VANDALIZE! – LIVING IN VAN-LAND… Drag Out the 8 Tracks and Zig Zags…..


You’ve heard it a thousand times by now, Vans are happenin’! Probably more than a few of those times were from us, because we’re diggin’ the hell out of some of what is going on out there with the forever tagged, Shaggin’ Wagon. Sometimes it’s easy to take yourself and hot rodding too seriously, remember all of this started just for the fun of it. And there in lies the return of the vannin’ craze. It’s just stupid fun!

What started as wheels of choice for a generation of 60’s-70’s surf crazed, zinc-oxide wearing, uncombed, tanned, sun bleached blonde, touch of hippie, anti establishment

party boys became the go to choice of many nationwide searching for that eternal surf lifestyle that was happening in So-Cal. A generation looking for that Endless Summer, though most had never set foot in the Pacific Ocean much less touched a surfboard.

When smog regulations and car insurance costs made sure that the muscle cars died, and gas prices rose, folks nationwide discovered the fun that could be had with a van. Then the OEM’s started pumping them out, selling them at new car dealerships. Eventually causing them to be looked upon by hot rodders the way rockers looked upon the Disco Queens of the day. But over the years, a core group survived, even holding onto their airbrushed wizard decorated sin bins. We should all thank the mighty gods of airbrushed mural madness they did.

Now over 40 years later they've been rediscovered for just how much fun they are. And for now anyway, prices are still pretty cheap. What other route of hot rodding can you say that about?

Get a chance, go to a van event. See just how different the vibe is from the “take yourself seriously” crews at many rod events. It’s just fun! As the 8 track says, “Every Picture Tells a Story Don’t It”. So here’s a few from a couple of local events recently for you to trip through. Enjoy.

Oh, by the way, if this van’s a rockin’ don’t bother knockin’!


Photos: Randy Lorentzen    Words: Randy Lorentzen

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