And the Real Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

It is not possible for a Chrysler minivan to finish in the top third of a weekend-long race on the car-killing turns and hils of Infineon Raceway, which is proof that this weekend’s race never happened. That means that the performance of the Team Soccer Moms’ Caravan must have been the product of mass hallucination.

This factory-5-speed-equipped Dodge family hauler finished ahead of more than 100 competitors, while remaining nearly black-flag- and breakdown-free all weekend.

The Soccer Moms battled a Colt, a GLC, a Fire Arrow, and an Escort wagon for IOE honors. In the end, even a Fire Arrow couldn’t match the sheer inappropriateness of a K-car-based minivan as a race car. Congratulations, Soccer Moms!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Cruz53a Cruz53a on Oct 25, 2011

    we had a blast this weekend. the van handled great and loved turn 6 where we could make most of our passes, just wish we had more HP to keep most of those passes.

    • Victell Victell on Oct 26, 2011

      Congrats on your great run. Running a van is definitely inspired. Can you tell us more about it? What did you do to the body? Did you keep the glass or go lexan? How did you get it to handle well?? Also, why didnt you do more mods to get the HP up? I heard these engines are pretty strong and relatevely easy to make more power. I think I want one of these vans now...

  • Cruz53a Cruz53a on Oct 27, 2011

    the van has been gutted of all unnecessary weight, i mean everything. we removed wires and connectors from the harness, thats how crazy we got with it. the doors are nothing but a thin piece of sheetmetal, the glass has been replaced with lexan, the suspension is put together using dodge spirit struts with cut van springs and an axle flip with repositioned stock shocks at the rear. the stock spring rates work well with the lightened van. from about 3350lbs stock to about 2650lbs race ready. the engine is bone stock with the exception of removing the balance shafts. we feel that turning laps is more important than stressing the engine with mods, crazy but it works. i think the most important part of the operation is the respect our drivers have for each other, the van and the competition.

  • RobbyG This sort of reminds me of a "better" version of the first BMW I3's that came out with a whopping 60ish miles of range in in a super compact body made of plastic outside and straight through into the interior. And BMW wanted $40k+ then.$34k for this is still double the price of where it should realistically be.
  • Lorenzo Are there any naturally aspirated engines available?
  • Jeff There was a time that all the major auto makers advertised there full size V-8 engine cars to be quieter than a Rolls Royce. Ford had ads up thru the early 80s showing the Ford LTD and the Mercury Grand Marquis being quieter than a Rolls Royce with a smoother ride. An ad for a the Grand Marquis showed how quiet and smooth riding it was demonstrating that even a rabbi could do a circumcision on a baby boy in the back of a Grand Marquis as it was being driven. Another Mercury commercial with a diamond cutter splitting an expensive diamond while the car was being driven. Most cars in the 60s, 70s, and much of the 80s were marketed for their quiet interiors and smooth rides. Now we have to add noise to a vehicle to give the illusion of powerful and fast. If I ever were to own an EV I would want it quiet. Saturday Night Live even had a parody on the Mercury rabbi commercial. Bris inside a Royal Deluxe II from Saturday Night Live › ... 1:25Bris performed inside a Royal Deluxe II in a Saturday Night Live skit.Vimeo · Adam Kegel · Jan 18, 2019
  • Lorenzo Six percent here, ten percent there, and pretty soon you've got a dead brand.
  • ToolGuy Tungsten trim? I am holding out for the Depleted Uranium trim.