BY BETH ALLEN
When I went to my first vanning event in ’99 I immediately met two older vanner chicks.
Camel was in her late 50’s at the time, and as soon as she saw me she hooted and hollered up a storm. “I am so excited to actually see a young chick that has a fucking van!” Ends up she used to do a van column, “Van Scan,” for Truckin’ Magazine in the mid-80s. Her van ‘Old Girl’ was bad ass. White with maroon pin striping and a chain link steering wheel.
The other woman I met was Jewels, who was a member of the ‘Pirate Vanners’. She had an old Dodge — complete with a CB and pirate flag adorned hood. It was kinda run down, but Jewels herself made it clear that she was a “party vanner” not a show-and-shiner.
I had a lot of fun hanging out with Camel and Jewels that weekend. Both of them were wild and crazy and held their own with the vanner guys.
The thing about vanning, like a lot of things, is that it can be more of a boys club. I’ve been feeling this lately… with the resurgence of vannin’ in general and vannin’ hitting the hipster scene. Being a chick, and a vanner, I have to laugh when vanner dudes promote women as “eye candy” (Hello Wham-Bam-Bulance and Rolling Heavy “Putting the Tits & Ass back in vans” magazine). I figured it was high time for DON’T COME KNOCKIN’ to feature some chicas who drive and customize their own rockin’ rides.
This series goes out to Camel and Jewels, who are still out there vannin’. Big thanks to Zamanta for all the cool contacts. And thanks to all the women I interviewed for sharing their stories. Stand by your vans ladies, and keep on rockin’.
PICTURED ABOVE: Very top image: T & A, a censored big hairy bush, and a cool van.