1972 Ford Carousel (photo courtesy: forum.chryslerminivan.net)
What is the deal with minivans? I was thinking the other day that as an outdoor person, minivan’s are perfect. They have lots of room for people and gear, AWD (in some cases), lots of roof space, and better MPG’s than an SUV. But apparently I can’t own one because they’re not cool. I could get a wagon though. Isn’t a minivan just a super-sized wagon?
Will minivans ever be cool to own?
Mini-vans, God love them. Gone are the days when a van was mostly a truck with the front seats set far too close to the windshield and separated by a giant, ill-fitting plastic engine cover that allowed the sounds, smell and heat of the engine to leak into the vehicle’s interior. No, today’s vans are quiet, spacious and refined people movers that still provide a great deal of utility while carrying your precious family in great comfort. While they may not set the average auto enthusiast’s heart aflutter, ask any family man and he will sing you the song of infinite praises for the humble mini-van. I am just such a man, and as my Ford Freestar is on its way out, I must now find a replacement. (Read More…)
There’s nothing truly original in the car business. Everyone begs, steals and borrows from everyone else. Or sometimes, the same (and usually obvious) idea ferments for years in various heads or companies, and then suddenly appears in the same format at the same time in totally different places. How about the modern FWD mini-van? It first bubbled up in two totally different branches of Chrysler, sat for years,and then suddenly sprang forth, one in the US, the other in France, both at the same time. Coincidence, or is it just that every idea has its day in the sun? For the minivan, that would be 1983. In France, it was the Espace; in the US it was the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager. (Read More…)