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Benson friends petition GM to put Astro van back on the assembly line

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) — Two long-time friends in Benson have joined forces to bring back their favorite vehicle.

No, it’s not a hot rod, or a muscle car. It’s the GM Astro van.

The two friends started a petition and even created a retro-inspired commercial, which they’ve posted on bringbacktheastro.com. They even have an Instagram account dedicated to the movement.

“We’re campaigning General Motors to begin building the Astro Van again,” Django Greenblatt-Seay said.

He and his friend, Brian Ayers, say their love affair with this car began years ago. Greenblatt-Seay owned a white Astro van before selling it to Ayers — a sale he jokes that he regrets.

The two men have more than 1,000 signatures on their petition for GM, and even several Car and Driver picked up on their crusade.

“The response to it has been amazing,” Ayers said.

Astro enthusiasts love this van for its practicality, they said. It’s all-wheel-drive, spacious, and still fits in a traditional parking spot or garage.

Greenblatt-Seay and Ayers both agree: It’s a long-time favorite for contractors.

“It’s basically a ‘Swiss Army knife’ vehicle for them,” Ayers said.

But memories have inspired the movement. From one woman’s tale of taking it to prom to Ayers spending his honeymoon in his.

“People really glom onto stuff, and sometimes it’s hard to tell why,” Greenblatt-Seay said.

You might be asking yourself: Is this a joke?

“For people who are thinking we’re just trying to get attention and have fun, I mean yeah, there’s that,” Greenblatt-Seay laughed.

But it’s deeper than that, too.

The pair have relied on this vehicle to climb mountains, host cookouts, and keep running no matter what they put it through.

They said they want others to experience life the way their Astro van has let them, but only GM can grant that wish.

“If you’re not going to make the Astro van again, tell us why,” Greenblatt-Seay said.

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