Despite its success as a usable vehicle and as a TV prop, the GMC G-Series only existed for three generations. For 31 years the design was tinkered with and updated, until one day it was decided that an all new 7.0-litre V8 van was needed for the American public. The alternative argument is that you can’t improve on a classic, and the third generation van was just that.
Introduced in 1971, the third generation Chevy van, as it was sometimes known, originally came with a 4.1L straight six engine. Having previously been behind the driver, the power was now coming from in front, giving the van its iconic design. Every year the General Motors engineers would try to fit in a bigger engine, eventually stopping with the 7.4L beast in 1990.
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Structural rigidity, useful for when jumping over roads, crashing through billboards or escaping from prison, came from a one piece chassis and were assisted by stronger lorry-style hubs and brakes with dual A-arm independent front suspension. Big action means big suspension.
Chevrolet was way ahead of the time when it originally marketed the van, offering a huge array of customisation options to its customers. These were both mechanical and for the interior, and different dealerships would offer different specs.
The biggest change to the third generation of the van came in in 1983, with the largest jump in engine size up to that point and a revised front end. The revisions included stacked headlights and a larger grille, a look that became synonymous with the A-Team.
A replica of the van was available to buy on the For Sale section for $14,500, although the vehicle's resemblance to the on-screen model is predominantly surface level. There are extra head lamps and a rear spoiler, and the instantly recognisable red, black and grey colour scheme.
The interior is just as unrepresentative, with a sat nav, comfortable seats with enough legroom for all the family, and no sign of the mini printing press, audio surveillance recording device and gun storage locker that could be found in the van on TV.
Alternatively, you can buy the new Suzuki Ignis Adventure, road tested by our sister site Motor1.com and described as 'a miniature A-Team van'. The micro SUV, which just happens to come in an A-Team homage livery, has a 89bhp, 1.2L four-cylinder petrol engine that can average a respectable 60.1mpg. Small and sporty, asking prices start at £13,999 up front and £159 per month over 43 months.
It may not be big, it may not be powerful, but it's just as much fun.
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