WHEN the van craze all but died in the late 80s, a few vanners kept the dream alive. One of the stalwarts was Steve Dobson and his HT Belmont panel van, Midnight Express. Bought in the mid-70s, the ex-Radio Rentals TV repair van was the perfect basis for a show ’n’ go machine and go-kart hauler. But it wasn’t long before Steve began to make his mark.
The murals by Kit Chambers are regarded by the wider vanning community as being some of the best to ever grace a panel van. The Ford parts bin was looted for a GT bonnet skin, fuel cap, mirrors and XC GXL headlamps, with the latter used in conjunction with an Austin Kimberley grille. Thrush sidepipes and a crushed velvet interior keep it pure panel van, while period Aunger mags filled the guards nicely.
Under the bonnet was a stout Holden 253 V8 with aftermarket heads, and a tunnel ram topped off by twin carburettors. It was backed by a four-speed, while the brakes, suspension and limited slip diff came from a HK GTS Monaro.