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Would Someone Build a Modern Van?

Demand, But No Supply...

Would Someone Build a Modern Van?
Posted October 7 2010 03:53 PM by Edward A. Sanchez 
Filed under: Opinions, About Features/Should-Be Features, Trend Observations

Custom Chevy Express Van

Okay, you guys know that I love vans and van enthusiasts as much as anyone on staff (with the possible exception of Mr. Bob Ryder) but I have to express my frustration here...You've screamed and yelled for the magazine to feature more vans. We have obliged, on occasion, and have been rewarded by healthy newsstand sales when we have (as noted in Dan's recent blog).

But as Dan notes, there is a distinct paucity of late-model customized vans. They're simply not out there, at least that we've been made aware of. The van enthusiast scene is still dominated by '60s, '70s, and (to a lesser extent) '80s-era vans. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But in order for the scene to gain traction with the younger generation, the craft needs to be applied to more late-model vehicles. Heck, why not a tricked-out Transit Connect? Nissan just announced a full-size van...perfect opportunity to show your stuff.

As much sheetmetal as the plumber's special versions of these vans offer, you'd think custom painters would be going wild with them. It's literally a rolling billboard for creativity. Yet I rarely, if ever see a muralized Chevy Express, or late-model Econoline.

So we want to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. We want custom truck builders, as well as van enthusiasts, to sound off on why this is the case? What's your excuse? Is the van scene so dominated by old-schoolers that late-model vans are not welcomed, and may in fact be discouraged? Is there simply not a class for them at van shows? Custom shops...why don't you build more vans? Too much time to paint? Too much material to do the interiors? Don't get enough recognition?

Well, I can assure you, we're waiting patiently for someone to do one. If it meets our admittedly lofty standards for full feature consideration, we'll feature it prominently. I can't promise a cover (only Dan can do that) but I get the feeling that if it were significant and awesome enough, he'd consider the possibility. C'mon us what you've got.

** P.S. I read some of the comments to Dan's blog, and I hear you about the modern vans not having the same sense of style as the old ones. I can certainly see your point. But just consider that a challenge to be all the more creative to make the slab-sided new models look interesting. I also saw that there's a humongous van show planned in early 2011 right in Truckin's back yard of Southern California. We are eagerly looking forward to it, and plan on covering it extensively, both on the web and in the magazine.

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