1997 GMC Savana 3500Change Year or Vehicle
of the 1997 GMC Savana 3500 base trim shown
I mumbled a reply and hung up the phone -- and forgot about Fred, until the van arrived.
It was the 1997 GMC Savana SLE, a gigantic, "Madrid red" thing sitting on a 135-inch wheelbase and stretching an overall length of 218.8 inches -- or 18.23 feet, to put it in perspective.
The darned thing stood 80.7 inches high, enough to cast a long shadow in a setting sun, and it was almost as wide as it was tall at 79.2 inches. And, oh, it had a phalanx of deep-tinted passenger windows on either side, which gave it the look of a prisoner transport or Secret Service vehicle. It was hard to tell. But it certainly didn't look friendly.
Fred's people parked the van in front of my house, which raised some neighborly eyebrows.
"What is it?" one neighbor asked.
"It's a GMC van," I said.
"Kinda big for a van, don'tcha think?," the neighbor asked.
"It' a full-size van," I said, marveling over how the term "van"has come to mean "minivan" in the minds of many people.
"Full-size?" asked the neighbor. "Well," he said. "It's reeeeeally big."
Background: The Savana is the scion of the old GMC Rally/Vanduravans, whose sales ended in 1995.
The Rally/Vandura models were galumptious workhorses, used...
Recall Alert: 2014-2016 Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana
CARS.COM Vehicles Affected: Approximately 300 model-year 2014-16 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana incomplete vans with a 159-inch wheelbase, manufactured from Aug. 2, 2013, to Jan. ... Read more
Way back when even the Rolling Stones were young, conversion vans were simple and usually homemade. With a thick swath of shag carpeting, some wood paneling, eight-track tape deck ... Read more
I figured Fred was crazy. He's an East Coast spokesman for General Motors Corp.'s GMC Truck Division. He has lots of wacky ideas. Like: "Hey, I'm sending the biggest... Read more
1997 GMC Savana
This vehicle has been in our family for 18 years and has only given us problems twice, once AFTER a road trip from California to Illinois and back, then to L.A. and once during a road trip from ... Read full review