In the sixties, there was a very strange movement out of station wagons and sedans, and into vans. At one point, they even earned themselves the cover of Hot Rod Magazine. Although that particular point in time has become the low water mark for that magazine, vans are on the cusp of becoming just that cool again. With styling that looks equal parts Pan Am and Mad Men, a pretty good helping of practicality, and somehow lacking the environmentally unfriendly attitude of their contemporaries, they’re going to catch on like a cold as soon as the hipster crowd realizes they exist. And when it comes to classic, hip vans, it doesn’t get much better than this: a 1969 ChevyVan. Yes, that’s right, it’s actually called a ChevyVan. The last year of the second generation ChevyVan (it never gets old, does it?), it marks the last time a ChevyVan (no, it doesn’t!) would look more at home on a beach than in Chester Molester’s driveway. Available in a myriad of configurations that really haven’t changed between 1969 and the current Chevy Express van, you could order your van in one of two different wheelbases; either the surprisingly short 90″ or then-new 108″ wheelbase. Furthermore, buyers could choose from either the basic cargo-oriented ChevyVan, or the passenger-prepared Sportvan Custom, or even the luxurious Sportvan Deluxe. While ChevyVans made do with the basic slab-sided panelling and spartan interiors, the Sportvans got an additional pair of barn doors on the passenger side, chrome bumpers, a tons of windows, more seats, and two tone paint.
That, of course, makes the Sportvans a wee bit more desirable than this basic ChevyVan. But one shouldn’t discount the ridiculous practicality of a proper van-sized van, and in that regard, this ChevyVan could prove incredibly useful to anyone looking to haul things around occasionally. Equipped with the range-topping 350 small block V8 and TH350 three-speed automatic, it’s certainly capable of fulfilling the role of workhorse without breaking a sweat, and would have had a respectable 255 horsepower when new. Paired with a 12 bolt Posi-Traction rear end, one would expect the drivetrain to be totally reliable, but as with most vans, the drivetrain isn’t exactly the biggest concern. No, with all that sheetmetal, rust has always been the van’s arch-nemesis. With ChevyVans specifically, you typically want to ensure that the floors, corners, and rocker panels are sound before buying, so it might be a good idea to either bring a magnet or someone that knows how to tap on steel. But, if sound, there’s really nothing stopping this unique little vehicle from surviving another 43 years. With a strong enthusiasts community (they even have their own magazines now, so they don’t need to steal Hot Rod!), classic vans are even getting some aftermarket restoration parts support from the larger suppliers, so ownership shouldn’t be a chore. And wouldn’t it look so cool with your single speed commuter bike and second hand guitar in the back? Click on the blue text to follow through to the Craigslist ad.