LeftLaneNews

1972 Dodge van decorated by Kurt Cobain re-listed after failing to sell [Update]

The van was once owned by Washington-based grunge band The Melvins.

A beat-up 1972 Dodge Sportsman Royal van that ran when parked several years ago can usually be acquired in exchange for a twelve-pack of beer, but a particularly rough example is currently listed on eBay with bidding almost up to $100,000.

The van in question was once used by a Washington-based grunge band called The Melvins to carry their gear to shows all around the United States. At the time, it was appropriately nicknamed "The Melvan."

That alone wouldn't justify the six-digit price tag, but the van is also tied in with grunge icon and ex-Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. The guitarist is said to have decorated the side of the van with a stolen Sharpie, and he occasionally used it to drive The Melvins to their shows.

Ben Berg, the current owner and seller, acquired the van for free in 1992 from a family member of The Melvins' bassist. It wasn't until several years later that he found out about the Cobain connection.

"I think Kurt's name is carved somewhere in the van, as well. I don't know the exact location," said Berg.

The eBay listing does not give any technical details about the van, but the seller was quoted in Rolling Stone magazine as saying that "it hasn't been started for years." "It can run - it needs to be totally gone through. It needs a major overhaul. But it can be done," said Berg. The man also added that the engine caught fire once.

The auction is scheduled to end on March 13th, 2012. A source close to Berg assured us that contrary to what has been published elsewhere, the auction's reserve price has not been disclosed. That means that we'll have to wait until next Tuesday to see whether or not this piece of grunge history goes home with the highest bidder.

Update: The auction ended and the reserve price was not met, so the owner has re-listed the van with a starting bid of $50,000 and without a reserve.

Photos courtesy of Barry Iverson from Hark.com, and the eBay auction.