John Jackson is our kind of guy. As a professional automotive photographer, he's managed to combine his passion for photography and beautiful machinery into a vocation. But unlike most shooters, Jackson prefers to get off the beaten path to suss out the custom rides that would typically get passed over in favor of big-shop productions. How does he do that? He takes to the road in his own custom 1964 Chevrolet Corvair van. There's no air conditioning, and the air-cooled engine can only crank the van up to 60 mph, but that hasn't stopped Jackson from covering 170,000 miles in just four years.

That may seem absurd in a world where modern minivans offer three-zone climate control and can outrun most classic sports cars in the 0-60 dash. But as Jackson put it, in 1964, people drove these things across country all the time. Amen.

All told, he puts an average of 60,000 miles a year on the van, which underscores something in which we believe wholeheartedly: if you have a classic car, drive it. Few actions can lead to death and decay faster than leaving a machine squirreled away in a garage somewhere. Check out Depth of Speed's look at Jackson and his classic Chevrolet van below.

Depth of Speed: High Mileage from Josh Clason on Vimeo.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      You had me at Corvair van. I have an unnatural affection towards anything Corvair, especially the van and Rampsides
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      116.5 miles per day.... ... every single day.
      A P
      • 2 Years Ago
      170K and a bazllion fan belts! Old guys and Corvair nuts will know what I am talking about.
        dukeisduke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @A P
        Properly adjusted, and with the guides in place, they stay on pretty good. Of course you always carry a spare. ;-)
      4gasem
      • 2 Years Ago
      "But as Jackson put it, in 1964, people drove these things across country all the time." People also didn't wear seat belts, most cars didn't have cruise control, and used bias ply tires, but IMO all those are great things and I don't wish to go back to not having them. Good on him for driving around slowly and sweaty. His work is amazing and so is the van. I'll take progress...
      desinerd1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Slow news day at Autoblog.
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        @desinerd1
        Hey guys, look who's back! It's vwfailsagain! This is EXACTLY what vwfailsagain said whenever an article came up which didn't interest him.
      BB79826
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Few actions can lead to death and decay faster than leaving a machine squirreled away in a garage somewhere." Nope, driving this death trap can lead to death and decay much more quickly. I can understand the whole nostalgia-fueled craze over classic cars just as much as the next guy. But this thing?
        SBF
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BB79826
        Wow, what an ignorant comment. If you understand the whole nostalgia-fueled craze over classic car just as much as the next guy, then you wouldn't have just said what you said. Any classic car is a death trap, better yet anything older than the supplemental restraint era is a death trap, actually no, every car is a death trap. You are seriously risking your life every time you get in your car and turn the ignition key. I admire this guy for using this Corvair 95 for his business. It wouldn't be any different if he used a '55 Chevy Panel Truck or a '62 Biscayne Wagon. He is doing what he loves, driving what he loves.
        Jack
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BB79826
        shut up
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BB79826
        I'm guessing you don't ride motorcycles or bikes either.
        Shiftright
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BB79826
        yup , shut up
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      This was the Minivan before Chrysler "invented" them 20 years later.
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dark Gnat
        This was the full-size van before Ford "invented" them a few years later.
          mbmorrow4
          • 2 Years Ago
          @The Wasp
          Actually, Ford's Econoline and Falcon Club Wagon were introduced in 1961 and pre-dated the Corvair 95 and Greenbriar.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      These depth of speed vignettes are so well done. No fake drama, no scripting (that I can tell) just solid, cool, interesting car guy stuff. Speed or some network needs to give the director a 30 minute slot once a week to run what he wants.
      Evan Hayden
      • 2 Years Ago
      As someone who's trying to make automotive photography into my career (and what a hard it is), this was super inspiring. Thanks, Autoblog.
      turbomonkey2k
      • 2 Years Ago
      Has Leonard Plinth-Garnell seen this yet?
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice to see classic cars being used as daily drivers.
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      This reminds me of Scooby Doo: "Thelma and Shaggy, you guys take Scooby and look for clues. Daphne and I will guard the Mystery Machine." Fortunately we always saw what Shaggy, Thelma, and Scooby were doing, otherwise I suspect the show would have been more "educational" than we realize. ;)
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