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Are you of an old enough generation to recall the term: Shagvan? If you do, it will most likely be a vague echo from a bygone era. An era where the most outrageous car scene ruled – the automotive equivalent of Sauron. Well, you may require a straight bourbon to settle your nerves, but it seems as if he’s working up a comeback…

Here in our peaceful little Scandiland, embraced by idyllic nature and fragrant pastries, this comeback hasn’t yet reached the headlines nor does it seem to have much support. But I have been informed from credible sources, that matters have taken an entirely different course in the USA. Evil plans are being forged in darkness and the Originality Police have been increasingly busy.

So what is all of this evil which I present you with here? Well, essentially it’s innocent and unassuming vans which suddenly find themselves exposed to the type of people who probably spent their childhood entertaining themselves by tearing wings of live bugs. As grownups, they have substituted the insects with practical vans as the white canvas for which they can express their dark soul.

As a writer and reporter here at ViaRETRO, I feel compelled to retain a – largely – objective stance to all shades of classic cars and the varying views of their owners. For the most part that’s a good thing, but from time to time I desperately feel that there is a serious lack of humour and creativity. It would just be nice if it wasn’t always about impressing. At least with these customised vans, there’s most certainly an abundance of both humour and creativity. Granted, they might not top the charts on pure aesthetics, and some self-confessed purists might well find this difficult to cope with. But frankly, it’s fabulously hilarious and liberating in this virtues times. So may I instead suggest that we all dust off that old van – whether an Chevy, Ford, Morris or VW – which we have stashed away behind the shed, then dig deep into all those seventies consumer goods as you start creating your very own customised shagvan.

Don’t hold back either! How about a proper four-post bed, funky orange and green tiles, and of course stained-glass windows? This is your perfect opportunity to utilise that old cathode-ray tube TV, the VHS machine and not least that brown synthetic dressing gown. There will be extra ViaRETRO points given to those of you who manage to get your shagvan on the road before the end of summer…


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