a-teamautos logo: vertualissimo,mudrevsky and Campbell

September 2014

"In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."

TV Van and TV Stunt Van

I’m currently overhauling the whole site so forgive me if this page is a liitle rough around the edges, I will slowly be fixing any problems.

There are many stories about the existence and location of any remaining vans from the TV show, with several people claiming they own an "original", however it’s most likely they own a replica van. So just where is the A-Team van?

I asked Peter Nelson from the Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick, who at the time owned the only two original screen used tv vans

"Only two genuine A Team vans exist, one is in our museum - it was the road van and has Universal title and all paperwork. The second van is the stunt van and it sat outside Universal Studios for many years. We managed to acquire it and it currently awaits restoration. No other vans remain I'm pretty sure of that." Peter sold his entire car collection including his two a-team vans in 2011.

What Peter Nelson referred to as the road van is in fact the second unit van, used to shoot long shots, inserts or establishing shots. Basically camera shots which don’t require the main actors or close up shots, for which a close up van would be used. The stunt van was obviously used for stunts, and to allow it to be used time after time a roll cage was built into the van, it was a heavier van(G30/G35?)which meant it could handle a lot more crashes. The engine was also moved from the front of the van into the middle, allowing it to have a better center of gravity and better handle the jumps it was put through.

Since 2011 the second unit van which had been in the Cars of The Stars Museum in the UK, has been on display at the Miami Auto Museum in Florida USA. The stunt van was bought too but as far as I’m aware it’s still awaiting restoration and not on display. Previously at the COTS Museum cameras were not allowed, something which the MAM is happy to allow. So you should start to see more pictures emerging of the van. See below for a few of those.

You can visit the Miami auto Museum website to find out more information about the A-team van.

TV Van

Drivers side of the van.
TV Van 1

Steering wheel and dash.
TV Van 3

Drivers roof.
TV Van 2

So that’s where the spoiler went to!.
TV Van 4

The mirror
TV Van 6

The bullbars and grill.
TV Van 5

I must say a massive thank you to Roy who sent me these pictures of the van in Miami and has waited two years for them to be on the site!

Thank you Roy.

TV Van History

The vans used in the TV show were made By GMC or Chevrolet and as there was no mention of what model or specs the van had, and because so many vans were used for filming it's almost impossible to give a specific make or model, however it’s believed to be based on the G25 a sportier and lighter version of GMC’s flagship van often used as minibuses or any business which didn’t require a heavier frame(G30/G35).

Some web sites give very specific information, the size of the tyres, the paint codes etc. I haven’t seen what these websites site as source material and until I do I really don’t want to give inaccurate information.

I try to be as accurate as possible and check all my facts before I put them on the site, but some errors may occur so please let me know if any information is wrong.

The van was painted black below the red stripe and gunmetal grey above. Many people remember the van as just black, this is because during season 1 the van was so shiny the film crew were often spotted in its reflection, so from season 2 they gave it a dirty look therefore avoiding reflections.

The van also had a thin silver line just below the red stripe and a black one just above, although these are sometimes hard to see on camera. Most of the toy vans that were made during the 1980’s were all black with a red stripe, so people often think it was all black even after being told it wasn’t! in fact several replica owners have told me this happens to them regularly, I’ve experienced this myself when a mechanic told me I’d gotten the colours wrong on my former van!

We do know the van was fitted with:

  • Quad tipped exhaust (After season one)
  • Bullbar with 2 spotlights
  • Side-steps
  • Wheel flares
  • 4 Rectangle Spotlights on the roof, 2 clear and 2 orange
  • Exterior Sunvisor
  • Lower front air damn with 2 orange spotlights
  • Roof Wing/Spoiler
  • Custom wing mirrors
  • Red Vector/Hurricane wheels

The license plates that were used on the van.

During the five seasons of The A-Team only a handful of vehicle license plates were used, they can be seen below.

    In a 2010 interview with Jerry Garrett of the New York Times, Craig Baxley the stunt co-ordinator and director of The A-Team TV series, talked about his years on the show.

  • Q: How many genuine 1983 GMC A-Team Vanduras were built for the show?

  • A: “There were at least 8 vans built for the show: 2 for the first unit and 6 for the second unit.”

  • Q: Who drove them?

  • A: “I had Henry Kingi doing all the jumps and major chase sequences and Tony Brubaker covering the driving on the first unit.”

  • Q: What was your role?

  • A: “I was the stunt coordinator and second unit director for the entire series I also directed 9 episodes.”

  • Q: How many vans were actually destroyed in the filming of the 98 original episodes?

  • A: “Anytime you do a major jump, that’s usually the end of the vehicle. We destroyed 4 on The A-Team.”

  • Q: A reader has written in, saying that in later episodes of the series, it seemed action

    sequences from earlier shows were spliced in, perhaps to save money?

  • A: “Whoever the fan was that stated action was reused in latter episode was misinformed… that never happened.”

  • Q: How many of the original A-Team Vanduras survived?

  • A: “When the show ended, there were 3 remaining: 2 on first unit and 1 on second.”

  • Q: Were any of the original Vanduras used on The A-Team Experience attraction that was a part of the Universal Studios (in California) tour in the 1980s?

  • A: “As to the ones used at Universal, they were built from the tour/show. We had nothing to do with that.”

  • Q: Who were the main stunt professionals who deserve credit for the TV show’s wild and crazy action sequences?

  • A: The Stunt Doubles for The A-Team were: Hannibal: Bob Orrison, Face: Norman Howell, Murdock: Steve Chambers, and B.A.: Henry Kingi (Driving) and Tony Brubaker. All helicopter work was done by Chuck Tamburro (when additional was needed: Rick Holly and Mick Tamburro).

    It’s hard to say what happened to the original GMC Vanduras that survived the TV show. Mr. Baxley said he doesn’t know, since he has been busy with many other projects since. One was seen in sad shape a few years ago in a back parking lot at Universal Studios. But that could have been one of the vans from the attraction.

    Jerry Garrett, New York Times.

TV Van

Here are a few pictures of the TV van.

The famous wheels
TV Van 1

Inside the van
TV Van 3

The interior of the van
TV Van 2

This shot from season 5 shows the bucket chairs and the van has 8 wheel lugs instead of 5
TV Van 4

Quad tipped exhaust with running boards and wheel flares
TV Van 6

Back of van with sticker in left window
TV Van 5

Sometimes vans with quad lights were used as seen here
TV Van 7

This picture shows the top of the van along with the roof spoiler and sunroof and aerials
TV Van 9

The van with GMC badge blacked out
TV Van 8

This pic shows the custom mirrors and visor and the grey/black paint job
TV Van 10

A great shot of the iconic van
TV Van 12

The van kicking up some dust
TV Van 11

Stunt Van

This van is quite interesting, apparently it was one of the stunt vans used on the show and eventually the van ended up on display in Universal Studios Tours, as you can see in photos 7 and 9.

As you can see from photos 2,4, 5 and 8, the engine is in the middle of the van, the front seats have harnesses on them and the van has got a roll cage fitted. Due to the weight of the van it has 8 stud wheels instead of the GMC standard 5.

The engine was mounted in the middle of the van to get the balance right for the many jumps it made. This meant it didn't receive major damage and could be used again. The van might have been used for jumps in the episode labour pains from season 2,and body slam from season 4 featuring Hulk Hogan, and possibly used for a jump in a season 4 episode called the trouble with Harry, also with Hulk Hogan!

The stunt van was part of the Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick England, although it was awaiting restoration and was never on display. The Cars of the Stars collection was sold to www.dezercollection.com in 2011, although it’s not clear if the stunt van will be on display in the Dezer museum.

hover the cursor over the pics for more info.

If you know any more about this van please let me know.

Stunt van 1

 Stunt van 3

The engine has been relocated to the middle to balance the van for those big jumps we all remember.

 The side door opens to reveal the engine and roll cage.

 stunt van 6

 The seats were fitted with harnesses to keep the stunt driver safe and secure.

 The van in a Universal Studios backlot.

 Another of the van in Universal Studios.

Stunt Van 8

 Stunt Van 10

Stunt van 12

Stunt Van 11

If you think you can add to this page or have any questions please email me toby.campbell@sky.com

"In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."