Stand By Your Van

Interviewed February 2016.


Name, age, where you live:

Heather Smith, 50, in one of my vans.


What kind of vans do you have?

Daily driver is a 74 Dodge B100. Plus others. Either own or co- own.


Tell us about any customizing you have done on on your vans.

Daily driver, none yet. I have all the wood put away that I am going to use. Plus the metal to get rid of the bay windows. Looking for bubble hearts that are not a ridiculous price. “Nautilus” was done before I bought into it. A couple others that have yet to be revealed. 


Any future plans in the works for the van?

Mechanical maintenance.  


Have you “rocked” your van?

What happens in a van stays in the van.


Any past vans you’ve owned?

1965 Chevy, 1974 Dodge, 1977 Dodge. Loraine Drive touring van (punk band) ,1970 Ford Econoline 300. 


1 2 3 4 5 by v8.7.1m

Are you in a van club?

Our Gang Vans. The were around since 1968. Wheels of Confusion they were around since 1972.


Do you go to vanning events?

Yes! As many as I can. I have to give almost a years notice to get a weekend off though.


What are your favorite places to take your van?

Van runs.


How and when did your lust for vans begin?

First Van run I went on I was 14 with my brother. I was raised with my Dad showing cars. When I saw the level of customization! Better than the hot rod crowd!

Certified Van Judge patchAt 16, after my first car got stolen 1965 1/2 Mustang, my Dad got me a 1956 210 Chevy. I showed the Chevy. I was the second owner. For graduation I begged that they let me spend my own money to by a daily drive Van. That was the 1965 Chevy Van.


What do you think about the current van “scene” today?

Mixed. It’s not like it was. People think they have to compete. It’s about brother/ sisterhood. Not about what you can attend every weekend. Or snide remarks on social media.

I’ve been to the Van Nationals and the Council of Councils for the past four years, after taking a break of many years to raise kids and work. I have met people from all over the world through Nationals and Council of Councils. The East Coast/Midwest still has the heart of vanning.

quoteI have met and partied with many of the vanners that have been around since the beginning of vanning. The East Coast and Midwest has what it really about. It’s about your second family, not about what Van you drive or how nice it is. Or how many cruises or shows you can make.

Any other van-related things you do?

No websites. Always Van related. Trying to keep the registration, insurance and smog paid on the vans and working everyday is Van related.

What other kinds of wheels do you roll?

Jeep. Used to be a skateboard powered by a Doberman when I was younger and lived in Lynwood CA. Many of the original vanners remember my Doberman.

Sky’s the limit, describe your ULTIMATE wet dream van.Heather

Nautilus. And done, I have the shirt too!

What are some must have tunes to crank while cruising in your van?

Any good Classic rock... Sammy Hagar comes to mind.


Ford, Chevy or Dodge?



Ass, gas or grass?



Plether, shag or tuck-n-roll?

Anything you want it’s your van! I like wood!




Don’t Come Knockin’