I've been dreaming of getting myself a solid adventure camping rig for several years, now. I've looked at retired school buses, short buses, vans, and trucks. I was pretty dead set on the longest time towards a small 4x4 pickup with a cap on the back. I'm not looking to build an RV to live in, but more a mobile base camp to live out of. I wanted the ride to be short and high, able to tackle some narrower trails and not have a half ton of shit hanging off the back axle. I was also looking for something which would allow me to transport my KLR or similar bike with me, which kind of contradicts my last point. I didn't like the idea of a van, as I didn't want to feel like I was driving around in my bedroom. The separate truck bed/cap combo would give me this bit of a divide. The living is in the back, and business is up front. Anyway, so I scrapped that idea. And I got this. What we have here is a 1976 Chevy G series short body panel van with a 350 motor, turbo 350 transmission, 205 transfer case, and two straight pipes that dump out the side through some "Performance" cherry bomb exhausts. Manual locking hubs, 8 lug wheels, discs in the front, and a four barrel Edelbrock under the hood. The odometer reads just over 90k miles, but it's only got five digits so you could easily add another 100k. Not that any of that matters, as the odometer doesn't work, anyway. It's pretty clean, runs like you'd expect, and screams potential as far as an overland rig goes. So this is how the story of my acquisition goes, though it requires a bit of a back story. I've been staying in San Diego, doin some side work and helping my buddy out at his shop, for the past few months. I've recently come into an opportunity to move up into southwestern Oregon to take care of some property and carry on the way that I do. With that in mind, and only a few motorcycles to my name, I was in need of a way to move my shit north. I could rent a U-haul, but I considered that just kind of throwing my money away. Why piss money away on a rental when I could buy something I've been wanting, and come away on top in the end. That was the plan, at least. I'd been hunting around on Craigslist for a few weeks for a 4x4 van. Most of what I was finding were either severely overpriced or rust buckets. On a whim, I did a search up north and found this diamond in the rough, otherwise known as Seattle. I inquired on it and sat on the idea for a while. After working my ass off for three straight months, 16 hr days, working weekends, etc., I was about ready for a break. So this was my excuse. I would ride up at the end of my contract, load the bike up, and drive back down. Fun times. So I made some calls and managed to get a good buddy of mine, who lives just outside of Seattle, and asked him to check out the van. He drove up, poked around, drove it, and declared it rough, but solid. Good stuff. The seller offered to hold it for me, refusing a down payment until I could get up there. A few weeks later, with a wad of cash in my pocket, I spent three days riding along the coast, through the mountains of Oregon, and up to Seattle. The ride was wet, but the van looked solid. I had a big grin on my face. We chatted, I drove it around, and noted a few things. The throttle was stiff as fuck, the shifter needed coercing to get into park, and it rattled like the tin lunch box that it is. The owner told me how he came to acquire it, and some of the stuff he had done to the motor, and made mention of the transmission needing a flush. He had just put a new pan on it with a drain bolt, so a flush should be easy. He made mention of the transmission two more times, so I straight up asked him: "You've mentioned it twice now. Is there something going on with the transmission that makes you think it's in need of a flush?" To which he replied "No, not really. It's just an old rig, it's about due." Alrighty, then. We finished off the paperwork, I handed over some cash and drove into the night. I made it just over forty miles and halfway into my first spliff of the trip when the transmission dropped.