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AMAZING SURVIVOR CUSTOM STAR TREK VAN
1978 GMC G15 Vandura Van.
I have reluctantly (we would like to shrink the family vehicle stable a bit as we now have two small boys and no time) decided to sell my 1978 GMC Vandura custom van.
The van was built up from stock in 1979-1980, paint was done by G.S. Roy, a well known Canadian artist. I contacted Mr. Roy, who remembers painting this van as well as another for the owners cousin (that one was 'mermaid' themed. . .wish I knew where it was!). The van is a survivor and sat for years in storage owned by the same family from new to 2012 (33 years). . .I purchased it in 2013 from Ontario and shipped it out to the west coast here in Vancouver where I have enjoyed every day of owning it. NOT a vehicle for the shy, you absolutely cannot go anywhere without many thumbs up, cheers, and people waxing nostalgic about custom vans and/or Star Trek. The van currently has a little over 25,000 KM's (15k miles) on it showing on the odometer. I can't verify for sure this isn't 125,000km's but looking over all aspects of the van I would not doubt if it is true. . .it isn't perfect, but is a true survivor of an era gone by and I wouldn't hesitate to drive it anywhere. I've replaced the tires with period correct BFG T/A's , installed a new heater core, brake master cylinder, tuned her up, installed a back up camera, and done all required to pass a BC (ridiculously strict and silly) provincial inspection. I've spent $3500 on the Van in the past year to make it mechanically excellent and drivable every day if someone wanted to.
I'll outline the good and bad below in each category to the best of my ability, and will take as many pics as I can to show the condition of items. Anything I missed or any questions just ask☺. I don't really need to sell the Van but as I mentioned could use the room and free time. . .you don't find something like this every day and I realize it takes a special (read as a little off. . .like me lol) person to own something like this. . .I do guarantee you will enjoy the smiles it brings to faces all around as you drive down the road and the vehicle (paint alone) could not be replicated for even close to what my price is here.
GOOD - The exterior is completely covered in custom airbrushing, it is Star Trek themed in general with a LOT of small images of faces, creatures, etc that seemingly never cease to stop appearing. . .I found a new face last month. Overall the paint itself has held up well...thought the clear on the murals on the back has dried out and is flaking. The vehicle was treated new to the full 'Zeibart' rustproofing package and has ZERO rust. Honestly, the body is in amazingly clean shape. Zeibart plugged, filled, closed all areas that may have someday allowed water ingress. Has original custom windshield visor. Bumpers are in great shape and rust free/pitting free as is custom grill. Van has a 'split' sunroof that does work, though I siliconed it shut as it had a small leak on the drivers side when I wash it. Still has the original custom thrush sidepipes that sound awesome.
BAD - The clearcoat technology in 1980 wasn't as good as today and it has dried and is peeling in places. Most notably on the hood and rear doors. I thought about wet sanding with 2000 and respraying the clear but got scared to do it myself. There is a small dent behind the rear wheel on the drivers side which I took a few pics of and should appear in the set. I didn't know it was there when I bought it, it isn't really noticeable but I believe in full disclosure. The thrush pipes should be rechromed at some point. . .they were pitted and surface rusting in places. I touched them up with chrome paint but they aren't perfect.
GOOD -- Two words 'Red Velvet'. Diamond quilted red velvet to be exact. This covers the door panels, wall and ceiling panels, and visor area. The flooring is red carpeting with thick soft underpadding in rear. Original red dash and console are crack free and in excellent shape. Incredibly cool octagonal wood steering wheel. Period correct cassette player and equalizer with power antenna. All gauges work, wipers work (including intermittent), horn, all lights operational. Heater works great and is new. I installed a backup camera to help with parking. Front captain's seats are swivel and again covered in quilted red velvet, both have lap belts. Sliding door actually works. Currently I have a bench seat with quick release function installed behind the captain's chairs (for my kids; the original swivel 'buckets' did not have seatbelts). I do have the 'buckets' and they will be included as well as the mounting brackets. . .once again, more red velvet! There is also a pump sink, icebox, and bed in back with curtains. . .you guessed it. . .red velvet.
BAD -- Drivers door velvet has a small tear (see pic). A few of the upholstery 'button' covers are missing, I do have replacements which will be included. . .I just haven't had the time to install. The van was wired up for interior lighting above the rear seating area and in the bed area. The wiring is still there but the lights are not. I would want to trace all the wiring and re-set it up and install new lights. . .but again, I don't have the time.
GOOD -- As mentioned in the description, I have done a lot of work to get this vehicle to meet our strict provincial inspection last year. As with most vehicles that are stored long-term, I had to refresh some items. The heater core was removed for some reason so I purchased and installed a new one. The brake master cylinder was replaced as well.
As far as I know the van needs nothing mechanically done to it right now (according to my mechanic). It starts, runs, drives fine with no issues and is happy to cruise along at 120km/h (70mph) all day. I drive it up to Whistler regularly as well as over to our cabin in the gulf islands.
GOOD -- I replaced the tires less than 1000kms (600 mls) ago with period correct BFG T/A's. Rears are 245/60/15, fronts are 225/70/15. Has original Cragar SS wheels.
BAD -- Cragar SS wheels are pitting/peeling and should be refinished.