They were sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit, escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground, and survived as soldiers of fortune. No, you can no longer hire The A-Team – even if you have a problem and no one else can help – but you can have the next best thing: an exact replica of their van.
Commissioned several years ago by actor Mike Myers, Jim Lemieux's 1983 Chevrolet G10 is a replica of the famous van so often crashed, blown up, shot, and chased – not to mention driven by a cigar-chomping George Peppard – on the famous 1980s TV show The A-Team. But it's not just any replica: this one is perfect, down to every last nut and bolt.
"It was built in Texas by a company called BK Automotive," said Lemieux, an A-Team enthusiast who called the van "as close to original as anything I've seen so far." While Lemieux doesn't know why Myers wanted the van, he spared no expense in making it perfect, from the toy guns on the gun rack and a rear-mounted reel-to-reel tape recorder to quad captains' chairs and a faux CB radio in the center console. The van's originality even impressed legendary "King of Kustomizers" George Barris, creator of the Batmobile and the Munsters' "Drag-U-La" hot rod.
"After I got it, I brought it to George Barris's shop, and he happened to be there that day," said Lemieux. "Even he was excited by it. He took one of the fake guns out of the back of the van and had his picture taken with it."
Even though it's not a "real" A-Team van, if it's good enough for George Barris, it's good enough for us. It was also good enough for the Volo Auto Museum, a well-known Illinois collection of famous Hollywood cars including an original General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard and a "pursuit mode" version of K.I.T.T., the Pontiac Firebird featured in Knight Rider. That's where Lemieux got the van, hauling it all the way from the museum to his home in southern California.
Perhaps the only items not original to the A-Team van are a television – added by Lemieux for rear passengers to watch old episodes of the show – and front and rear GMC badges. But there's a story behind those.
"The A-Team van had GMC logos on it in the first half season," explains Lemieux. "But then they lost the GMC sponsorship, so they had to remove the badges from the van." But Lemieux liked the look of the badges and found a set – even though his van isn't the GMC Vandura used by the A-Team, but the identical Chevy G-10.
It's the only flaw in an otherwise perfect recreation – and even Mr. T wouldn't pity the fool who looked past it to pony up the cash for this one-of-a-kind van.