I am bored this Saturday evening. I left a comment on another post about how I would line my garage with different vans if I came across a surplus of cash. Each with their own application. Mini or full-size. So here’s what I would do.
This will be the van that sits outside my front door for quick runs. Albeit, all vans mentioned below could be daily drivers, but this one is the “practical” one.
I have been driving my ‘16 TC for over 18 months now, and will drive it for another 1800 as long as I don’t trash it rallycrossing. The van will be a wagon spec to carry passengers. The only modification done will be an ST powertrain swap. Focus ST powertrain would be great, that van deserves 250hp. I can settle for the Fiesta ST powertrain as well; the TC could have been optioned with the 1.6T for a few years anyways, so we know it fits. Just needs to add some woosh noises and a stick.
The track day machine. The weekend warrior. As you watch Mustangs and Corvettes and BRZs rip around the turn, you see this behemoth rumbling behind.
I never had any initial interest in traveling to Japan. That was until I discovered Dajiban. A group of geniuses modify and track the heck out of some Dodge vans and rip them around courses. I want all of it. My build will be similar to theirs, but with a few changes. They modify the stock 318 or 360 engines in theirs, I want more power. This beast will somehow fit a Hellcat 6.2 supercharged engine in that doghouse. It will scare the heck out of me, but I’ll love every second of it.
The scene that got me into auto racing. Cones beware, the RallyVan approaches.
I tried to find a different van for every application, but I made an exception here. The MK2 TC already is a proven winner around the cones, imagine it with the Focus RS powertrain. 350hp and AWD in a VAN. I’m drooling just typing about it. Jan Van earned the privilege to be the donor for the RS powertrain. I could throw a cage in it and try to actually rally it too. Who knows?!
Hear that smokey burnout? Woah! Someone just ran 9s! Must be a pro-stock or a 1000hp Supra! Wait, is that a van?
The only reason I went Mopar with this, is because I want to stuff that famed Hellephant engine in the doghouse. Whatever it takes, that Hellephant is going in there. I will settle for no slower than 10.0 seconds times. We might need more parachutes to slow this thing down.
Sometimes you just want to go sideways in a high RPM van. Sure, the Hellcat swapped track van will do that with ease. But this will be dedicated to eat up tires around a course.
My first van experience was my parents’ blue Previa. I was hooked immediately. Highly inspired by the build above, that mid engined format gives us plenty of room for activities. Let’s throw a 2JZ-GTE in that thing and let the turbos go nuts.
Besides for off road capabilities, not exactly sure what the difference between this and a camper van is. Regardless, this will be a monstrous 4x4 van to do overland-type activities.
I drove a V10 Econoline once in college. Our univeristy’s fleet consisted of several Econolines, including one with that Triton V10. It pulled. It kept pulling. I’ve wanted one ever since. Throw in a 4x4 conversion, some gear, and some goodies. Nothing except a narrow pathway can stop me.
The classic camper van. One you can putter to your lakeside and enjoy the glorious views. Plus, you can gaze onto the scenery as well!
This was an easy choice. The classic, no BS, camper van. Severely underpowered, but that can be fixed with a few modifications. Are they surging in price? Heck yeah. But this rhetorical situation provides me with all of the monies, so I’ll take the finest one out there.
Usually, people hit up their friend with a truck for moving a few items. When they need to move half a house, they’ll call me up with my cavernous cargo van.
I did about two minutes of research on which full size van had the largest cargo capacity by volume. All signs pointed to the Transit extended body length and high roof. There is as much room in there than some New York apartments. This van will also be properly equipped with the Ecoboost engine.
Sometimes, you need to move an entire family and a few hitchhikers. I’ll hop in my passenger van that can seat up to 16 individuals. Let’s see your SUV do this!
The ancient relic that just won’t die! One of the longest lasting body styles that’s still for sale out there. Is it an ‘03 or a ‘20? Who knows! The secret weapon here is the engine. If I can’t find a brand new one with the new 6.6L gas V8, I’ll settle with an older one with the bulletproof 6.0. Imagine the looks of the 15 passengers when I floor it with airplane-like acceleration.
This van is the one I will not manipulate. It is also one of the harder ones to find in pristine condition. I will show this one off at car shows and such. Or I will just stare at it in awe of its classic glory.
The minivan that kick started a revolution. If I can find a first generation Caravan with the turbo 4 engine and a stick, I will pay great amounts to have it in my possession. Bonus points if it has wood siding as well.
Half of the vans on this list may not be street driveable. If they are, not for long distances. I’ll have to tow those race vans across the country. Why not pick up a van to tow the vans?
The Centurion is just awesome looking. It looks like a semi truck that hasn’t fully grown yet. Equipped with a living space in the cab when the trips are a little long. I would like it to be able to tow at least two vans at once with it.
Because I can. That’s the answer to everyone’s question of “why make a monster truck with a van?” Also because I can crush all the puny CUVs and SUVs that are killing the van market.
Bigfoot monster trucks did a few “vanster trucks” with Econoline and Aerostar bodies. One had two speedboat engines and tank tracks (Fastrax). I have no preference on what van to use here. Just lift it on ginormous tires and put a huge engine in it.
Sometimes, you don’t have an specific application for a van. You just want the van because it is too cool not to have. It can daily, it can carry passengers, it can carry cargo, it can race. (spoiler-almost all vans can do that)
The Aerostar is one of my favorite vans. I love the wedge design that is all business. The rare manual van can be found here and there (almost bought one). This version will obviously have a stick, but with a little surprise. Let’s cram the fancy engine from the Taurus SHO in there. Now you have an Aerostar that RIPS. Ford should have done this in the 90s.
So there you have it. My weird obsession with vans put into words. What say you? What’s in your van garage?