Have you ever dreamed of having the comfort of a full-size van with the cargo capacity of a short-bed truck? Have we got the vehicle for you! Meet the Chevrolet AstroLanche.
This amazing vehicle began life as a run-of-the-mill 2003 Chevrolet Astro Van. At some point, it was converted to have a shortened pickup bed, similar to the Hummer H3T.
The bed uses the Astro van’s “Dutch doors” as a tailgate, while the rear hatch has been moved forward to just behind the second row of seats. Below the rear glass, there appears to be nothing separating the bed from the passenger area – which is great for hauling lumber or perhaps a full-size ladder.
For all the custom work that has gone into this truck-van hybrid, I think my favorite thing about it has to be the name “AstroLanche.”
The 1970s are remembered today as a decade of excess, and nothing embodies that mindset greater than the cars that people were driving. This was the era that gave us the Dukes of Hazzard, Smokey and the Bandit, and the original “Gone in 60 Seconds.”
There was another craze during the 1970s: custom vans. People would take full-size vans from Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge and trick them out with shag carpet, a stereo system, custom paint and wheels, custom interior, CB radio, and even accessories like mini fridges!
“Vanning” exploded in popularity and was featured in movies and songs of the era. Like vinyl records and most things from the 1970s, “street vans” fell out of fashion to fade into obscurity, only to see a small revival today.
This 1970s-era Dodge Ram van may be a relic of that era. It looks to have been converted to a camper/motorhome at one point, and is now languishing on a side street. The interesting thing about this van is its dual rear axle setup – something I have not seen before and can find very little about on the Internet. I suspect it may have been a custom modification.