Malaise Era Molester Vans are rarely worth sparing from The Crusher’s jaws these days, what with steel prices stoking The Crusher’s hunger to insatiable levels, particularly when they’re on the rusty side. However, when that van is a ’78 Dodge Tradesman with a factory-installed 318 and floor-shifted overdrive 4-speed, things might be different. We hope.
Yes, it was once possible to get a Dodge cargo van with a V8 and a 4-speed, and that’s what Andy, Colorado LeMons racer and all-around vehicular wheeler-dealer, now has sitting in his vast inventory. Andy is the guy who scored this super-original ’66 Coronet, along with some even cooler vintage cars that had been stored since the Reagan era, and he hasn’t been able to bring himself to part out and crush this van. So far.
However, his yard is getting mighty crowded (I know, because I helped him drag a bunch of non-runners around yesterday, to get access to some parts I was buying) and he can’t keep everything. He has a real soft spot for rare and/or weird old vans, e.g. this GMC Gypsy. Remember the Gypsy? I didn’t.
This Tradesman has some fairly severe rust problems, so the wisest move would be to drop the drivetrain in a Dart and scrap the rest. The right move would be to fix the rust and convert it to a full-on purple-shag-and-airbrush-mural 70s custom. My quota of vintage Dodge vans is already full, but perhaps one of you might adopt this super-rare orphan.
Find Reviews by Make: