For practical purposes in much of the world it was the VW van that got
things going in the 1960s for smaller vans.
Interesting that VW moved to the Chrysler van last year, but not
surprisingly they didn't sell very well in VW dealerships.
Today the Chrysler van has to be one of the best van deals out there.
The Mini-Van as Chrysler devised it was a very simple idea. Build a
larger people carrier on the K series chassis. Station wagons were
passing out of favor and Chrysler was looking for something good.
The K chassis and it offspring (pretty much EVERY Chrysler product
except the trucks) is what saved them from going completely under that time.
The first versions of the Caravan/Voyager had a serious problem though.
If you opened the side door and loaded it up you couldn't close the
door! The chassis would flex enough to cause a problem. This was
remedied with a dealer kit and factory installed braces.
FWIW, my van history (all purchased new). The first two were still
running strong when traded.
1984 Dodge Caravan LE (200,000+ miles)
1997 Dodge Caravan ES (170,000+ miles)
2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (currently 24,000 miles)
BTW, that URL isn't loading at this moment.
I saw my first "Minivan" when I was in France in the late 1970's. It
was a Toyota "Hi Ace" working as an ambulance. It was 1983 when I saw
a Toyota minivan in the US. The Chrysler minivans soon followed.
Schnellaster my dad drove as a work truck back in the sixties.
The second mini-van I became aware of was the 1960 envoy/bedford
my dad bought from the local hardware store (was their appliance
A young farm-hand by the name of Enos Gerber that boarded with us on
the farm near Poole Ontario in 1954 owned the first VW microbus I ever
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