By on December 26, 2014

03 - 1998 Ford Windstar Ice Cream Truck Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIs there anything sadder than a junked ice cream truck? For that matter, is there anything creepier than the Boogie Man Ice Cream truck? We saw this 1974 AM General FJ-8A ice cream truck in Los Angeles last winter, and now I’ve found this unwanted-as-a-stale-Choco-Taco Ford Windstar ice cream truck in Denver.
06 - 1998 Ford Windstar Ice Cream Truck Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, happy Colorado children (or maybe Kansas or Wyoming children; some cars at this yard come from those states) once chased this festive Windstar, seeking Bomb Pops, Big Neopolitans, and La Michoacana Tamarindo Paletas.
11 - 1998 Ford Windstar Ice Cream Truck Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNow, however, rats and pigeons snack on waxy Eskimo Pie crypto-chocolate shards.
01 - 1998 Ford Windstar Ice Cream Truck Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinA minivan gets good fuel economy, but seems lacking in the space needed for serious ice-cream sales.

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100 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1998 Ford Windstar Ice Cream Truck...”


  • avatar
    Roverrad95

    That’s a Windstar.

  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    This is not an Aerostar.

  • avatar
    bdaniels_us

    There was the 310 listed as a 210, the mis identified Cadillac last week, and now something so blatantly wrong. Will this be fixed? Can we take TTAC seriously if this is the standard?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “The Ford Aerostar is a minivan manufactured and marketed by Ford Motor Company for the North American market for model years 1986 to 1997 in both passenger van and cargo van configurations” – Wikipedia

    There is no “1998 Aerostar”

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      I recall that the Windstar was introduced in the spring of 1995, as a replacement for the Aerostar. I can’t imagine what would have possessed Ford to keep the Aerostar in production after the Windstar was launched – they couldn’t have sold very many.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        The Aerostar being RWD and BOF was continued as more of a truck with the Windstar being marketed as a car

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          Aerostars are unibody.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            No, they are body on frame. The chassis is based off of the Ranger.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            You are correct Drewlssix the Aerostar is unibody and shares no suspension pieces with the Ranger it was all new.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Scoutdude, the Aerostar is as unibody as the RWD Ranger it’s based on. It’s an integrated frame/body much like the original Cherokee. The rear suspension bits where from the panther for a smoother ride. It had a tow rating of 5000lbs. Not anything like the FWD Chrysler minivan

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            Incorrect, the aerostar rode on the Ranger platform as the explorer sport also did. I’d pay $2500 for a rust free ford aerostar Eddie Bauer 4×4

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          I take your point, to a point. My recollection is that the Chrysler minivans were instant successes. Ford (Aerostar) and GM (Astro) responded with vehicles that were marketed as based on truck origins, rather than car origins, and got crushed by Chrysler in the marketplace.

          GM responded with the “dustbuster” vans, which tried to beat Chrysler at its own game. Without success.

          Ford eventually responded with the Windstar, which was intended to replace the Aerostar with a minivan that would beat the Chrysler vans. Which it did, for about 6 months, until Chrysler launched the 4-door 1996 minivans.

          So, here is my question. If there hadn’t been a big market for the Aerostar, and the Windstar was designed as its replacement, what led Ford to decide that there would be a big enough market for the replaced Aerostar to keep it in production?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I can only guess that since the developmental costs for the Aerostar had already been covered and there was still enough demand for it’s commercial grade qualities, why not have two players in the same game. Having had an Aerostar I can tell you it was a tough little truck/van, far superior then the replacement Windstar

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            For most of the late 80’s and early 90’s the Aerostar was the best selling minivan name plate period. Yes when you added the Dodge and Plymouth versions together they outsold the Aerostar. When Ford added the Villager they outsold the Chryslers slightly. Once the Windstar came around Ford sold more minivans than Chrysler buy a fair margin.

            The Aerostar was soldiered on because it was available in 4wd, had the highest tow ratings in the minivan segment and they had barn door panel versions for commercial use. Meanwhile the Windstar was wrong wheel drive only, had a low tow rating initially, only was available with a hatch and lacked a panel version. So both sold well but to different types of consumers. By 1998 the Windstar had the new split port 200 hp 3.8 and air suspension for an available 5,000 lb tow rating and they added a cargo version.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Scoutdude, this is not correct at all. The Mercury Villager was a rebadged Nissan Quest and was not related to any Ford product.

            “The Mercury Villager is a minivan that was manufactured and sold by Ford for model years 1993–2003. A rebadged variant of the Nissan Quest, the Villager was a product of a joint venture between Ford and Nissan and was built at Ford’s Ohio Assembly plant in Avon Lake, Ohio. It was Mercury’s first of only two minivan models it ever featured (before the 2004-07 Mercury Monterey). In spite of Mercury’s tradition to use compatible Ford platforms, the Villager was completely unrelated to the Ford Aerostar, the Ford Windstar, the Ford Freestar or the Mercury Monterey (2004–2007). The Villager carried the code name “VX54″ within Ford.”- Wikipedia

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Lie2Me, you are missing the point. The point is that when Ford started selling the Villager through the Mercury channel they were able to claim that the sold more minivans than any other mfg, IE than the Voyager and Caravan combined. It doesn’t matter if the Villager was a pure Ford product or not it was sold by a Ford division so it counted in their sales totals.

            The Villager and Quest was a joint venture, not just a rebadge of an existing product. Each company did engineering work and shared the development costs. There were parts pulled from each company’s parts bin too.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Scoutdude, Chrysler was always by far the sales leader in minivans. By 1988, the Caravan and Voyager were each selling 200,000 per year, so each Chrysler brand was making about double Aerostar’s sales.

            Windstar was a 6-month success, until the ’96 Chrysler vans appeared with 4 doors. Over the next 5 years, it sold about 200,000 per year. Caravan alone was around 300,000, and total Chrysler minivan sales were around 500,000 per year.

            Villager sold 45,000 units in its 1st year, was down to less than half that number 2 years later.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ect, if the Aerostar sold so poorly then how was Ford able to keep advertising it as America’s best selling minivan for so long w/o Chrysler or the FTC calling the out for false advertising? Here is just one of the print ads for the Aerostar claiming that it was the best selling minivan. http://clickamericana.com/media/advertisements/make-mine-a-minivan-ford-aerostar-1987 So by 1987 the Aerostar sold more than the best selling single name plate of the Chrysler minivans. The Aerostar was a much better subsitute for the traditional station wagon for many buyers with its 5000lb tow rating, as many station wagon buyers at the time used them for towing their boat or camping trailer. Yes when you totaled the Chrysler twins Chrysler sold more than any other mfg in the late 80’s. Once the Villager and Windstar were both on board Ford was able to rightly claim that they sold more minivans than any other MFG.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ect, Additionally that 45K sales number you cite for the Villager is for the 1st year of the second generation of the Villager, when the bulk of minivan buyers had moved on to midsize SUVs. I can’t find the sales numbers for the 1993-1998 versions quickly on line but they were substantially higher, well into the 6 figures. You can still find a lot of the first generation models on the road today.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Do you believe everything that Ford claims and that you read on the internet? If you look at the fine print it says “Based on manufacturer’s reported sales through July 1987” What does that mean? Could it be any more vague?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            To put it another way that might be easier for some people to understand.

            In the late 80’s Ford advertized that they had the best selling *brand* of minivan. At the exact same time Chrysler, who didn’t have a huge advertsing budget advertised the Caravan and Voyager together and that Chrysler Corp sold more mini vans than any other mfg.

            When the Windstar and Aerostar were sold along side of each other Ford advertised that they sold more minivans than any other brand and that they sold more minivans than any other mfg.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            That doesn’t seem vague in the least. Ford sold more minivans than any other *brand* at the time. Those type of ads continued through the 80’s and you can be certain that if Chrysler could refute that claim they would have went crying to the FTC with claims of false advertising.

            Meanwhile Chrysler, who didn’t have a big adverting budget put the Caravan and Voyager in the same ads, retaliated with the claim that Chrysler was the “mini van leader” selling more mini vans than any other MFG.

            Subtle but distinctly different advertising claims in which both companies were correct.

            When the Windstar was introduced Ford was then able to claim that Ford the *brand* sold more mini vans than any other *brand* and that Ford the *manufacturer* sold more mini vans than any other *manufacturer* and that included dwindling Villager sales.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I could only find figures for 1986. “Chrysler sold close to 250,000 Caravan/Voyager wagons” and ” Ford Motor Co.`s Aerostar sold their full capacity of 180,000 units”

            http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1987-02-12/business/8701110876_1_minivans-toyota-motor-corp-extended-wheelbase

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Scoutdude, there is a useful chart of Chrysler minivan sales here:

            http://www.allpar.com/model/m/minivans.html

            We see Dodge and Plymouth brand sales each go from 100,000 in 1986 to 200,000 in 1988. Caravan sales rose to 300,000 by 1996, and total Chrysler sales were roughly at or above 400,000 units through 2005.

            Windstar sales are reported here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Windstar

            Dodge outsold Ford in every year of the Windstar’s existence. Windstar’s best year ever was 2000, when they sold around 220,000. Dodge sold close to 300,000 units that year.

            You’re right, the Villager numbers I found were indeed Gen 2. I haven’t seen the Gen 1 sales numbers, but the Villager was never a great sales success.

            And Ford NEVER outsold Chrysler in minivans. Not even close.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            So it sounds like Ford could claim the title of best selling mini van in 1986 because from my recollection the Chryser twins sold at similar rates not a 70+/30- split. I would believe that GM may have had closer to a 70/30 split on Chevy/GMC.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            If you can put that much of a spin on the numbers to make them work for you then Wall St. would very much like to talk to you

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I’m not spinning the numbers. You seem to have a problem making the distinction between the terms Brand and Manufacturer. Ford used the fact that Chrysler and GM split their sales between different brands while in the early years Ford only sold a minivan under one brand to rightly claim they sold more mini vans than any other brand.

            By the numbers you provided in 1986 Ford sold about 180K Aerostars, Dodge and Plymouth a little more than 100k each. Last time I checked 180K is greater than 125K.

            Later they used the fact that they had 3 distinctly different vehicles classified as mini vans aimed at different segments of the market to make the claim that they sold more mini vans than any other mfg. Which I’m certain that they did because they advertized the heck out of it for a fair amount of time. Again if Chrysler could refute that claim they would have done everything they could to sick the FTC on them. At the time the mini van was Chrysler’s bread and butter.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Most everyone sees the Caravan/Voyager as one minivan. If you took the badges off there would be no difference

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yes the Caravan and Voyager were the same van, evidence of Chrysler shooting itself in the foot once again. The fact remains that they were sold as two different brands and the sales numbers were assigned to their respective brands. The reality was that those minivans selling for the exact same price with the exact same equipment was yet another nail in Plymouth’s coffin. The T&C was another as dealers stopped stocking the nicer Voyagers and other than the first couple of years the increase in T&C sales was directly at the expense of the Voyager sitting next to it on the same lots.

            It is not the first time that a one brand strategy from Ford has allowed them to claim best selling bragging rights. There have been a couple of occasions where Chevy + GMC sales were greater than Ford sales but that didn’t mean that Chevy could claim the title of best selling *brand*.

            Yes it is semantics but semantics can be very important.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            A better way to look at this

            In 1986 who made more money selling minivans, Ford or Chrysler?

            Chrysler, FTW!

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            In 1986 mini vans were the only thing Chrysler was making any real money on.

            The fact is unless you have access to the books of both companies you can not say for certain exactly who made the most profit. There are multiple factors in determining exact profit per vehicle. How did the development and tooling costs compare? What was the take rates of the various options and trim levels and what was the specific gross profit margin on each of them?

            What can be said for certain is that Chrysler Corp sold more than any other mfg and the Aerostar sold more than any other brand.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            “What can be said for certain is that Chrysler Corp sold more than any other mfg and the Aerostar sold more than any other brand”

            This is simply wrong. Totally. Aerostar sales peaked in 1986, and dropped thereafter to around 100,000 per year. Caravan and Voyager sales each went from around 100,000 in 1986 to over 150,000 in 1987 and around 200,000 in 1988. Each.

            Caravan continued to rise, reaching 300,000 units by 1996. Voyager plateaued around 200,000, and started to decline in the mmid-90’s.

            From at least 1988, Caravan far outsold Aerostar. So did Voyager. Those are the facts.

            The reason that Ford designed the Windstar from a car-based platform as a fwd vehicle was because the Aerostar couldn’t generate sales anywhere close to the numbers Chrysler was getting.

            “In 1986 mini vans were the only thing Chrysler was making any real money on.” The fact is that Chrysler returned to profitability in 1982, a year before the minivans were introduced.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I wouldn’t mind finding a nice SWB Eddie Bauer 4×4 Aerostar.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Wonder if it has a good/replaced beam axle. These are the ones which would rust out and permit the rear wheels to separate from the vehicle.

    This actually happened to a friend of mine, and Ford ultimately paid him to leave the car there forever.

  • avatar
    sproc

    Does this even qualify as an ice cream truck? I think of something purpose built with refrigeration and sound gear, not a beater Windstar with the seats removed, plastered with stickers, and filled (presumably) with disgusting styrofoam coolers that smell like bait. Gross.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Is there a “purpose built” ice cream truck? All I’ve seen are converted X-school (short) buses, van conversions and step vans. Rarely minivans. But all stuff that started out with another purpose. Probably similar to taxis and farm pickups that you beat on. The roach coach too. Why buy them new?

      • 0 avatar

        The old Good Humor trucks qualify as proper “purpose-built” ice cream trucks – and they look a damned sight better than a converted van.

        http://carlsonmeissner.com/portals/0/Good%20Humor%20Truck.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s fairly unique, a snack label would sell their products out of a truck, directly to the consumer. But the trucks themselves couldn’t really be re-purposed into “ice cream trucks” (vans). The Good Humor trucks were ice boxes on wheels, where the driver would jump out of the cab and access s!de doors.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Those Schwan’s trucks are purpose-built, right? Or does that not count because they bring other stuff.

          I remember those yellow trucks were common in my neighborhood when I was growing up, and I would always run and tell my mom I saw a “Swan man.”

    • 0 avatar
      Roader

      These qualify as ice cream trucks. In much of the West, anyway:

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/37837114@N00/2264573706

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        When I moved to Seattle, I was surprised to see all these pedophile van “Ice Cream Trucks” I can’t believe parents let their kids run up and buy Ice Cream from them. The one in the article actually looks more legit than the ones that come around here.

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          MBella, the Aerostar is in fact a unibody with a front subframe/crossmember. The chassis consists of what looks like a pair of frame rails but these are sheet steel laminates welded to the floor pan just like the less substantial frame members under most other unibodies. There may be suspension parts in common with contemporary Rangers and explorers but the chassis is unique to the van in every way. This is not unique in the van world either, some full sized traditional domestic vans are true unibodies as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Brakes and wheels are the only non power train chassis parts that were shared between the Ranger and Aerostar. The Ranger of the era had twin I beam or twin traction beam (on 4wd)front suspension. The Aerostar had unequal length A arms. Yes the Ranger eventually got A arms but they were unique. Out back the Ranger had leafs while the Aerostar had a 3 link coil system. When you ordered the tow package or a track-loc in the Aerostar you got a Dana 44. Order the tow package and the Trac-lock in the Ranger and you got a Ford 8.8″

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            We need some clarification on just exactly what the Aerostar was


            Ford Aerostar—mid-size van (1986-1997), code named VN1; the first Ford vehicle with an alphanumeric platform designation replacing Ford’s historical practice of code names. The Aerostar’s platform was separate from the Econoline, sharing similarity only in its designation.

            This design was developed because Ford truck designers were unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable with unibody construction. As a result, the frame rails were integrated as part of the unibody; this construction was also used on the Chevrolet Astro/GMC Safari vans, the second-generation Jeep Cherokee, and today’s Honda Ridgeline pickup.

            Although the Aerostar used a dedicated platform, it was designed with a high degree of parts commonality with other Ford light-truck products of the time (initially, the Ford Ranger/Bronco II and the later Ford Explorer/Mazda Navajo). Components such as the brake rotors, axle bearings, wheels were all interchangeable and essentially any light-truck powertrain and suspension upgrades were also available to the Aerostar. One notable exception is that the Aerostar’s rear suspension was designed with a 3-link coil spring rear suspension with a live rear axle. This rear suspension design was similar to that used by the Ford LTD Crown Victoria and Fox-body Mustang.”-Wikipedia

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ lie2me Wikipedia has a lot wrong with it’s description of the Aerostar the 3 link is nothing at all like the 2 different 4 link systems used on Panthers. The front suspension is nothing like the era Ranger/Explorer though you can interchange the calipers, pads and 2wd rotors.

            The original US unibody cars also used full length frame rails like the listed vehicles and many modern unibody cars are returning to that type of construction after having a front and rear section that aren’t connected.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Wikipedia has a lot wrong with it’s description of the Aerostar”

            Have you added a citation to correct the Wiki error? If not, your statement is meaningless

  • avatar

    Remember the Windstar Northwoods Edition? I remember it for entirely no reason right this minute. Remember also how the driver’s door was longer than the passenger door and the driver’s seat tilt/slid forward just enough the squeeze a kid through? That was a conceit to the structural impossibility of a 4th door on the driver’s side, IIRC.

    I remember the second lot I worked at back in 2009, the guy had like 100+ units, 75 of which were just utterly unsellable and we had to clearance them all off. It was loaded with absolute pigs like 3-door Windstars and Caravans – had like four of them. I think we ended up giving them away for like $1500-2500 apiece. And it was a shame because they were all fundamentally nice vehicles (low mileage, ran well), but who the hell wants a 3-door van?

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “who the hell wants a 3-door van?”

      God, I’d kill for one! SWB with windows? Hell, yes! The rear seats would come out and never go back in.

      With a near addiction to garage sales and no real work to do, I would fine a little 3-dr Caravan or Voyager to be outrageously perfect.

      Yeah, I know… a market of one.

  • avatar

    Remember the Windstar Northwoods Edition? I remember it for entirely no reason right this minute. Remember also how the driver’s door was longer than the passenger door and the driver’s seat tilt/slid forward just enough the squeeze a kid through? That was a conceit to the structural impossibility of a 4th door on the driver’s side, IIRC.

    I remember the second lot I worked at back in 2009, the guy had like 100+ units, 75 of which were just utterly unretailable and we had to clearance them all off. It was loaded with absolute pigs like 3-door Windstars and Caravans – had like four of them. I think we ended up giving them away for like $1500-2500 apiece. And it was a shame because they were all fundamentally nice vehicles (low mileage, ran well), but who the hell wants a 3-door van?

  • avatar

    Remember the Windstar Northwoods Edition? I remember it for entirely no reason right this minute. Remember also how the driver’s door was longer than the passenger door and the driver’s seat tilt/slid forward just enough the squeeze a kid through? That was a conce it to the structural impossibility of a 4th door on the driver’s side, IIRC.

    I remember the second lot I worked at back in 2009, the guy had like 100+ units, 75 of which were just utterly unretailable and we had to clearance them all off. It was loaded with absolute pigs like 3-door Windstars and Caravans – had like four of them. I think we ended up giving them away for like $1500-2500 apiece. And it was a shame because they were all fundamentally nice vehicles (low mileage, ran well), but who the hell wants a 3-door van?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yup I remember the Northwoods Edition, pretty rare. Basically it was an alternative to the Limited with most of the same equipment but in a different color scheme. The King Door was a stop gap measure when they were caught off guard by the new Chryslers. The rear HVAC mounted where the 4th door would go so the did the King Door in 98 only and for 99 did the refresh that included the extra door.

      I liked our King Door’ed 98 Limited. I found more than enough room to put my Daughter in her car seat and strap her in. I was quite happy with ours other than the trans at 60K it gave us no problems. If it weren’t for the fact that the wife deciced she needed at SUV like so many others at the time I would have kept it for a few more years.

  • avatar

    Remember the Windstar Northwoods Edition? I remember it for entirely no reason right this minute. Remember also how the driver’s door was longer than the passenger door and the driver’s seat tilt/slid forward just enough the squeeze a kid through? That was a conce it to the structural impossibility of a 4th door on the driver’s side, IIRC.

  • avatar

    Remember the Windstar Northwoods Edition? I remember it for entirely no rea son right this minute. Remember also how the driver’s door was longer than the passenger door and the driver’s seat tilt/slid forward just enough the squeeze a kid through? That was a conceit to the structural impossibility of a 4th door on the driver’s side, IIRC.

    I remember the second lot I worked at back in 2009, the guy had like 100+ units, 75 of which were just utterly unretailable and we had to clearance them all off. It was loaded with absolute pigs like 3-door Windstars and Caravans – had like four of them. I think we ended up giving them away for like $1500-2500 apiece. And it was a shame because they were all fundamentally nice vehicles (low mileage, ran well), but who the hell wants a 3-door van?

  • avatar
    Corollattack

    Here in Québec they rusted quickly and they are probably all gone,
    A neighboor of our family once sold it to used car dealer,
    He called back maybe one hour after, he wanted his liscence plate back,
    The Windstar was already crushed,

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I actually rather liked the Aerostars.

    A friend of mine’s dad growing up had an Eddie Bauer Aerostar and it was pretty neat at the time. My aunt had an old Aerostar that she simply could not kill.

    Windstar, OTOH, meh. Reliability doesn’t come to mind.

    And as a kid which grew up in a very working-class neighborhood in a big-city with plenty of creepy ice cream vendors driving about during the summer months, I can NOT say I’ve ever seen a minivan tasked with that duty.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The difference was between a Ranger and Taurus. Turn a V6 Ranger into a minivan and you had something. Taurus based, and you had crap, especially the trans.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I had a Eddie Bauer Aerostar, loved it. Great vehicle, RWD and seem to run forever. Comfortable as all get out, crisscrossed the country a couple of times with no issues.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Hmmm… wasn’t the EB trim package only available on LWB Aerostars?

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        My dad had an Eddie Bauer Aerostar when I was little. He still wishes he could find something else with those front seats. He really loved them. When it was time to retire it from family duty, he kept it around to use as a work truck. I saw him fill it up with three large pallets filled with large steel billets. It bottomed out the suspension, but it kept on going like the energizer bunny. He finally sold it in the late 90s to a guy who showed up at his shop. It hadn’t run for about three years at this point. My dad told him it would need a battery. The guy brought one along with $300 cash. It fired right up, and the guy was on his way.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          As the owner of an orvis edition grand cherokee limited I thought I sated my last for green and tan leather interiors.. But I haven’t. The want Is so bad for an Eddie Bauer aerostar 4×4

    • 0 avatar

      We actually have a ’98 Windstar were I work (university IT department). It’s an ex-government cargo model – no rear seats or plastic trim in the back, just rubber matting – purchased from a GSA auction. It’s only got 25k miles on it.

      It’s actually been pretty solid. The side door doesn’t open anymore, but that’s because one of our student employees evidently smacked it into the corner of a building while driving up a narrow service driveway.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    These things are extinct around here. I blame the double punch of the Essex V6 and troublesome Taurus auto transaxle.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    The interior ans exterior paint too , look FAR too clean for it to have been in service very long….

    Mostly we get old G – Series RV vans gutted and dry ice coolers in the back ’round here .

    There’s one old (really old) Mr. Frosty soft ice cream truck still working the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles , it still has the freezers and everything . it’s clean and tidy too .

    I get a kick out of the creepy “Chester The Molester” typ ice cream rigs ~ I’da _never_ let my Son go near one .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      RedStapler

      I’m guessing this thing didn’t have that long of a service live before the drivetrain crapped out. Cruising around residential streets at 3mph most likely cooked the already weak-sauce transmission.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Must have been pretty cramped to work from. I’d pull my back with all the heavy lifting & twisting in a confined space.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Crabspirits?

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    When I think of an Ice Cream truck the last vehicle I would expect to be converted to one would be a Ford Windstar. You can’t even stand in it. For years they have been retrofitted step vans when the operator can serve the customers from the window or the classic Good Humor truck which was usually a F-100 with the ice cream freezer on the rear that the operator accessed through the side door. http://goodhumortrucks.com

  • avatar
    Funky

    I owned two of these things. A 1998 and a 2001. Both purchased new. The 1998 needed a replacement transmission at about 6,000 miles. The dealer told me the transmission left the factory “tagged” as one supposedly to be replaced without question upon customer complaint. It was replaced under warranty. The 2001 had a failed front wheel bearing at about 14,000 miles. The 1998 Windstar, in my opinion, offered a “car like” driving experience. The 2001 did not. I am not sure for what reason there was a difference. In neither did I have enough confidence to keep it for more than a few years. I rarely see a Windstar or the subsequent Freestar on the roads today.

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      Was going to say that it was model bloat, but wikipedia tells me that the next generation was based on a completely different platform. Our ’99 wallowed like a whale, and nuked its tranny at 75k miles. Complete and utter piece of junk, and this from a Ford guy.

  • avatar
    kmoney

    This thing has a huge creeper vibe to it. Don’t know why, just gives that feeling.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    @Lie2me, the spambot keeps eating my response. Rest assured, my original comment was in good humor and Star Wars fans ought to see the pun.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Just think in 98 you could have this woeful piece of crap, or the superb tank-like Previa. Probably one of the most solid car interiors I can recall. My aunt had one that she ran up to 260K+ before it got wrecked. The doors had a very satisfying and solid thunk sound to them when closed.

    The interior was incredibly spacious as well, and bright because of all the glass.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I remember when the Windstar first came out ~ a Business Associate of mine ran right out and bought one to replace his old 1975 Econoline , he went on a great length about how great it was for a few months then I never heard about it again .

    Now after all these years , I begin to understand what may have happened to it .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    The Windstars that seemed to last were the base Vulcan V6 powered models. The high zoot 3.8 V6’s died early.

    OTOH, Quest/Villagers refuse to die. [I know they are Nissan, but built by UAW Ford workers]

    Ford was like ‘OK here’s your minivan, but get a real truck next time’.


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