’69 Chevy step van becomes Hoonigan’s ‘Merch’ monster

Inline-6 replaced by 400-horsepower LS V8

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Hoonigan van
The Hoonigan Garage converted this 1969 Chevrolet step-van into its new 400-horsepower 'Merch' sales wagon | Holley photos

Editor’s note: The following report comes from Holley and the use of its parts in Hoonigan’s conversion of a 1969 Chevy P10 step van into a 400-horsepower “Merch” sales wagon.

Unless you have lived under a rock for the last few years, it’s likely the name “Hoonigan” has popped up at some point. This tire-slaying crew of hot rodders make it a point to thrash their project cars and continue to set trends for wild and crazy builds. 

For the recent project, however, something more sensible came to mind with this 1969 Chevy P10 step van. 

Originally sporting an anemic 250 C.I. inline-6 and 3-speed manual, the new merchandise hauler required an overhaul to be worthy of staying in the fleet.

400-horsepower LS V8 replaces inline-6 that powered the van off the Chevrolet assembly line

Snatching a GM LS engine from the a donor truck, the modern mouse motor was updated with a slew of Holley goodies — Holley EFI 105mm throttle body bolted on a 105mm Hi-Ram intake and 120lb/hr injectors  installed on the billet fuel rails to finish off the induction system. 

A polished mid-mount accessory drive keeps things nice and tight and grants the ability to add air conditioning and power steering in the future. Two-piece Chevrolet script valve covers hide the Holley EFI ignition coils for a nostalgic feel. 

Mated behind the LS engine is a B&M Street/Strip 4L80E transmission utilizing a 2000rpm stall converter. This trans in particular is capable of handing 800 horsepower and up to 650 pound-feet of torque, making this an excellent option for potential power adders down the road. 

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A universal Sniper EFI fuel tank slid into the factory frame rails; its 400lph  internal pump is designed to be quiet and deliver more than enough fuel for this 400 horsepower drivetrain.

All of this is managed with a Holley EFI Dominator ECU, its integrated transmission control makes the 4L80E a plug-n-play upgrade. 

Digital dash has GPS speedometer so wheels and tires can be changed without recalibrating

A 12.3-inch Pro Dash displays engine vitals and allows the driver on-the-fly tuning capabilities. Additionally, the included GPS antenna allows swapping of wheels and tires without worrying about changing speedometer gears or transmission tunes. 

Cooling is handled by a 67-72 C10 Frostbite LS Swap radiator and the dual high-performance 14-inch cooling fans are easily mounted with Frostbite’s fan shroud package. The fan relays are also controlled with the Dominator ECU giving Hoonigan all of the cooling needed to handle California summers. 

Altogether, the “Merch Van” is modest in terms of Hoonigan builds, but will be a key addition to the fleet. The custom side panel will display Hoonigan apparel and present customers the opportunity to walk up and see the van in person while shopping. 

To see the full build, check out the 6-part video series.

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