VanTastic! 1977 Hop Cap Dodge B20 Saved From Oblivion

The events of the last 18 months have ground America down to a bloody nub – surrounded by madness, worrywarts, and false prophets, we may never recover. So says this author, anyway…

For many of us, there is a yearning to return to normalcy, to return to a simpler time. When music was so good it brought us all together, every hue and creed strumming air guitars in unison around the keg. When mighty muscle cars, trucks, and vans cruised Van Nuys and Woodward all night long and the only worry was having enough money to fill the gas tank in the morning.

Unfortunately, as Tom Petty so eloquently said in his tune “Learning To Fly,” the good old days, may not return. That might indeed be the case, but finding an artifact from the golden era of gas-powered shaggin’ wagons could be enough to transport us back, even if only for a moment.

Dig this 1977 Dodge B20 Hop Cap van posted by Canadian, Jesse Millington on Vanner Inc’s Facebook page.  It is a rough, but intact archeological find that may as well be from a thousand years ago. You can almost smell the spilled bong water and cigarette smoke just looking at the pictures.

Sadly, the sun is setting on the people and the country that built this van, and soon, this old sin bin may be the only evidence of their toil. Hop Cap, a shop located in Bremen, Indiana, was just 25 miles away from Elkhart, Indiana, the epicenter of van conversions in the 1970s. They built out vans and christened them “Van Tastic” and were modified so well they look completely custom. They could make vans as mild or as wild as customers wanted. Some had a little shag carpeting, custom paint, and a bubble window, while others were totally over the top.

Jesse explains, “This 1977 Dodge B20 Hop Cap van has made one hell of a journey to be in my possession. How this van traveled 3,000km from Indiana to Quebec and then to Alberta over the years is anyone’s guess. She has been sitting probably 20 years in the same spot at a local storage yard until today.

“This van is a true survivor and I will clean it up and keep it original. She’s very gross inside but looks all intact. It appears to be powered by a 318 V8. It has tons of Quebec vanning plates and old girlie mags inside. If this old van could talk. To tell you the joy I experienced knowing that I found this van is a feeling I will never forget. Keep your eyes open. They are out there still in the strangest places. I will update you with more cleaning pictures later.” Check out Jesse’s page, he has a knack for finding old vans.

Jesse Millington

Who knows what secrets this four-wheeled cocoon holds?  A young love affair, a bitter break-up, or a furtive encounter that led to three kids in the suburbs. Maybe a best buddy that didn’t survive the partying stage, a sibling lost long ago, or the first time “Do You Feel Like We Do” wafted from the speakers on a cool summer night. Jesse, we know this Van Tastic Dodge is in good hands, please take care of this old vessel. You are now the shepherd of the spirits contained therein.

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About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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