Hooked up and ready to go.

I was disappointed to find this rust on the floor, but it isn’t rusted through anywhere. I’ll sand blast it and prime it.

The carburetor is rebuilt and there’s a new fuel pump, distributor cap, wires and fresh engine oil.

I guess in 1971 disc brakes were still a novelty, enough for GMC to brag about them with a sticker.

There’s O.C. and the O.G. I bought the van from.

I found this 1971 GMC Vandura about 90 miles from my house in Atwater, near Modesto, California, on Craigslist. The van was for sale by the original owner. The guy had ordered the van from GMC for his wife with gearing and cooling and disc brakes and windows for towing and touring. Absolutely plain Jane in every other respect. The engine is a 250 CID L6 and the transmission is a three-speed manual with column shift. 80,000 original miles. The van has been registered inoperative since 1999. The man’s wife died recently and he decided to sell it.


The seller and his son had it running in July, he tells me. There’s fresh oil in the pan, and new distributor cap and rotor, fuel pump and a rebuilt carburetor. We were disappointed to discover that someone had tried to steel the van, but they couldn’t figure out the transmission, apparently. They tried to drag it away, bending the front bumper in the process.

So we didn’t start it; I just hauled it home.

I was surprised to discover that it had 14-inch wheels from the factory! That’s going to change.


The guy was asking $2,000, and dropped the price to $1,800, but then he bought a set of used tires for $140 and asked me to cover that, and I did. So $1,940 total, plus $60 to rent the Uhaul and $75 in diesel for my friend’s F-250.

Clean the van out and vacuum it. Clean up that surface rust. Needs a battery and a radiator. Get it started. Steam clean the engine. Damn thing smells like a junk yard inside.

Stay tuned.