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The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread Making the Wheel

Intriguing Background

In the fall of 1983 the automobile industry insiders were abuzz about a secret project within Chrysler Corporation, some kind of new "tall car" was going to come out. Lee Iacocca, who had come from Ford a few years earlier, was out to reinvent the company. An example of setting a new pace was his front wheel drive K-car -- though nothing like a 383 Hemi Barracuda or some other famous Mopar classic -- was instead successful cheap Mom and Pop transportation.

Say You Want a Revolution

The advertising came out on Televison for the 1984 season touting a new vehicle, "Our new front wheel drive minivan is great on gas mileage," (the still picture shown during the first part of the voice over boasted 37 hwy/ 24 city in large white text superimposed on the screen) "...and is shorter than a full-length station wagon" as the little van was next shown parallel parking with ease. Lee Iacocca gushed:

I think it is safe to say that the minivan is the most significant new product to hit North America or the automobile industry worldwide.

Little Engines that Could

The engines in the Caravan which started with 2.2, 2.5 and 2.6 liter inline four cylinder engine to 3, 3.3 and 3.8 liter V-6 were transversely mounted. Eventually there would be options for four or five speed manual transmissions and three and four speed automatics. The four used a independent driveaxles (which later were the source of multiple problems and complaints.)

Other Creature Feature Comforts

It could seat seven, and they had those luxury and larger editions, too. The rear seats can be removed, and the rear door hydraulically lifts up with ease. The side sliding door is a facile joy to move for passengers and cargo. There are nice little pockets on the side for stuff, and the compactness and roominess combination is like a miracle in its appropriation.

Take Your Own Petite Magic Bus Home Today

Even today, one can get a new van starting at just under 18 thousand USD. Used ones abound from 500 USD on up depending on the year and condition, of course. {This author bought a 1993 for less than 2000 USd, and the only problem is an oil leak...ack!) But it is fun to ride!


Note: cbustapeck says re Dodge Caravan : Yep. I agree. Love that car. Wouldn't trade it for anything for long drives. But are you sure about those numbers for gas mileage? (I just got back from Sparta, NC, all highway driving, with my 1995 Voyager, with the 3 L. engine, and I don't think I did better than 23ish mpg, all highway) Also, you might want to mention that it is the same as the Plymouth Voyager: (essentially the same, I mean, minor trim differences, etc.)