QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part VII: Vans)

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd can you build an ideal crapwagon garage part vii vans

In last week’s Crapwagon Garage QOTD, we combined truck and station wagon to create an SUV, picking five winners. In part VII of the series, we’ll combine truck and station wagon a bit differently and end up with a van.

That’s right, it’s time for some (ugh). Car-based minivans also apply, so we’re not limited to things like the sweet Safari GT above.

This week, the Forgettable Favorite Award goes to:

Ajla (again) and JohnTaurus’ suggestion, the Isuzu VehiCROSS. Concept styling meets capable SUV in a vehicle which is already commanding more money than other similar vintage used vehicles. Special recognition goes to the rarer Ironman Edition versions with their different paint colors. Delightful, and you probably won’t lose money if you keep it a while.

On to the vans! Let’s review the rules:

  1. A crapwagon must be a vehicle which is relatively easy to find and purchase using an internet.
  2. All vehicles in the crapwagon garage must have been sold as new, in the North American market.
  3. Said vehicles must be obtainable to the casual crapwagon collector (CCC). This means in clean, running condition each one asks $7,000 or less on a normal day.
  4. Your suggestions must fit into the vehicle category of the week. If you don’t like the category, that’s tough. We’ll get to a category you like eventually.
  5. There are five rules to this garage game, and that’s the maximum number of vehicles you may submit for each section.

And here’s my first selection; I’ve harped on it a few times here previously. It’s most fitting with my Nineties sensibilities, two-tone desires, and love of special editions. It’s the Mercury Villager Nautica, which was the fanciest Nissan Quest money could buy. Downsides include rust resistance, and a VG30 rather than VQ30 (it has a timing belt to change). They’re rare and worthless.

It was tough to pick just one more favorite to feature, but it has to be one of these. Another Nineties luxury wagon, Chrysler’s Town & Country. Lace alloys, gold scripts, and ruched leather abound in this fully-loaded van. Special love goes to the purple and gold combination shown here. They were also available in all-wheel drive, but that might be asking for too much these two decades later.

What are your van selections for the Crapwagon Garage?

[Images: GM, Isuzu, Ford, FCA]

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3 of 65 comments
  • Mikeg216 Mikeg216 on Jun 28, 2018

    Eagle summit awd Isuzu oasis

  • Turf3 Turf3 on Jun 28, 2018

    1961-65 Corvair Greenbrier or Corvan. Indestructible, easy to repair, good space efficiency, brakes superior to many of today's vehicles. You would not believe the stuff I have overloaded one of these with.

    • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jun 28, 2018

      The Rampside looked incredibly useful, and an excellent solution for loading cargo, given the rear engine design. Very neat vehicles, for sure. You could get an unrestored one (i suggest looking in Oregon or Washington, or the southwest like Arizona, etc) for $2k or so, and spend $5k getting it fixed up and ready for the road, so I do buy the $7k budget on this one.

  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.
  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers. 
  • ToolGuy 2019 had better comments than 2023 😉
  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down. https://academic.oup.com/dh/article-abstract/42/4/548/5063004