This is a 1969 Chevrolet Van that was converted into a camper in-period and used by a family for an adventure up and down the East Coast of the United States.
Today it remains in remarkably well preserved condition, looking almost exactly as it would have done back in the late 1960s. It’s powered by a 327 V8 which is mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission, and it can accommodate up to four people.
Fast Facts – A 1960s-Era Chevrolet Van Camper
- This camper, or motorhome if you prefer, was build on a 1969 Chevrolet Van. It has sleeping space for four people, a sink with running water, a refrigerator, interior lighting, a battery system, a couch, cupboard space, and a kitchenette.
- This model was the second generation Chevrolet Van which was sold between 1967 and 1970. Chevrolet marketed the van well and it competed against the Ford Econoline, Volkswagen Type 2, Dodge A-series, and the GMC Handi-Van.
- The 1960s were a time when vans and van-based campers became a common sight on American roads as the Flower Power generation bought cheap vans and converted them into homes on wheels.
- This van is now being offered for sale out of Fenton, Missouri. It has had some parts replaced and servicing done however it largely remains in a state of original preservation.
The Chevrolet Van
The simply named Chevrolet Van was first released in 1964 as a replacement for the earlier Corvair Corvan/Greenbrier – a vehicle that had been developed specifically to meet the challenge laid down by the wildly successful Volkswagen Type 2 Bus.
Unlike the Corvair Corvan/Greenbrier the new Chevrolet Van didn’t have a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine. It used a more modern liquid-cooled front-mounted engine that was positioned between the driver and passenger.
Engine access was through a removable engine cover in the cab, and this layout was used for both the first and second generation of the van. The third generation would have the engine out front under a small hood.
The first generation of the Chevrolet Van was sold between 1964 and 1966 and it was succeeded by the second generation version in 1967 which was made until 1970. Interestingly the third generation of the van would have an astonishing 26 year production run from 1970 until 1996.
The 1969 Chevrolet Van Camper Shown Here
The camper you see here is a modified 1969 Chevrolet Van, it has had a higher roof added for more headroom inside as well as a double bed over the cab to increase sleeping space.
The interior of the van was certainly influenced by the era in which it was built, with 1960s and 1970s design cues throughout. Faux wood paneling adorns the walls and ceiling, there are floral curtains over the windows, a linoleum floor, and striped upholstery on the downstairs couch/bed.
The camper is equipped with a kitchenette which has a sink with running water, with both fresh and gray water tanks. The van has its own internal battery system for the lighting and power outlets, and it can be plugged into 120 volt mains to recharge.
The downstairs couch can be quickly converted into a double bed, the overhead double bed means the van can accommodate four people in total. There is plenty of cupboard space as well as a refrigerator, and there’s space on the countertop for an electrical cooker if the new owner wants to add it.
Up front in the cab the retro theme continues, there’s seating for two with the engine and engine cover between the seats. The van is powered by a 327 cubic inch (5.4 liter) Chevrolet V8 which will have no problem propelling the van along at modern highway speeds.
Power is send from the engine back through a Turbo Hydramatic 350 3-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels.
The seller notes that the van has had a number of new parts added including: brake drums, brake pads, a new master cylinder, starter motor, voltage regulator, ignition switch, spark plugs, spark plug wires, the distributor cap and rotor, cylinder heads, and the intake manifold.
It’s now being offered for sale out of Fenton, Missouri by MotoExotica on eBay and you can visit the listing here if you’d like to read more or register to bid.
Images courtesy of MotoExotica
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
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