Sunday, September 24, 2023
The 10 coolest vans of all-time

If you spend half your working life in your van and the other half working out of it, chances are you’re quite fond of the thing. After all, you probably spend more time with it than you do with your own family. Plus, vans are cool. No matter how cool you think yours is, though, it’s probably not as icy cold as these 10…

MS-RT TransitBuilt in an old chemical factory in South Wales, the MS-RT Transit began life as the lovechild of a Welsh van dealer and former WRC driver Malcom Wilson. It’s so cool that Ford sat up and took notice and now you can buy one as an official conversion through your local Ford dealership. Nothing beats it for looking good on the job.

VW ID.BuzzWith influences drawn from the iconic T1 Transporter and a fully electric drivetrain, the Volkswagen ID.Buzz is the cool van reinvented. It’s deliciously retro yet at the same time as modern as a van can get. It’ll turn heads, too. The downside being a cool £60k price tag. If you’re valeting in London, though, it beats all congestion charges.

Mystery MachineShaggy’s Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo is one of the best-known vans in the world, with its psychedelic hippy paint job hardly offering the utmost discretion for a team of spook-themed crime-busters or car valeters. In case you’re wondering, if you pull of the disguise (in true Scooby fashion), there’s a 1968 Ford Econoline under there…

A-Team VanIf you have a problem to clean up and no-one else can help, then the 1983 GMC Vandura is the van for you. The Vandura was the top-of-the-range version of the Chevrolet G-Series/GMC global van. An A-Team replica would be the perfect means of promoting your business – don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

‘XJ220’ TransitPrototype mules come in all shapes and sizes, but arguably the coolest of all-time was TWR’s development testbed for the Jaguar XJ220. The racing team charged with engineering the supercar needed something with a similar wheelbase to test the engine installation. The result was a 640bhp twin-turbocharged Ford Transit, and it still exists today. Imagine turning up to a job in this!

Del Boy’s Reliant RegalOften copied, never bettered, Del Boy Trotter’s Reliant Regal Supervan III is one of the best-known vans in the world – though car valeters may baulk at the fact it hasn’t been cleaned since 1983. Whatever you do, though, don’t call it a Reliant Robin. Or even worse, a ‘Robin Reliant’. Au contraire, Rodney, au contraire.

Citroën Berlingo Fourgonette

There’s a lot to be said for looking backwards in order to look forwards – just ask Citroën, which has recently partnered with Italian coachbuilder Caselani to create a semi-official evocation of the classic 2CV van. Based on the modern Berlingo, it even has corrugated body panels, perfect for water run-off.

Hyundai iMax Drift BusThink of drift cars and the obvious choices are super-powerful Japanese high-performance machines, but you don’t need a 1,500bhp Nissan Silvia in order to smoke some rubber. Hyundai proved this, with a 402bhp version of the previously boring iMax panel van. Just the thing if you’re in a hurry to your next job.

Vauxhall Astravan VXRWhen Vauxhall introduced its VXR line-up in 2004 it created the ultimate van to go with it – by shoehorning the 240bhp 2.0-litre Turbo into the humble Astravan. Perfect for getting to jobs quickly, but make sure you strap your flask of tea into its OMP rally harnesses as it’s a wild ride..

Super Tinky Burger VanHolding the official world record for being the World’s Smallest Van, British inventor Yannick Read built the 75cm wide Citroën HY replica to entertain his children. It’s powered by a 24v electric battery and is a fully operational food truck. Perfect for the young detailer in your life.