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Topical advertising: Car-based vans

Car-based vans have been incredibly popular in Europe since the end of World War II. Generally cheaper to buy, register and insure than larger vehicles, these city-friendly vans have been widely used as delivery vehicles, work mules and passenger haulers over the past couple of decades. Almost every automaker has offered one at one point or another in its life.

The car-based van segment in the United States is much smaller for a multitude of reasons but companies like Chevrolet and Ford tried their hand at selling small commercial vehicles during the oil crisis of the 1970s.

We’ve compiled a collection of the some of the more interesting vans that have competed in the crowded segment over the past couple of decades. We’ve included the Peugeot 504 pick up and the Ford P100, both of which embody the same general concept but takes the form of a truck rather than a van, and the Chevrolet Vega Panel Express to show what was coming out of the United States during 1970s.

Which one would you rather use as a work vehicle?

Austin Mini


Chevrolet Vega Panel Express


Citroën 2CV AK350


Citroën C15


Fiat 500 Giardiniera


Fiat 900 E


Fiat Panda 4×4 van


Ford Escort


Ford Escort


Ford P100


Peugeot 205 F


Peugeot 504 pickup


Renault 4 F4


SEAT Terra


Volkswagen Caddy


4 thoughts on “Topical advertising: Car-based vans

  1. Mud4Fun, the upper Escort image is actually a Ford Thames (like all UK Ford commercials of the time) 300E. The one shown is one of the very, very earliest, as you can tell by the semaphore indicator. The corresponding early Ford Anglia had red rear lights that matched the top half of the later red / orange combinations in size, and even some of these, I think, flashed and had their semaphores disconnected, prior to blanking-off. The odd, disproportionately large US (and tractor) – style Ford badge on the side, full-length aluminium trim down the centre of the bonnet and lack of number-plate make me think we’re looking at a pre-production vehicle used for this publicity-shot.

  2. Pingback: Topical advertising: Car-based vans (part two) | Ran When Parked

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