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Phase Ia, The Real Hunt? 10/29/99

Well my initial apprehension was warranted, after 3 weeks of waiting for a production preference it turned out that a dealer cannot order an upfit cargo van. The reason is understandable - they are incomplete and a liability, but it would've been nice to know sooner. Sticking to the Safari idea I decided to have the salesman look for a suitable passenger version while I contacted GMC's approved conversion companies to see if I could simply have the vehicle built to my specifications.

After going through the list I found only two companies that would work with a van without the full window treatment and simply cover the walls. Neither company returned my call after the initial conversation. I did find one company I was comfortable with, but they dealt only with the window vans. In addition the gentleman I spoke with advised against the Safari after finding out that I'm 6'1" and I wanted to tow a car. He was convinced I would be much happier with the fullsize Savana.

I spent a weekend analyzing all the aspects of the decision and determined that the Savana was the wiser choice allowing much more room, greater towing capacity, plenty of space for signage even with full factory glass, and a V8 (I'm a sucker for that). Now I had two choices: buy a commercial cargo van, which in the Savana can be pretty much fully optioned, or go ahead and get a conversion Savana setup the way I wanted it. In the end I decided to simply get it done right in the beginning.

So what in the heck did I do? I spent a fair amount of time on the phone with the good people at Custom Craft Vehicles designing the Classical Pontiac Mobile Show Headquarters, or the Great White Elephant if you prefer. The basic vehicle is a Savana with the Vortec 5700, 3.73 gears, locking differential, and creature comforts. The conversion is a cross between their I Class (interior design), S Class (no seats in the rear), and L Class (work surface). As it would be fairly difficult to add features after the initial work was done I decided to implement most of my dream list:

  • Four individual seats
  • Work surface
  • DC to AC invertors
  • LCD monitor
  • TV tuner
  • VCP

    The stereo is the factory unit playing through 8 speakers. I skipped the built-in ethernet idea as I will most likely use a small hub that can easily be plugged in, or if there are only two devices I can use a crossover cable. After finalizing the details on Tuesday the van was converted and delivered from the factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to St. Louis by Friday! Having only just picked it up I haven't gone over everything, but I am already very impressed with Custom Craft's work. Please take a look at their site and thank them for helping out Classical Pontiac!

  • Meet the Mobile Show HQ
    All Factory Glass
    The Office
    Flexvision in Action