The Chevrolet Van is a range of vans manufactured and marketed by General Motors under its Chevrolet marque from 1964 to 1996. GM created the vehicles to replace the panel van version of the Chevrolet Suburban and the rear-engine Corvair Corvan/Greenbrier. The van was available as a passenger van, cargo van, or cutaway van chassis, any of which could be used as a basis for a wide range of specialized uses. General Motors discontinued the G-Series vans after the 1996 model year, and the GMT600-platform Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana took their place.
History of the Chevrolet Van
First Generation Chevrolet Van (1964-1966)
Influenced by the Volkswagen bus, General Motors debuted its first van in 1961: the Chevrolet Corvair-based Chevrolet Greenbrier van, or Corvan. The first generation of Chevrolet vans, the G-10 half-ton, was manufactured from 1964 to 1966. To keep up with the Ford Econoline and Dodge A100, General Motors realized there was a need for a tiny van built on a revised passenger car platform. The engine in the 1964 Chevrolet van was located in a "doghouse" behind the front seats, between the cab and the cargo area. A "cab over" vehicle is the generic term used worldwide to describe a car in which the driver sits atop the front axle and the engine is located close to the front wheels.
Production Timeline (First-Generation)
- 1964 - Boxxy exterior shape with simple construction and features; the 2.5L engine was standard (3.2L was optional); Warner 3-speed manual transmission was standard (Optional: 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission)
- 1965 - Chevy made minor changes; the 3.2L became standard (optional: 3.8L engine)
- 1966 - New trims were available: Sportvan Custom and Sportvan Deluxe
Second Generation Chevrolet Van (1967-1970)
Beginning with the 1967 model year, Chevrolet introduced a completely redesigned van with a longer wheelbase option of 2,743 mm (108 in) and a V8 engine as an option for the first time. The headlights were moved inside the new grille, the taillights were made larger and more rectangular, and the windshield was reshaped.
For the first time, Chevrolet vans featured side marker lights and reflectors the year FMVSS 108 went into effect. The 307 cu in (5.0 L) 2-barrel V8 that was once an option is now standard. It was also possible to upgrade to a 4-speed transmission with a column shifter (Borg-Warner T10).
The Chevrolet bowtie hood logo went from red to blue that year, while the TH-350 Turbo-Hydramatic transmission went from an extra cost accessory to a standard feature.
In 1970, manufacturers finally abandoned the boxy look. Standardization occurred with the 250 cu in (4.1 L) inline-6 engine.
Third Generation Chevrolet Van (1971-1996)
GM's third-generation G-series vans debuted as 1971 models in April of that year. The vans' front-engine layout resulted from a comprehensive rethink of the entire model range. While still based on a unibody chassis, Chevy shared the mechanical components of the C/K vans' third generation with the second and third-generation pickup trucks. One of GM's longest-produced vehicle platforms, the third-generation G-series vans clocked in at 25 years of manufacturing. The model line was referred to as the G-series van, like prior iterations. A 1-ton series was made available for the first time, in addition to the previously available 12-ton and 3-quarter-ton nominal payload series.
General Motors produced the Chevrolet Van from 1964 to 1996 under the company's division of Chevrolet.