When Custom Vans Were King.

by | Mar 30, 2010 | POLITICS

By the time I rode around in one, the chipped paint had diminished the airbrushed Firebird on the side, and the shag carpet was matted, but it left an impression.

By the time I rode around in one, the chipped paint had diminished the airbrushed Firebird on the side, and the shag carpet was matted, but it left an impression. I thought my uncle had fun in this thing, and it meant a lot to him to keep the 20 year old van running even as it fell apart. I imagined another time when custom vans dominated the streets and the people were stoned all the time. Young couples got them as gifts when they married and drove their babies around in the sunshine jamming to the Almond Brothers. I realize it wasn’t quite like that, but I can pretend.

Right on the heels of the muscle car era, the custom van became the ultimate vehicle for self expression. You could trick it out with new sound systems, lighting, beds, bubble windows, toilets, spoilers, mag wheels, custom horns, CB radios, Captains chairs, shag carpeting, and you could finish it off with the airbrushed ocean, warlock, western, wizard scenes to show you were really down. It was a big deal and I wanted to take a moment to show appreciation.

R. Anthony Harris

R. Anthony Harris

I created Richmond, Virginia’s culture publication RVA Magazine and brought the first Richmond Mural Project to town. Designed the first brand for the Richmond’s First Fridays Artwalk and promoted the citywide “RVA” brand before the city adopted it as the official moniker. I threw a bunch of parties. Printed a lot of magazines. Met so many fantastic people in the process. Professional work: www.majormajor.me

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