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A Serious Rescue: The “Wild Cherry” Chevy Van From The Movie “Van Nuys Blvd.”

A Serious Rescue: The “Wild Cherry” Chevy Van From The Movie “Van Nuys Blvd.”

Van culture peaked in the late 1970s, fact. So did cruising, disco, and other questionable vices that to people of my age, represent the dark side of what my parents were up to before I was born. I know nothing about van culture except the jokes, what I’ve seen in old magazines, the few I find on eBay and Craigslist when I’m surfing through the ads, and old movies like “Van Nuys Blvd”. Basically, it’s about a guy who leaves the Midwest to go out cruising on that street, and involves all of the typical fun that is to be had: girls, racing, pinball…was there anything else? You tell me.

So what the hell does any of that have to do with this severely forlorn Chevrolet van, sitting out in the middle of nowhere with a tree resting on top as a final insult to injury? That van, “Wild Cherry”, was briefly seen in the movie and can be seen in the trailer for the film as well, and that was more than enough for a man named Chris Carter to step in and to rescue the Chevrolet. Last month the G10 was pulled from it’s resting place and loaded up onto a trailer, and hauled out to Illinois where it is undergoing a full-tilt restoration that is being partially crowdfunded, and partially fueled by auctioning off some of the parts, like the porthole windows, which will pay for the restoration of the captain’s chairs.

Put mildly, the Chevy was in a bad way when it was rescued. The driver’s side of the rear of the van took one hell of a beating from the tree, and it had seen the wrong end of a fire as well. But you know, we all know, how crazy someone can get when they are focused on what they want. The guy who originally built the van is in on the whole deal as well. This is one we will be checking up on from time to time to see how it comes along!

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13 thoughts on “A Serious Rescue: The “Wild Cherry” Chevy Van From The Movie “Van Nuys Blvd.”

      1. jerry z

        Never heard of the movie ‘Van Nuys Blvd” but also need to find the “rail job”, Newbomb’s brother’s El Camino, and the Cobra.

      2. chopdtop

        Newbomb’s pie wagon is still around on the East Coast, Massachusetts I believe.

        The chopped yellow 40 is supposedly in California somewhere in a garage and the owner doesn’t want to sell it or show it. The daughter of the original builder was looking for it a few years back.

        I haven’t seen anything on the chopped VW, the Mustang with the dual carbs or the El Camino so I don’t know where they ended up at.

        Most of the other cars were just muscle cars, hot rods or old cars the producers found at car shows and got them to bring them to the drive for the movie during filming. Unless the person kept their car due to it being in the movie those cars most likely got updated and look completely different now or those cars are just another restored car.

        For example, the Mustang convertible. It probably looks just the same as it did but unless the owner has proof it was in the movie it looks just like any number of other restore Mustang convertibles out there.

        The Mustang with the dual carbs was build in late 70’s early 80’s style so it probably got updated a lot over the years and doesn’t look anything like it did in the movie.

    1. jeff

      One porthole window missing, the other damaged. Two nice replacements sourced. The damaged one auctioned as fundraiser. It\’s not usable, so just a momento. Kudos to buyer who basically made a nice donation to the cause.
      Lotta donations of parts & services, plus a gofundme campaign has raised $1073 in 22 days. Epic story of van fans coming together to support resto of iconic van.

  1. Tammy

    Fyi the wild cherry and the black bitch are both being housed and restored at Welch route 66 in gillespie il. Chris carter is restoring wild cherry after hours. And Tim Welch the owner of Welch route 66 and the black bitch will be storing the black bitch.

  2. CJ from the other side of the world, BUT soon to be American!!!

    Dude \”THANK YOU\” for what you are doing!!!!
    I only saw this online tonight while searching for something else. I\’d never heard of this movie or car, but am a gear head, LOVE LA and love that whole scene (even though I\’m too young to have lived it).
    I\’ve seen \”Hollywood Knights\” and cruised Van Nuys Blvd, but never seen this movie.
    Saw this van and my heart broke & just wanted to save it, just cannot believe what people do to cars and how they abandon them.
    You\’re a saint!!!!
    People like you restore my faith in humanity.

    Build it, save it and leave it in your will to a museum so that it doesn\’t fall between the cracks…

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