I was barely alive long enough to have a cup of coffee in the 80s, but it seemed like a pretty crazy decade, especially for cars. One of the automotive trends that best exemplified the 80s was the van conversion, where owners took any type of van, or even a pickup truck, and turned it into a motorhome. This 1984 Chevy S-10 conversion van, which is currently for sale on Milwaukee Craigslist is a perfect example.
It started life as an S-10 pickup (which is ironically the truck I learned to drive on), but was later converted into something of a rolling saloon. The bed was removed and a massive, brown, van-like body was mounted on the cabin. The connection between the cabin and the van-like rear is also open, so that the front passengers can move freely between the two spaces. The rear space has two captain’s chairs, which recline almost completely aft, transforming them into mini-beds. Behind them is a rear seat that also folds completely flat, making another bed. All are thick and covered in brown fabric with beige piping.
The driver’s side of the van’s compartment features three windows with curtains, the top of which features upward-facing ambient lighting. Same for the rear window. Each window also has a built-in cup holder. There are even small spotlights integrated into the headliner to completely illuminate the rear area. While the passenger side has a single shaded window and a massive gullwing door, so you can enter the rear compartment from the outside, Mercedes-style.
According to the listing, the Chevy S-10 packs its 2.8-liter V6 option, which came with 110 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. I distinctly remember the V6 feeling underpowered in my family’s old ’89 S-10, so I can only imagine what it feels like to lug around all that extra weight. Although, this conversion van isn’t all about speed or even ride, to be honest. It’s about hanging out in the back once you get to your destination.
It’s hard to judge the quality of the conversion through photos, but there are some odd-looking details, like the sealant around the window above the forward cabin. Although it appears to be in generally good condition, even with its 99,000 miles. There’s a tear here, a tear there, and potentially a little corrosion on the driver’s side front wheel arch. Overall, though, it seems to be pretty solid. The seller claims this is a rare conversion, with only five ever made, and is asking $10,800. Anyone feeling nostalgic for that period might very well find this conversion worth the cost and whoever buys it will be rolling down the road like 1980s royalty.
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