Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Car Pr0n #84

The car pr0n for today is probably the single biggest automotive icon of the 1980s.

1984 Dodge Caravan. While it was hardly the first "minivan" (obviously the Volkswagen Microbus would handily take those honors), the Dodge Caravan (and its twin, the Plymouth Voyager) brought the concept of a front wheel drive, slightly smaller van to the American public.

As the station wagon vanished from car lots, families looking for a vehicle capable of carrying more than 4 passengers as well as gear turned to the minivan. They weren't as unwieldy as full-size passenger vans (and better in the snow), nor as hard to work on (location of the engine) and gained acceptance quickly.

Of course, as more people started to realize that smaller vehicles did worse in accidents, they started gravitating to SUVs. While opponents like to pretend that SUVs didn't exist until the 1990s, the Suburban, Bronco, Cherokee, etc. had been around forr years. Once the full size car disappeared from the scene, people gravitated to the full-size truck...

You know, actions having consequences...

That is all.


Jay Ater said...

Neon SRT4 drivetrain bolts right into one of those.

scotaku said...

It's a good thing the Caravan sat 7, so that 6 could get out and push.


Anonymous said...

The Mercury Villager we had lasted the longest of any vehicle we've driven.
My daughter had it after she got her license and ran it till it had racked up
over 300,000 miles.

She's had two cars since and neither one lasted anywhere near that well.
An unsung advantage of the mini van is the amount of guns, ammo, targets and
miscellaneous stuff you can pile into one for a range trip.

Going from a van to a sedan was a bit of a shock for me.
Some rifles just will not bend enough to fit into a car trunk!

Old NFO said...

FYI, Chevy started the Suburban in 1935... 12 generations over 80 years of production...

Hafnhaf said...

don't forget your daddies luxury suv: the jeep grand wagoneer!

Heath J said...

Ugly goddamned vehicle.

Hunter said...

Worst mistake, ever...getting rid of the '88 Chevrolet Suburban at 120,000 miles. Best car ad, ever? Suburban, in a four-wheel drift, over the caption "As a matter of fact, I do own the road".

Will said...

Willys Overland Wagon. With the factory PTO front winch. Dual heaters. Dad had one with a straight 6, equipped with a snowplow. And, they had one with a 4cyl for the hunting cabin my dad and friends shared. Kept it stored at the nearby town, upstate PA.

Nothing like sliding off an icy forest trail and having a 6" dia tree slam into the passenger door (my door). And, looking past the tree about a 1000ft to the river. Near vertical drop. We would have bounced maybe three times before the splash. I had to run the winch cable to a tree on the opposite side of the trail to get us back on it.

Only time I've been in a vehicle that hit a tree and was happy it happened. Very happy! (Hmm, twice on ice, and one on wet leaves.)

Jim said...

Mini Vans are the Glock of the transportation world.

Not much on looks, not very sexy, just pedestrian functionality when it matters.

That said, the current Honda Odyssey at least has some decent lines. So, I guess it's kind of the S&W M&P of the transportation world?

Don't know who makes the H&K equivalent mini-van. But they still think that we suck, and they hate us.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX