Owning a van of any size has become tragically unhip, primarily due to the minivan/soccer mom movement of the 1990s. Back in the 1970s, having a custom van was the next best thing to driving a badass muscle car.
The custom van culture was so popular, that in the mid-1970s Ford Motor Company went as far as to feature modified vehicles in their advertising campaigns.
Unlike the modern era of automotive advertising where vehicles are shown in their stock form, Ford promoted their full-size vans in a way to make them seem like cool cruisers, and not like work vans.
Ford marketed full-size vans based on the ability to turn them into the coolest rides on the streets, and this week’s “Throwback Thursday” video shows that.
This 1976 Ford Econoline van ad chronicles the daily life of a guy named Merton Grundy, who spends his days as a grunt at the local bank. He dresses like a square and drives a full size Ford van, but not just any big van.
Merton drives a fully customized Econoline van, with flames down the side, custom body work, custom wheels, and a ridiculous wing on the roof.
Best of all, like a proper 1970s shaggin’ wagon van, Merton has the rear cargo area completely decked out with shag carpeting and furniture that is perfect for… take a wild guess. As a result, the nerdy corporate peon is able to score a lovely blonde, all thanks to his awesome custom Ford Econoline van.