I love it
That interior looks like a great place to be.
1993-2002 VAUGHN SILVERBIRD
The Vaughn Silverbird was first released in 1967, as an answer to the booming pony car market.
The fourth generation Silverbird was released in 1993, however, despite the much more modern shape, it basically had the underpinnings from the third generation, that for example still was using a coil sprung solid rear axle.
Another thing kept from its predecessor - the engines. Either the SOHC inline six with roots in the late 60s, or the almost antique Vaughn V8 released already in 1955. In 1997 the Silverbird recieved the all new Vaughn V8 though.
The convertible was scrapped, but you could still get optional T-tops on the coupé.
It could be had with a 4 speed computer controlled auto, 5 speed manual or 6 speed manual. There was lots of option packages, like STC, Rallye, and as shown here, the top of the range GTC.
The GTC had things like 17 inch alloys in staggered widths, front and rear spoilers, T-tops and 6 speed manual as standard.
Another way to identify a GTC: The very special black/colour matched leather interior.
Unlike some competitors the Silverbird offered a somewhat useable back seat
The fourth generation Silverbird was produced until 2002.
1971-95 VCV ADVANTOURER / DUR-A-VAN
The second generation of the VCV Advantourer and Dur-A-Van was released for the 1971 model year.
Just like its predecessor, the difference was that the Advantourer was the version with windows, and available with seating up to eight people from the factory, while the Dur-A-Van was the panel version. From the factory only available as a two seater, but of course the favourite of the conversion van companies that often equipped them with more seats.
The forward control layout from its predecessor was dropped in favour of a bonneted layout. That of course meant that less of its length could be used for cargo or passenger space, but less noise and heat in the cabin, better accessability to the engine and improved crash protection was gained by the redesign.
The engine was the venerable Vaughn V8, available in many different displacements and configuration through the years, and as a gearbox you could choose between 3 speed manual, 4 speed manual and 3 speed auto - in later years also a 4 speed auto.
As usual with vans, a base model was very sparsely equipped, but the list of options to make it more suited for work or leisure was long. And if that was not enough, the aftermarket was booming due to the van craze.
Up front, there was always seating for two, but in the Advantourer you could opt for either a mid bench seat, or (if you already had choosen them up front) more comfortable captains chairs. A bench seat in the third row was optional, meaning that you could order the Advantourer with seating for 2, 4, 5, 7 or 8 people.
Some changes were of course done during its long production run, both technically, on the outside and on the inside. The model shown here is a 1990 Advantourer, featuring quite a lot of extra equipment.
A sidenote is that there was also a cutaway version available of the Dur-A-Van, coming in handy for companies doing, for example, box trucks or RV conversions.
Even though it got constant upgrades, it was still the same design that had been in production for almost a quarter of a century towards the end of its lifespan, and it started getting some criticism for being long in the tooth.
In 1996, the third generation of the Dur-A-Van and Advantourer finally arrived, meaning the end of the old, but trusty, second generation.
I love the name “Advantourer”
I am almost a little bit proud about it myself.
Even weirder interior color than Primus/Globus Pistachio Beige.
Thanks, my goal was to beat exactly that one.
1986-2005 VCV ESCAPADE
VCV’s first entry into the minivan market was the Escapade, released in 1986.
Compared to many of its competitors, it was a more rugged and utilitarian design. The body had the same “uniframe” layout as the larger Dur-A-Van/Advantourer, the engine was mounted longitudinally and driving the rear wheels (AWD optional in later years), the solid rear axle was mounted on leaf springs.
It was available as a 2 seater panel van, or a window van with seat configurations from 2 up to 8, with the option of 2 or 3 middle seats, as well as a 3 seater bench in the third row.
Something of a novelty was the “dutch door” arrangement in the rear, where the upper part of the tailgate opened upwards, while the lower tailgate featured a split arrangement.
It was available with the 2.4 litre OHC four cylinder that first arrived in the early 70s Firebolt, as well as the all aluminium “CV6” 90 degree V6, derived from the Wraith CV8, and shared with models as the Vaughn Sirin and Wraith Torrevieja. Transmissions available was a 4 speed auto or 4 speed manual, in later examples also a 5 speed manual.
As with the larger vans, it could of course be optioned with a long list of equipment, both from the factory and aftermarket stuff, however, it really never gained the same popularity as the larger vans, due to being limited in space and utility in comparision.
Meanwhile, MPV buyers rather went for more modern competitors that was more car-like in their ergonomy and driving dynamics.
Being stuck somewhere in the middle, the passenger versions of the Escapade never really took off the way Vaughn/VCV had hoped for them to do. As an inexpensive, simple, rugged compact cargo van, however, it still found a niche in the market.
Because of that, the production of the windowed versions ended in 1998, while the panel van was produced until 2005.
It’s funny, but some time ago, by the term solid rear axle, I understood the axle for wheels, devoid of differentials!
And this explained why the rear-wheel drive Ford Crown Victoria so easily loses grip and drifts. And I’m explained the general cast iron of the assembly by the expediency of saving!
A solid axle (as long as it is the axle for the driving wheels, of course) still has a differential, because yes, without a differential cars would get sketchy handling indeed.
This is the difference between a solid axle and an independent one. With an independent suspension, the wheels will follow irregularities in the road independent of each other. With a solid axle, the movement of one wheel will affect the wheel on the other side. An independent suspension will of course give better comfort, while a solid axle generally is more robust and cheaper to manufacture, which is why they are often used on commercial vehicles.
The 1995 facelift of the Escapade was rather subtle. The chrome bumpers now were body coloured, same with the previously black mirrors, and the indicators had clear glass. Composite headlamps replaced the sealed beams. Inside, a drivers side airbag was now contained in a new 4-spoke steering wheel, and a CD player replaced the tape deck. The alloy wheels shown in the picture, however, was optional equipment.