Stickshift Shorty: 1987 GMC Vandura – Sold?

by | Dec 2022 | Classifinds, Truckin Tuesday

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January 15, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

We’re following a theme here on Truckin’ Tuesday with short-wheelbase models that we find somewhat irresistible. The obsession over trucks with compact wheelbases can be attributed to the 1970s when vans became hot not only as a way to live in your primary mode of transportation but also as a personal styling exercise that spanned creating fully customized interiors to painting murals across both sides of the truck. Finding one today isn’t as hard as you might think, as many of these kitted-out vans have been preserved to a decent standard. This listing is for a desirable short-wheelbase 1987 GMC Vandura (listed as a Chevrolet) with an incredibly rare four-speed manual gearbox and true mileage unknown.  We spotted it in December 2022 on Craigslist in West Palm Beach for $11,000. Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows that the seller is asking for reasonable money, given that the average sale price is now clocking in at almost $17,000.

If you are serious about buying this classic shorty van, you can start the conversation by either calling or texting the seller at (561) 313-8820.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their GMC featured here on GuysWithRides.com.

Unlike the Ford F150, which we’re featuring this week with its unique Flareside bed, the classic conversion van has always been hard to dissociate with the utility side of its identity. While a heavily customized Chevy G10 or GMC Vandura may be incredibly eye-catching and deserving of our enthusiastic thumbs up, many of these vans are old plumber’s trucks or used by roofing contractors as total beaters. To think of a van from this era being used as a showstopper or a centerpiece for a major automotive gathering, it’s sometimes hard to imagine without seeing the vehicle in the flesh. Fortunately, there’s plenty of evidence to go around that confirms these popular and long-lived GMC and Chevy vans are excellent platforms for converting into mini-campers and/or rolling pieces of art depending on the owner’s preference; some value having creature comforts and life on the open road while others relish the chance to show off their airbrushing skills along the flat side panels while onlookers guess at what your mural will become.

The Pete’s S10 Page YouTube Channel features this 1984 Chevrolet Training video teaching sale people how the GM vans compare to their Ford and Dodge contemporaries:

I totally dig this van. The wide Rally wheels are the perfect look for a late 80s GM van, and the only thing that would make them look better is if the van was lowered a bit. While GM did offer a very rarely seen manual transmission in their vans, I highly doubt this one has a five-speed, as the seller says, unless it’s been retrofitted. Otherwise, it’s more than likely a standard four-speed which is still quite hard to find. The seller mentions the van is equipped with power steering, air conditioning, power brakes, and not much else, but this was still likely fairly opulent by van standards of the day. The photos show a mild custom paint job on the sides, but nothing like the classic 70s and 80s murals we’ve seen with a wolf crying next to a lake and the moon spinning around the solar system while a Lara Croft-wannabe rides a shooting star. Or something like that. Regardless, the seller doesn’t mention any rust or running issues, so hopefully, this Chevy C10 / GMC Vandura shorty can find a new home and get some fine tuning done without too much heavy lifting.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1987 Chevy Shorty Van runs great. V8, 5 Speed manual transmission, PS, AC, PB. 11,000.00. Call Leonard. No texts, please.”

The ultimate shorty: would you take a rig like this one home or wait for one with even more custom touches? 

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