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Future of the Van Scene?

 
truckmod75
Moderator
Posts: 124
Joined: 10/06
Posted: 08/14/07 01:04 PM

What do you guys forsee for the future of the custom van scene? What new van models do you see taking off in popularity? More imports and minivans? Tricked-out Sprinters? Express and Econolines?  

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Superbeast
User
Posts: 199
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 08/15/07 12:17 PM

The future of vanning? Vanning has never really left. it has become much smaller and more family oriented. The future as I would like to see it, would be larger. The full size vans are where it all began and still are where the "vanner" wants to stay. We all know that there are really only 2 models of these vans left. Even the Astro 'mid-size' is no longer made. Min-vans are also on the decline.

Custom vans will forever be like an old duece coup. They will be hel onto and cherished for eternity by their buider. The future after that depends on our families and children. Hopefully we will survive anothe 30 plus years.  
Superbeast

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Showvans1
User
Posts: 143
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 08/19/07 07:27 AM

The 35th National Truck-In held in July had 604 vans there. The van scene is quite healthy in the Northeast and Midwest. It needs a bit of a push on the West Coast but it is gathering a bit of steam. Unfortunately without a strong West Coast presence we go virtualy unnoticed by the media. Given this there is also very little after market support so vanners and van owners are pretty much on their own to fabricate many of the mods on their vans. Take Superbeast for example who is posting here. He has fabricated a one of a kind clamshell rear door and the whole side of his van lifts up gullwing style from the passenger door to the sliding door which have been welded shut. You can't go out and buy a kit to do this. We hope that one day that these innovative vanners get a shot at being featured in magazines like Truckin'. That is the ultimate reward for any custom vehicle owner, to be featured in a national magazine.  
****************************************
Vannin.com staff, showtrux.com/paneltruck.com webmaster
Member Van Azur, ACVQ, OFV, National Truck-In Board support staff and occasional contributor to this fine magazine going back to 1982.

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Wookee
New User
Posts: 32
Joined: 08/06
Posted: 08/19/07 08:05 AM

There is also a very healthy core of Vintage Van owner out there who are building and restroing Vintage Chevy,Ford and Dodge vans.In a wide varity of styles,from chopped radical customs to beautifully restred "stock" appearing vans.

There are some very helpfull web sites out there that help us Vintace Van owners net work and exchange ideas,parts and information ans Know how.These are not "Dead" forums.You ask a question you get an answer.

We are out here all we need is YOU.........  
Wookee

its a "Van Thing" a life style you have to live to understand

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Wookee
New User
Posts: 32
Joined: 08/06
Posted: 08/19/07 08:23 AM

If the vans scene was dead you would not see projects like this in the works.......

Ohiochop

Choppedgmc

Leadfootschop

Bills66

The last picture is a 1st gen from the North West.
a tire frying small block has already been placed in the Dog House of that van.......

.........Wookee  
Wookee

its a "Van Thing" a life style you have to live to understand

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OldVanGuy
New User
Posts: 5
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 08/19/07 12:02 PM

I see the vans increasing in popularity.   I personally feel like we are going to have to welcome the mini-vans and imports, just like the hot rodders have accepted the ricers.  Just a fact of life, they are there and aren't going away.  As soon as our older vans start getting attention and the younger guys see them they are going to buy vans and put their personalities into them and mini vans and imports are what they can afford, and the vehicles they can get the perfomance parts for.

I was into vans back in the 70's, even then new vans and old vans were viewed with the same eye. Some guys like the old vans and some like the newer.  My first van was a 61 Ford Econoline in 1976, then I got a 77 Dodge in 1978.  Loved both of them, hey they were custom vans, and got the same amount of attention.

Vans aren't the next 32 Fords, nor the next RatRods, but I see them taking their place in popularity.  Those of us who wanted them in high school and college days of the 70's are coming of age now, and will have the disposable income to live or relive those days of vanning.  We will join with those who never stopped vanning, and if welcomed and accepted will bring vans back to the car shows, cruise-ins and to the color pages of magazines.  

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IMVANISHINGBREED
Moderator
Posts: 365
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 08/19/07 03:38 PM

I consider most "mini" vans to be glorified station wagons. That being said I do like the Astro vans, especially the panel versions. Things that will never be vans in my eyes include, HHRs, PT Cruizers or as I call them, PT Crappers. Scion XBs, Mini Coopers etc.  
Mike Cook
Vice President
Inland Vans Berdoo
2008 Route 66 Hall of Fame Inductee

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Superbeast
User
Posts: 199
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 08/20/07 08:15 AM

If you were not welcomed and accepted OLDVANGUY, you didn't actually find a group of Vanners. We are the easiest group to get along with. The only real rules that apply to vanning is have fun and respect others.  
Superbeast

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OldVanGuy
New User
Posts: 5
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 08/20/07 08:56 AM

didn't mean that anybody had not been welcomed, just saying if accepted by vanners and other enthusiasts as well, vans will be making a return to mainstream.  (hope that made sense)  

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Superbeast
User
Posts: 199
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 08/20/07 12:16 PM

Sorry, didn't mean for you to think that way. What I meant was asside from the "Vanner" acceptance of what really is a van. Most anyone who owns a full size or mini-van has and will be accepted into our lifestyle (if they want to). I say lifestyle, because vanners are a different breed. We hang together, party together and mourn together.  

My wife described it best when she wrote this;

"Vanners, that strange group of people who travel endless miles to spend a few days or just a couple hours with friends from near and far.  Extended families hugging and kissing upon arrival and departure, dancing to the music of bands and grilling, baking and smoking feasts to be shared for countless hours.  Vanners - friends who share a tarp with any to stay dry, a campfire to bring warmth and stories of memories of the past and various oasis’ of cool water to bring relief from the heat and sun of summer runs.  For the weekend they are vanners, not company owners or unemployed, not engineers or contractors, not wealthy or poor but vanners.  Young or old,, by choice or born into it, a vanner, one who is not judged by position or possession but by personality and respect of a fellow vanner".  
Superbeast

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Edward A. Sanchez
Guru
Posts: 1908
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 08/22/07 11:38 AM

Just an observation...It seems there are some similarities between vanners and mini-truckers. Mini Truckin' is one of the other sites in our group, and the web producer for that site observed the generosity and friendship among that group, unique from full-size truck enthusiasts. We were both out at a show back east, and she decided to stay later, and got really hungry, and a group of mini truckers offered her something to eat in the later hours, and she was really touched by their selflessness. Sounds like you guys are a similar tight-knit group.  

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Superbeast
User
Posts: 199
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 08/23/07 07:17 AM

Pretty much! You would be hard pressed to find a vanner that would let you go hungry or see you without a drink, wether it have alchohol in it or not. May a vanner (myself included) have opened their homes to traveling vanners from around the world.

The best way to describe a truckin to outsiders is "It's like going to a family reunion where you get to choose your family".  
Superbeast

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MatMobile
User
Posts: 116
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 09/26/07 06:00 PM

I've only participated in van-ins for 2 years so it's hard for me to predict trends.

I see it definately coming evolving in many ways. Here's how I see it:

- Vanners from the '70's and '80's who had to take a break while getting married, raising a family, building company, etc... Have started coming back to the sport. They seem to want to re-build the van that they cherished or improve on it.
- Second and even third generation vanners are starting to own vans. They definately know how to party but I haven't noticed precisely how they are building vans...
- New vanners (like me) have always loved vans. But for some reason never knew it existed. (Unfortunately, vans weren't in Truckin' when I bought them starting in '94). Until I found the mecca on the net: Vannin.com. We often start with '90's vans. Astro's are a great choice because of their price and are easy to customize. And they can be customized into truely radical vans! Eventually, these new vanners realize how much they love this hobby and want to move to "vintage" vans. Mid's or even early's.

Then, there are the veterans of vanning. Those who participated in the beginning of the movement and are now the organizers and the mentors. They are now passing along their knowledge...  
----- Mathieu -----
MatMobile
"Electric Avenue", my '79 Ford.

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Edward A. Sanchez
Guru
Posts: 1908
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 09/27/07 02:10 PM

Hey Mat! Well, we've got a bunch of van features here! Check out http://www.truckinweb.com/videos! I'm doing what I can to preserve that part of Truckin's history. Your guys' participation in our community helps the cause, so please keep coming back!  Smile  

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MatMobile
User
Posts: 116
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 09/27/07 03:53 PM

Thank you for the suggestion Mr. Sanchez. I've already seen two of those videos. It's good to see how passionnate those guys are.

Creating this Van section is a great help. Very appreciated by me and others I'm sure.

Now for the third video...  Smirk  
----- Mathieu -----
MatMobile
"Electric Avenue", my '79 Ford.

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