Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana Full-Size Vans: the Most Overlooked Vehicles on the Planet

Posted March 08, 2021 8:38 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: chevrolet Savana trucks and SUVs

In Mike Judge's Office Space, the Milton character keeps showing up to the titular office even though his boss no longer pays him, he's constantly passed over for office birthday cake and his co-workers have forgotten exactly what he's supposed to do there. Similarly, at some point in the last 25 years, GM likely forgot that it still builds the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans, yet every year these Miltons of vandom continue to roll out of GM's Wentzville factory.

A bit milquetoast? I mean, yeah, nobody's checking out the van their plumber drives the same way they check out a supercar parked downtown. One of these vans probably just passed by your window laden with ladders and slathered in slogans and you didn't give it a second thought. They're the workspaces for tradesmen, the rented mules for millions of cross-country moves, the banes of 15-year-olds who still have to ride the bus to school, and their brand recognition - even among car enthusiasts - ranks somewhere below that of a red Swingline stapler.

Yet, I'd argue, they're some of the most remarkable vehicles on the market for a number of reasons. Let's start with their longevity. In addition to their E-series counterpart at Ford (offered only in cab-chassis configuration since 2015), the Lada Niva, and perhaps one or two other obscurities, the Express and Savana vans qualify as some of the oldest continually produced vehicles still sold new. The ladder-frame vans - which GM designated GMT 600 - debuted in 1995 for the 1996 model year, incorporating some styling elements with the GMT 400 (OBS) full-size pickups and the M-body Astro/Safari minivans that they shared dealership showroom floorspace with. Keep reading...

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