The Unashamed Simplicity Of Prolonged Vans
One of many issues I like a lot about workhorse vans is how a lot they have a tendency to mix into the background texture of recent actuality. There all the time appears to be some round someplace close to you, busily doing their jobs and never making a giant factor about it. However I’d wish to make a giant factor out of a factor made large: the clunky pleasure of prolonged vans.
Prolonged vans are precisely what you assume they’re: vans, however prolonged. Longtail vans. They’re the best way that van-makers—largely American van-makers, it appears—would get an even bigger van possibility with absolutely the minimal of engineering and design, by simply chopping the butt off the traditional van and welding on an extended one.
There’s no wheelbase extentions or something like that—only a regular van, with an even bigger chunk on the rear.
I observed one in all these the opposite day, and what struck me was one thing I’ve seen a billion occasions earlier than however in some way by no means appeared as large a deal because it did in that second: the seam.
What I discover charming about these vans is simply how apparent what was achieved to them was. There’s a van, after which there’s a giant seam, after which there’s extra van.
They’re type of funny-looking, actually, possibly seeming like a child rhino with a well-filled diaper, or one thing. However for some purpose, I like them?
I feel I similar to the honesty of these items, the place you possibly can have a look at it and see precisely what occurred: make rear of van open, add on greater finish cap. These items had been staples of supply van fleets, small-district college buses, and church vans.
The truth is, I as soon as dated a lady who was the lead singer for a band that had an ex-school bus model of those for his or her tour van, which I drove as tour driver again within the carefree ‘90s, in my non-bald-spot-having youth.
On the Ford Econoline variations, they spent a bit extra effort hiding the magic, with a styling crease that hides the seam, or at the least makes it look extra deliberate, solely to be ratted out by that great little rear facet marker lamp blanking panel:
I bear in mind noticing these whilst just a little, detail-obsessed child, and for some purpose most likely finest left to hours of remedy, it made me glad. Like I used to be seeing a touch of how a magic trick labored. It was just a little clue to a secret about how the world truly labored, or one thing.
I suppose for those who had been actually ballsy, you may change the clean panel with further rear marker lights, so everybody would know you weren’t fucking round, right here.
Apparently, I feel GM was the one one out of the Massive Three to not screw round with any van ass-enhancing, preferring to simply go all out and supply an extended wheelbase model of their workhorse vans:
Technically, this can be a higher answer, engineering-wise. However I’m nonetheless keen on the hacky, tack-on-more-rear methodology utilized by Ford and Mopar.
Fashionable vans are available in a number of sizes, too, after all. And there’s longer variations constructed on the identical wheelbase as shorter ones. However trendy van designs in some way handle to cover their strategies higher. I don’t assume any have that tacked-on-ass look of those older prolonged vans.
Even I understand that is an unusually deep lower for a automobile design element to note. And is exactly the type of factor achieved primarily based on the belief that, actually, no person provides a shit. And, these previous designers had been principally right. No person actually did give a shit.
Aside from me, right now. Now I can’t cease these oddly-proportioned and helpful machines at any time when I see one.
Don’t be ashamed, van-extenders. This works.