At the risk of making this blog seem like it’s too much about Uncle Rico – today we’re gonna talk about conversion vans. It’s really kind of sad that vans have gotten such a bad wrap. Every single car on the road today is some kind of cross-over SUV. They’re boring and they all look the same.
I wish the conversion van would make a comeback. The timing seems right. People are loving big truck-like vehicles with a ton of interior room. But for some reason, vans became the associated with child molesters and rapists. I used to own a 1972 Dodge Tradesman B300 van that was converted into a school bus. It was blue. It had a bed in the back.
There is something cozy and clandestine about the dark plush interior of a conversion van. Maybe it has a fold down seat that turns into a bed with the push of a button. Maybe it has a small kitchen and old CRT TV. Maybe it has fancy lights and shag carpeting. Every conversion van was different. It was personalized to the driver. It was a home away from home. An escape pod in case life ever got too real.
Look – it’s hard to divorce the conversion van from it’s terrible reputation. It didn’t deserve to be treated like it has, but it’s not like a style of vehicle has a PR team out there defending it. I just love that at one point – these vans were highly promoted and there was an entire economy of accessories for them. People took their conversion vans seriously. And those people – whether they be in a band, or cross-country travelers, or just your bachelor uncle – were the best kind of people with the best kinds of stories.
So next time you see a conversion van – give it a little credit. The guy or gal running that thing loves it more than life itself. It takes serious effort to keep a conversion van on the road in 2019. They’re not some creepy child molester or rapist. They’re just a bachelor uncle looking for their next good time. And if it takes awhile for the good times to come? It’s alright man – they got a bed in the back and they can wait it out.