Anyone remember ‘back in the day’ when the van to mod was an Escort? the idea was to fill the back with speakers and fit a set of three-spoke alloys, doing this meant instant cool and admiring looks from car enthusiasts who understood why your van was no longer a work horse, instead it was a status symbol.

Well, we are currently in the midst of a new Van revolution – and have been for a few years. Did you ever think that you’d see a Vauxhall Vivaro or a Renault Trafic lowered on 22″ Wolf Design wheels and all the chrome and kit you could ever want for? they are out there, and their numbers are increasing.

There is one van however that leads the charge, the coolest of all vans, the one to have (if you can afford it). That van is the VW Transporter – the T4 or T5 in one of the various versions on the market will suffice – buy one and you have instant credibility from the beaches of Devon to the car parks of Essex.

Ok so the range topping California with a starting price of over £44,000 is a little out of reach for most people, but there are plenty around in the region of 10k – and that’s not bad for a house on wheels, and the all important entry into the ‘scene’ crowd is included.

One thing you will need to do is upgrade those wheels, VW offer a 17″ ‘upgrade’ but a wheel of that size is swamped under the arches of a vehicle this size. Weight loading is also important – you don’t want to be driving along the sea front road and have one of your wheels fail – that’s not cool.

It’s a case of horses for courses – get a set of 18″ wheels to retain the ride comfort, something like the Wolfrace Eurosport Blitz 2 or the European made Wolfrace GB Oslo (complete with five year warranty) are both good choices. The next logical step is 20″ – with most people preferring to steer clear of the less cost effective 19″ sizes. A nice 20″ wheel such as the Wolf Design Vermont or Vermont Sport will give you just the right amount of ‘check me out’ and with lots of 20″ tyres available – they won’t break the bank.

In our opinion, the best wheel size for looks has to be 22″ – we’ve fitted several 9.5×22″ wheel and tyre kits to T5’s recently and they really do look great. They’ll fill your arches (ok so you may want to lower your van a bit) and they will draw admiring glances everywhere you drive. You may find you lose some of the ride comfort – but do you care? your van looks great! go for Wolf Design Vermont or the brand new multi-spoke Renaissance – a great looking concave wheel that won’t look out of place on your new toy.

For more inspiration, check out the Wolf Design Gallery on the Wolfrace website.

So, which van will eventually take over from the T5? Probably the T6…….