New or Used?: Should This Mustang Man Get a Minivan?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
new or used should this mustang man get a minivan

Hi folks,

I have a ’15 Subaru WRX and a ’68 Ford Mustang. I pick my daughter up from daycare everyday. When the weather is nice, I drive the Mustang.

My wife and I are thinking of having a second kid, which would render my Mustang unusable since there’s no middle seat and zero space behind the driver. I’ve been lurking on a bunch of model-specific sites and on The H.A.M.B., but I can’t find much info on classics that will fit two car seats comfortably, at least one of which would be rear-facing.

My other limiting factor is that my garage is shallow, so anything over 200 inches long is a tight squeeze. That knocks out most of the big cars I thought of first.

Any suggestions on cars from ’49-’74 that have tidy exterior dimensions, but ample back seat space? I’m partial to Fords and Mopars.

Steve Says:

When you said Mopar, my very first thought was a 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger. At 196 inches, it will fit perfectly in your garage and the rear seats on these vehicles are surprisingly spacious. Check this out.

But here’s the rub: There has to be a strong love connection with you and the vehicle, and I’m frankly not Carnac the Magnificent when it comes to reading your personal Taste-O-Meter. I prefer to be in the big car world when it comes to classics, which is why I bought a 1979 Cadillac Deville D’Elegance for $500 last summer. Of course, I got the car with a wrench sticking straight out of the carb and enough tattered headliner to enshroud a mummy. Then there were the headlights held in place with cardboard inserts, the A/C system that didn’t actually blow, the paint job on top of the old paint job, the falling trim, the surface rust, the … damn it! Why do I still own this rolling turd?

If it were my dime, I would spend a quarter and find a Dart that’s been well kept, maybe something similar to this late model Dart. I would stick with a sporty car that was as common as Coca-Cola back in the day, just like your Mustang.

This is a tough one, though, with your restrictions of 200 inches or less, a classic car that can be a daily driver, and a big back seat. Anyone else wanna give it a shot? Maybe a 1990 Caravan with fake hood scoops. What says the rest of you?

Steven Lang
Steven Lang

More by Steven Lang

Join the conversation
2 of 138 comments
  • Wheeljack Wheeljack on Jan 16, 2016

    I'm going to go a totally different direction here and suggest a 1st Gen (1974-1981) Dodge Ramcharger/Plymouth Trailduster. It's under 200", and I would think the rear seat would accommodate a child seat. You may have to rig up some method of lashing the child seat down though... The upside to an early Ramcharger is the removable roof - kids love open air motoring on a nice day and they can be fun to drive in their own way - not sporty like a car, but fun nonetheless. You can always add an aftermarket roll bar and heavy duty rocker rails that mount to the frame to improve the safety odds a bit. I would have suggested an early Bronco but they are probably too small, plus the prices on nice ones are eye watering. Some other thoughts along the same lines - there is always the full-size Jeep Cherokee made from 1974-1983. These are under your length limit and definitely attention grabbing, but you lose the removable roof. The smaller Jeep Commando gives you the removable roof, but it's been so long since I've seen one that I can't remember how accommodating the back seat is - probably no better than a 1st gen Bronco in that regard. Even though I'm not a GM guy either, I've always liked and respected the 1969-1972 Chevy Blazer and the rarer but somehow cooler GMC Jimmy (introduced a year later in 1970). These are great looking trucks (with an edge to the GMC in the looks department) and built like tanks with readily available parts and support. 1972 is the best year to go with since front disc brakes became available that year.

  • Vojta Dobe Vojta Dobe on Jan 16, 2016

    The problem with your Mustang is that it was made to look good and not to fit people in the back - it's basically a Falcon with longer hood and no rear seat space. So, you need to get a car that was not designed to be sporty looking, but to be a practical family transportation. So, no Mustang, no Camaro, no Challenger. Instead, you need to be looking at Darts and Valiants (and maybe the 67-69 Barracuda or Plymouth Duster/Dodge Demon - all of these have the same proportions as sedans they were based on and thus should be much roomier inside than the 'Stang). Also, 1963-1965 Plymouth B-bodies (Fury and Belvedere) are just slightly over 200 inches and may fit. Yet they're still like a Chager or Road Runner underneath, with brilliant suspensions (much, much better than your Mustang) and great engines. From GM, I would check out the Novas and maybe early model Malibus, as someone suggested above. Also, a Corvair, especially in 4-door guise, looked pretty roomy to me (although I've never been inside one). The second generation one is, in my eyes, even nicer as a four-door. Ford's got a Falcon or 1968-1969 Torino for you. The Torino is 201 inches, which should still fit, and it's quite a bit roomier than Mustang. If the pre-74 year wasn't set in stone, I would also look at Buick Grand National. Also, if I understand correctly, you're Canadian. Any chance you can find a Ford Cortina Mark 3 over there? They're really tiny, but surprisingly big inside. Recently, I sat in a '68 Charger and a '72 or so Ford Taunus (Cortina's German twin) and I was a bit surprised how much roomier the Cortina is, despite being four feet shorter. Or you can look outside US. Big Benzes and Jags are still under 200", and, say, first generation XJ is truly a lovely car, very sporty for a big sedan of its age and much better handling than anything American of the era. W108 S-class is wholy different animal, but still very interesting and can be had with big V8s. Or maybe some kind of large BMW? E9? Maybe you can go even more radical, and get a Citroën DS? Small, yet large inside - if it was good enough for De Gaulle, your child will surely fit as well.

  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriors
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.
  • Jeff The car itself is in really good shape and it is worth the money. It has lots of life left in it and can easily go over 200k.
  • IBx1 Awww my first comment got deletedTake your “millennial anti theft device” trope and wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones keeping manuals around.