Van-Tastic Shorty: 1974 Chevrolet G10

If you want to step into van ownership, there’s a few things you should look for: one, find a short wheelbase example; two, find one with the interior already decked out in shag; and for the trifecta, see if you can track down an elusive manual transmission example. This one-family owned 1974 Chevy G10 does exactly that, all with only 36,000 miles on the clock and remaining in the sort of condition that only a California classic can deliver. Find it here on craigslist for $11,500 in Corona, California.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the find. There’s a lot to like here, but my favorite feature is the wheelbase. These “shorty” vans just look so sweet for cruising in, as they almost seem sporting in comparison to their long wheelbase brethren. The G10 sports old-school California blue plates and an interesting wheel setup, with an obviously staggered setup and dog-dish style hubcaps up front with what look like color-matched Torque Thrust rollers out back. The rear window has drapes for privacy, and there’s no portholes in this example.

The driver and passenger compartment is in handsome condition, and I’m guessing the seats were reupholstered at some point in time. The manual transmission really is a treat, and while I get that you don’t necessarily need three pedals in a van like this, it still pushes the cool factor even higher. Door panels look quite good from here, and while there’s no mention of any interior restoration work, this is either incredibly well preserved or an older refresh that’s holding up nicely. The listing doesn’t provide any insights into how well the 350 was maintained, but they’re also easy engines to live with.

Out back, you get the classic in-period carpeting and space for a mattress, but there’s not much else done inside to make this a livable road trip machine. Of course, if your standards are pretty basic, you could just throw in an inflatable mattress and call it a day, but it’s also possible to see how the next owner could easily increase the value of this G10 with a proper couch and some swiveling captain’s chairs in between the bed and the driver’s compartment. Regardless of what you choose, this G10 will remain infinitely cool, and so will whoever is driving it.

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  1. Evan

    Sure. For five grand, maybe six. But $11.5k will buy you a van that’s 20 years newer and 20 times nicer.

    • Jack M.

      That can probably be said for about 80% of the vehicles posted on BarnFinds. This van has survived for 36 years, is rust free and has a three on the tree with a 350 V-8. Most of these have been all used up or rusted away by now. The seller is free to ask what he wants for it. If he waits long enough he will probably come close.

  2. doone

    That wood flooring as trim on the doors become huge splinters that pierce your kidney’s in a t-bone crash. Looks real nice, but looks that can kill.

  3. TimM

    It looks like the guy might be selling his place of residence!!

  4. GregNJ2SC

    I bet the shag smells horrible…

  5. bevis

    Still have my 1973 G20 camper van(350 4bbl, auto tm) that I got in 1978 to pull my race car. Unfortunately, the old lady next door had the top half of one of her dead pine trees crash onto the front part(and I had just replaced the windshield!).
    Now have a 1992 Ford E250 XL camper(351/5.8L) and I can see why Chevy over rated their stuff & Ford under rated them(The Chevy would more likely be a “5/8”, & not a 3/4 ton). Great long distance vehicles.

  6. Kenneth Carney

    An old friend of mine had one of these and drove the tires off it! That thing just refused to die! He used it to haul or pull
    anything. Band equipment, building supplies, utility trailers, that van did it all
    and would come back for more. And when last I saw him, (2001) he still had it!
    Yeah, it was somewhat rusty and all beat
    to hell, but he still wouldn’t part with it. I
    think he said he’d put a second or third
    350 crate motor into it before my wife and I went to see him. And the Lord only
    knows how many clutches and throwout
    bearings he’s put in it over the last 50 years, but he certainly got his money’s worth!

  7. boxdin

    I can testify that the front seats with cloth inserts are original. I had the exact same seats & inserts in my first van in 1974.


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