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Thread: Looking for a 1st gen van AUTO trans

  1. #1
    New Guy
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    Looking for a 1st gen van AUTO trans

    Im looking for a 1st gen Chevy or GMC van.

    Auto trans
    Panel no windows (back windows ok)
    Runs, drives, stops
    No cancer

    Im located in so cal but will consider ship on my dime for the right van.

    email me thanks
    beerruncalifornia at gmail . com

  2. #2
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    welcome to the forum.

    The vast majority of 1st gens were manual trans. It is not that difficult to swap a manual transmission to an auto. The factory auto in a first gen was a powerglide with only 2 speeds, so they sucked and you would want to upgrade it anyway. My advice would be to look for the best body you can find, and then install the transmission you want. In the past month, a couple very clean 1st gen bodies have popped up on craigslist in Arizona.

    As far as runs, drive, stops... be prepared to have to do work on any 1st gen you find to make it reliable. They usually get sold because the owner gives up on them. But they are not hard to work on and get running again.

    For a rust free panel van with auto trans and running/driving reliably as you have described you should be prepared to pay a premium... IF you can even find one at all



    64' wikivan 230/4 onda tree/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

  3. #3
    New Guy
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    Understood. I'm utilizing the site here to research some topics including a trans swap but unfortunately I don't have an ideal parking situation for too big a project. Swapping a powerglide for an upgrade is one thing, I need to consider all thats involved in swapping a manual to an auto. Steering column etc. Running is a must, a premium for the right van is an option.

    I should add I am looking for a shorty van.
    Last edited by beerrun; 09-20-2017 at 01:10 PM.

  4. #4
    New Guy
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    To narrow it down im looking for a van something in between a complete basket case and the yellow 65 ya sold on ebay. That van is awesome!
    Last edited by beerrun; 09-20-2017 at 01:10 PM.

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    The van PG has the cast in top mount for the rear of the trans. The TH350 used a 'hanger' that bolted around the tail housing, and is a pretty rare item.

    Most auto swaps are done with a universal drop style mount from Speedway.

    The manual trans column shift has been used to operate an auto trans, but you have no reverse lockout detent so you need to be careful.

    Auto columns are out there, but they are rare as well. Many people just use an aftermarket floor shift.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel 350 V8 -- Soon to be 454 powered!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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    VCVC Member
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    Welcome Aboard!

    Welcome!
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CruchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID 6 cylinder, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s

  7. #7
    New Guy
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by 108VanGuy View Post
    Welcome!
    108VanGuy...
    Thanks. Great site guys. Was reading up on it in Custom Vanner mag, glad I found it.

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    VCVC Member
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    hey beerrun that awesome yellow van was the guy that is giving you the advice KOOKYs. Like he said get the best van you can afford, alot of the parts are commen easy parts but some are rare. You are in the right area(california) for decent vans

    You have found the right bunch of guys. We are all about keeping the eariles alive for ever
    1964 gmc handi vortec ls 5.3 whipple supercharger supter t-10 4 speed 9" ford builder of the first saturn power steering set up

  9. #9
    VCVC Member ExEarlyVanner's Avatar
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    Cool BeerRun

    BeerRun
    Put down Where in Calif you are Calif is a BIG state some one here may be just around the corner


    Ken
    68 90 6cyl three speed

  10. #10
    New Guy
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    I actually pulled the trigger on a nice 3rd gen yesterday that was fs locally. Still looking to get a 1st gen in the future but for now Ive got a nice project on my hands. Thanks guys.

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