We’re Not Worthy of the This ’70s-Inspired Cruising Van
What happens in the van, stays in the van.
In 1976, long before any of the students at the WyoTech automotive training school were born, Ford Motor Company imagined an amazing Cruising Van, with period-appropriate stripes, side pipes, and porthole side windows.
WyoTech’s Transit was built for competition in the Chop, Cut, Rebuild show on Lucas Oil’s MAVTV channel.
Ford built its Cruising Van to capitalize on the ’70s van craze, applying extreme striping with slot mag wheels, raised white letter Firestones and that all-important side porthole window. It was similar to their treatment of the Bronco.
Final finishing of the Cruising Vans was left to the local dealers, and it seems that in practice the vans received slightly different striping than was shown in the advertisements, but they were otherwise similar.
WyoTech’s van required 800 hours of skilled labor to produce, with modifications like the 16-inch porthole windows, which aren’t available from the local van customizer anymore. The team built the Transit’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine to produce 320 rear wheel horsepower and added 18-inch Rocket Racing wheels and Michelin Redline tires in place of the old mags and Firestones.
Twin Webasto sunroofs keeps the interior from seeming as cavelike as the old Cruising Van, while preserving the ever-important privacy that made such vehicles a hit at the time. Of course, the interior is finished in shag carpeting and the front captain’s chairs swivel around to face backward when parked.
The disco ball proves that there is no doubt the students have captured the attitude of those classic vans.