An alternative if somebody wanted a six with more fun... You can dig up an A543 transaxle from a P or G body and easily build yourself a five-speed 3.0L van.
Really though, if you love to drive, you need to find or build a van with a stick. You can forgive a lack of horsepower when you can pick your own ratio.
That reminds me of a more modern version of this, the car and driver Mazdaspeed5
I never understood why Chrysler Co. tachometers of that era never rested at zero when the engines were shut off. They always sat at about idle speed.
This thread has me confused as to whether I really like or really despise the Chrysler minivans. They were very honestly styled, unpretentious and classless vehicles but it got old eventually. I think part of the magic, though, was the ability to order them as stripped or as loaded as you damn well pleased. Each one was different: some were extremely luxurious (for the time) and some were very spartan.
As a child in the late '80s, I got a kick out of seeing who had a base, SE or LE version and whether or not they'd ordered it with captains chairs, privacy glass, power rear vent windows, power seat, full length overhead console, complete instrumentation etc etc etc. Some disappointed with 5 passenger seating, a speedo/gas gauge, no rear wiper/defroster and vinyl seats, sans headrests. Most were pretty plush, though, and I loved having my friends' parents cart me around in a car with so many buttons and cubbies, the hideous engine noises and general shoddiness notwithstanding. It was a lot more fun than fighting over the armrest in the back my parents' '86 Accord, at the time.
Last edited by HerrGolf; 10-11-2012 at 10:34 PM.
too red for me
Well my SAAB sounds like a Husqvarna
I did not realize the 2.6L was 4cyls or carbd .. 1984-1987 motor apparently. Probably a reason there are not so many on the roads. Most decades-old Vans are likely thrased & trashed by now..
no other SWB Caravans for sale anywhere on regional Craigslists, perhaps I'll hold off for an elusive manual/better motor. Though a quick Winter beater would be nice since my Saab does not like starting in freezing weather
I'm especially curious because my 96 Caravan (3rd gen) had its Mitsu 3L and transmission fail spectacularly recently and I want to bring it back. With no wrecked SRT4's in my area anymore I'm looking at PT Loser GT (high output versions would be nice)... hoping that buying a complete car would make the swap less of a PITA.
Except that's a fancy LE. We had an SE with A/C option. We had cloth seats, no faux wood trim, no roof rack, no tint, no fancy cassette/radio (I spot that joystick fader), I think I also spot the power rear window vent (we had the manual one).
2012 Toyota Prius 3, Blizzard White/Gray
2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Edition30, Pure White/Black V-tex/carbon
Son of a gun / Master of fate / Bows to no god, kingdom, or state.
We had an '84 with the Mitsu 2.6 liter for 8 years till my dad bought a brand new '94 Plymouth Grand Voyager with the 3.8. this thing had overhaed console and the back windows opened with a switch. i was mind blown.
I remember my dad burried the needle on the 84 once...he was like lets see if we can do this...i remember looking at that needle for a long time until it finally hit 140 (km/hr) until my dad and I cheered. Yeah...the 80's rocked!
Easy like Sunday Morning.
I hung around with a girl in the early 90s that drove her parents Caravan around...many good times were had in the back of that thing... Party machine.
My first job out of college was for a company that supported two way radios, towers and pagers for Fire/Cops/EMT/etc...My field service van was a crappy Caravan (89?). I was depressed when I saw it.
I was low man on the totem pole, so I got the CV...other guys had the newer Astros.
The first time I fired it up I heard a low whistle....interesting....got it out on the road and floored it...
grrrrrrrrrr....WHOOOOSH! Turbo time! I was happy after that. Best service van ever.
2006 Mazda 3
I do not like the 2nd-gen styling as much, but there are definately many more still on the road (or at least on CL)
Per Wiki, 3 of the 4 engines were V6 (I only drive 4-cyls, tho the 6s might haul), but a manual was still available, as was AWD. Wonder how hard those are to locate.
Last edited by Troike; 10-24-2012 at 08:55 PM.
For the second gen, I don't think the AWD option (or even the V6) was available with the manual transmission. But I've already been wrong in this thread once.
I drove a manual 2nd gen with accessibility fittings for driver's ed. Pretty sure it was a four. Also pretty sure I got some awful bruises from those fittings.
Last edited by turbo_nine; 10-24-2012 at 10:08 PM.
call it potatography
Here's a nice '84 found on Flickr:
I would call that a classic by now, in that condition. The early two-tiered front end looks so odd.