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Sunday, June 9, 2013


As Debbie and I ventured to the Good Guys Car Show in Loveland, Colorado yesterday, we couldn't help but wonder if we would see any early vans at the show. There weren't many. Only a couple, in fact. But what we did stumble upon was nothing short of remarkable.

Mark Patterson was seated among the throng of hot rods with the most original example of a second-generation Chevrolet van that I've seen in ages.
The story behind the van was just as remarkable. Mark's father drove this van on the job, back in the day. And with the blessing of his employer, he would borrow it to take his family on outings. Mark had many memories of tooling around in the van as a kid and it held a special place in his memories.

Factory equipped 283 ci.
Mark has quite a collection of original materials.
Mark never forgot all the great times he and his family had in the Chevy. Years passed, and Mark found himself working for the same company that his father had, and one day he innocently inquired about the whereabouts of the van. Turns out, the company still had it and Mark told them that if they would ever consider selling it, he'd be very interested. His employer must have realized that the van couldn't have had a better second owner, so they made him a gracious offer. If Mark was willing to make the van mechanically sound, they would give it to him. The rest is history. As Mark entered the gates of the Good Guys show, he watched the odometer turn 58,000 miles.

That's 58K original miles, folks.
As the crowd milled about the fairgrounds, little did most of them know that one very appreciative grown man was recounting his youth. As the proud caretaker of this gorgeous low-mileage Chevy, Mark intent on keeping it as original as it was back when he rode around in it as a young whipper-snapper. You've got to love the fact that Mark's employer saw fit to honor the many great memories that Mark had with this van, and allowed him to continue to create great memories with his family in it.

Meeting Mark made our day, and his story reminds us that there are still some fantastic employers left on this planet.
Two old friends, reunited.

Thanks for sharing your story, and your van with us, Mark.