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They Never VANished


They Never VANished
Posted March 9 2009 03:07 PM by Bob Ryder 
Filed under: Editorials, Upcoming Features, Opinions, Trend Observations, Funny Stories, Truck News , Classic Truck Trends

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To some folks, Vans are a pair of sufer shoes. To others, they are a lifestyle vehicle, that no father wanted to see their daughter either get into, or get out of. Believe it or not, the van culture still has a heartbeat.      

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Oh ya, during the 70's was the era of Van mania. Thats when vans roamed the planet like the dynosaurs and most people thought they died off like the dynosaurs, no they never did vanish they just kept on Truckin'. The van culture theme song was Truckin' by the Grateful Dead on their Skeletons album in 1970. Artist Robert Crumb created the Keep On Truckin' characters posed laid back, steppin' out with their extra large front foot stretched out with the shoe's undersole exposed. A major slogan of that time period was peace, love, dope and van bumper stickers read Don't laugh your daughter might been in here, If this vans rockin' don't bother knockin', Shag wagon,  Do you remember the terms Far Out, Groovy, Tripin', Bitchin', Funky, Dig it? If you do, then you must qualify for an AARP card.      

I must admit, I attended many van club meetings with my buddies in the 70's at a local Shakey's Pizza and yes there were many slices of pizza chased by many pitchers of the golden ale. I also did convoy with thousands of vaners to Van-O-Rama's and Van Happenings, mini trucker's of today got nothin' on us....

The van culture is still going on today, it never did tie-die-out. The van scene is very strong in the midwest and east coast. We are starting to see it trying to re-ignite itself here in SoCal. I attended the Van Nationals a couple of years ago in Michigan it was a true time-warp. It brought me back to the day, mostly attended by folks of my generation sporting a pony keg for a belly, long grey hair pony tails, beards, fu manchues, wearing tie-die shirts and leather tire tread soled sandals. Many of the vans looked like they had just rolled out of a time capsaul labeled 1972. Outragous airbrushed murals covered the enormous sides and back doors. Their interiors were lined with crushed velvet, shag carpet, oak cabinets, wet bars and mirrors. The vans were still rolling on 15-inch Cragar SS wheels and BFG tires with the white letters out.

I am hoping to attend this years 37th VAN Nationals in Summit Station, Pennsylvania July 8-12 hosted by Moon Lite Vans and Performance Inc. Checkout the website

Truckin' is hoping the dedicated van enthusiasts will change their past 38-years of custom trends and begin lowering and bagging their full size vans tuckin' 22's with smooth leather interiors and intense audio and DVD systems.

What do you think about Truckin' re-introducing the van scene???

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