Junkyard Find: 1993 Plymouth Voyager With Five-Speed Manual

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The original K-platform-based Chrysler minivans, built for the 1984 through 1995 model years, sold like mad, helped kill the station wagon, and forced the competition to get serious about selling minivans in the United States. Buyers could get the 1984-95 four-cylinder Caravan, Voyager, or Town & Country with a five-speed manual transmission, though few did.

Here’s the first 5-speed second-generation Chrysler minivan I have ever found in a wrecking yard.

This isn’t the only second-gen Chrysler minivan I’ve seen with a manual transmission, however; Team Van Gogh races a 1993 Caravan with a five-speed and turbocharged 2.5 engine swap in West Coast 24 Hours of LeMons races. It’s quick.

By the middle 1990s, automatic transmissions and air conditioning had become all-but-required equipment in US-market vehicles that weren’t penny-in-the-vise miserable econoboxes. This Voyager has AC, but the El Cheapo™ interior and crank windows suggest that the original purchaser may have been a motivated miser. Was the automatic Voyager more expensive than the manual in 1993?

I’m tempted to go buy the pedal set out of this van, because I know some LeMons team is going to need it for a manual-transmission conversion in a hooptie Town & Country. These parts may be shared with the not-so-rare 5=five-speed Dodge Shadow/Plymouth Sundance, though.

Under the hood, we see the produced-by-the-octillion Chrysler 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Voyager buyers in 1993 could opt for Chrysler 3.3 or Mitsubishi 3.0 V6s, generating 150 and 142 horsepower, respectively. While you could get a Dodge Daytona with the Mitsubishi V6 and five-speed in 1993, Chrysler’s V6 minivans were automatic only.

Sold in Colorado, will be crushed in Colorado.

“The evolution of the minivan is now complete.”

Note that the automatic transmission is a big bragging point in this ad.

The genuine article, on sale at The Minivan Store.

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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  • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on May 15, 2017

    I love the LeMons photo with the Mustang II and the Pinto. Putting them on the track still seems more like performance art than racing, but it is cool to see such unlikely cars at speed.

  • Garak Garak on May 16, 2017

    I had one like this a couple years ago, it had something like 400000 km on the clock. It had the acceleration of a glacier, but could cruise comfortably all day, and got about 8.5 liters per 100 km (28 mpg). It was a sad day when I had to scrap it.

  • Aja8888 Folks, this car is big enough to live in. Dual deal: house and car for $7 large.
  • Astigmatism I don't think tax credits will put me in this league, but if I could swing it, I would 1000% go for a restomod EV Grand Wagoneer: https://www.thedrive.com/news/you-can-buy-an-electric-80s-jeep-grand-wagoneer-for-295000
  • FreedMike I like the looks of the Z, but I'd take the Mustang. V8s are a disappearing breed.
  • Picard234 I can just smell the clove cigarettes and the "oregano" from the interior. Absolutely no dice at any price.
  • Dartdude The Europeans don't understand the American market. That is why they are small players here. Chrysler Group is going to die pretty soon under their control. Europeans have a sense of superiority over Americans that is why the Mercedes merger didn't work out and almost killed Chrysler. Bringing European managers aren't going to help. Just like F1 they want our money. We need Elon Musk to buy out Chrysler, Dodge and Ram from Stellantis.