Story Mike Spicer
Photos Cooper Olson and Mike Spicer
The 1970’s van craze was a pretty good way to express yourself in a time when social media didn’t exist. A fascinating phase in our automotive history, 1970’s vans take us back to a very colorful time, even if it’s just for a weekend.
A 1970’s van brings enormous nostalgia. Their distinctive look and style made the ultimate statement. Each van – being individually themed – took on a personality of its own and became a piece of rolling art.
Inventive paint schemes helped champion the vision of the owner. Then, Fender flairs, chrome mag wheels, side exhaust pipes, wings and teardrop windows came into the equation to start transforming the exterior of your regular 1970’s van into a dream machine. But the real magic is on the inside.
Interior décor took on countless scenarios. The quintessential expression of cool and comfort interiors helped reinforce the inventive theme dreamed up by the owner. Waterfalls, lava lamps, TV’s, shag carpet, beds, groovy posters, 8-track’s, wood paneling, tables and chairs are just the beginning. It’s a clubhouse on wheels with the only limit being one’s imagination!
As the 1970’s van enthusiast grew up the industry evolved and began marketing to an older van owner. Colorful paint schemes were a little more toned down, velour replaced shag and of course seat belts were mandatory. The 1970’s van dream was kept alive, just a little more practical.
Today there are many ways to portray yourself out in the world. In the 1970’s a custom van made the statement for you. These are timeless machines that transport us back to an era with a unique style and color. A personal creative art form that brings a smile to my face every time I see one.