Yates ready for the revival of van culture
Despite its unassuming exterior, Mike Yates said his 1971 Ford Econoline minivan got a lot of attention every time he took it on the road, in part because of its connection to a beloved period in London’s history. the automobile.
In fact, the Brandon resident first noticed this phenomenon as soon as he picked up the vehicle in Thunder Bay, Ontario at the end of 2019, recalling how a tractor-trailer driver made a turn at 180 degrees in order to see it more closely.
“He followed us forever and when we got off the road for a break he turned around, jumped and ran over to that van and said ‘I like these things’,” said Yates after meeting the Sun on Tuesday.
Since then, Yates has revealed that the Econoline has remained a popular topic of conversation on his travels around Westman, where people regularly come to see him to try and relive the popular van culture that was a major part of the 1960s and 1970.
This subculture rose to prominence in tandem with other significant counter-culture movements of the time, when wayward young people crammed into a spacious vehicle and roamed the country in search of adventure.
Yates recalls being drawn to this lifestyle when he was young, which ultimately encouraged him to purchase a 1977 Limited Edition Econoline Denimachine as an adult.
“This one was made through a contest they had in ’77 with Coke and Levis,” he said. “They built 12, I think, and gave one in every province and I sold that one by mistake. I should have kept it, but I needed the money more than a van. ”