You can take a man out of a van, but you can't take the van out of a man....
I'm a van guy no doubt. If its not a van, I don't like it. I've probably owned over 50 vans over the years, but slowing in my old age. My favorite daily driver has become the AWD Astro, literally unstoppable in snow !
There is still a surprising number of old aluminum step vans out there if you look for them. The old Chevy's with those curved corner glass windows? .... they better be in good shape, because your NOT going to find them ANYWHERE. There are a handful of guys who have spent time saving one of these only to find out that they have to lay out a huge amount of cash for a used piece of glass if theirs were bad. Often the used glass is in tough shape, all milky around the edges.
There's one other issue with the older trucks,... you better not be in a hurry. While we could say that people were driving 60-65 "back in the day", most of these trucks ran at least 4.11:1 gearing, many of them much much higher because they were stop and go trucks. I know.... nothing a frame swap to a late model running gear wouldn't fix !
My 1956 International actually went to California. A guy wanted it, paid the price for it and had it shipped out there. He has shown me what he is doing with it.... WOW ! a true restoration ! For those interested, here is a link to what he is doing: https://picasaweb.google.com/1180248441 ... ification#
I'd like to meet his metal man ! That front end section would have been impossible for me to build. I miss the old girl, but my first love was this one: http://www.data-cut.com/projects/stepvan/oldone.jpg
, sold it like a fool, and now recently I picked up a 1983 Grumman 12' Low top. Then I stumbled across one like my first one this winter... My old favorite style/wheelbase, another 1981 Grumman 14' with the 8" raised top: http://www.data-cut.com/projects/stepvan/newone.jpg
I've got a set of Alcoa wheels for it, and can't wait to get it dropped to the ground a little as soon as things warm up around here. Then it's on to the interior work. Makes a great rig for tractor shows, though, if gas hits $5 a gallon, I dont know how far I will be able to afford to drive it.
Anyone else interested in Step vans, vintage specifically, can find some good reading over at the hokey A$$ message board (hamb): http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/show ... &showall=1
Been a LONG winter around here... looking forward to coming out of my shell !