reinforce the low mileage claims. My favorite detail is the sleeper cabin with a short wheelbase van. This is the grandaddy of a “boogie” van if I’ve ever seen one.

The engine bay also looks quite clean, and the black plastics and hoses all present incredibly well – like you’d expect in a low mileage vehicle. The seller notes it’s equipped with dual fuel tanks and dual exhausts, so it should take you far and make some nice noise in the process. The van, of course, has all sorts of period add-ons like the fender flares and other cosmetic tweaks to make it sportier than it has any right to be, but the end result is a conversion van that’s as period-correct as it comes with the added benefit of never having gone down the slippery slope of “van life” that results in all sorts of nastiness residing inside. Fuel it up and enjoy while the summer is young.


  1. Howard A Member

    I think as the original folks that used these as “shaggin’ wagons” are old now, “shaggin” is out, and just want to see the country in style. Maybe a little nap later. While as mentioned, very little today can compare to the price, a van like this is an electrical nightmare, and are incredibly hard to work on. Since generally, cost is no object for someone interested in this lifestyle, they just go to the “Sprinter” dealer, where they are lined up like cord wood, “sign ze’ papers”,and bypass all the hassle. Looks nice, but I’d pass too.

    Like 6
    • JCA Member

      A new Sprinter conversion van is $100K to $200k. So I guess $12k ain’t looking so bad…

      Like 6
      • Al

        Born on a mountain, raised in a cave, truckin’ and wheel-chairin’ is all they crave.

        Like 0
  2. Brent

    I ordered a midnight blue metallic 1983 E-150 conversion when I graduated from college. I loved that thing and with the exception of gas motor couldn’t beat for road trips with a group! It had a nice blue/white tweed interior with a bench/bed in the back (built for shagging) but with no velour it stayed fresh and funk free. I kept for a couple of years until I just couldn’t stand it as a daily driver anymore. Wish I’d been able to treat it as well over the long haul as this one.

    Like 3
  3. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    Plymouth, Connecticut

    Like 1
  4. Maverick

    I like the wheels.

    Like 0
  5. t-bone BOB

    Ended: Jun 19, 2021 , 5:30PM
    Winning bid:US $13,950.00
    [ 40 bids ]

    Like 1

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