Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A full-size Chevy van with a VEMCO V-Drive 4x4 conversion.


The Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing Company of Fort Wayne Indiana offered Ford and Chevy van conversions from approximately 1976-1980, and went out of business soon thereafter.

http://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/cc-outtake-1980-dana-v-drive-4wd-gmc-school-van-a-rarity-indeed  for the full post and article about it (thanks Mike!)

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209847649450116&set=gm.1907799452767937&type=3&permPage=1

the online patent http://www.freepatentsonline.com/3814201.pdf


Developed by Dana in the 1970’s, the V-Drive system was originally designed to add 4-wheel drive to Chevy vans, Blazers, and station wagons and to keep the drive height low. The idea didn’t catch on with Chevy, so someone allegedly bought the rights and started the Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing Company (VEMCO). The company was based out of Fort Wayne Indiana and did 4×4 van conversions. Ironically, if you look at the patent, the inventor Loren James O’Brien was from Fort Wayne. Coincidence? These V-Drive systems found their way in to both Chevy and Ford Vans from 1976 to 1980. http://www.blueovaltrucks.com/tech-articles/axles/the_vemco_v-drive_system/

7 comments:

  1. Wow, that doesn't look like a very sturdy cross-member. Is that transfer case bolted to the floorboard?

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    1. I've got nothing but the photo, but it looks to me like it's bolted to a crossmember and maybe the block above the u joint to the rear axle

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  2. wonder if it will fit under a normal old 60s car?

    be cool to have an AWD 60s road sofa

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  3. Let me help you fellas out here, some more info...
    http://www.blueovaltrucks.com/tech-articles/axles/the_vemco_v-drive_system/

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  4. Interesting....
    For sure you know that "Mowag" build Dodge van into 4x4 in Switzerland...

    http://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/reader-ride-dodge-mowag-4x4-b350-van-swiss-rarity/

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    1. thanks! I didn't know that, as I'm still learning the stuff in this country!

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