It seems that the Canadian city of Victoria has been keeping something on the down-low, that being today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe '86 Caravan that they've been maintaining in pristine condition. Will its price however, have you saying oh Canada?
Yesterday's 1983 Isuzu Imark was brown, diesel and rear-wheel drive, giving it a solid three points toward Jalop nirvana. Unfortunately that diesel is less electrifying than licking a six year old 9-volt, and its automatic gearbox further eliminated any of the fun that might be had. Finally, its four-grand asking seemed onerous for spending life in the slow lane, at least to the 86% of you speed demons who gave it a Crack Pipe loss.
Today, let's look at another '80s refugee and see if it fares any better.
When Chrysler introduced their K-car derivative Minivan back in 1983, the country acted like they invented the category out of whole cloth. Of course VW was left standing in the back going, uh, excuse me… Truth be told, Chrysler's Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager didn't create the minivan class in the eighties, they just reinvigorated it. Sorry Volkswagen.
What must it have been like, those heady days when Reagan was single-handedly defeating communism and MTV played music videos like, all the time? Well, it truly was golden age. Back then, we rocked so hard one Duran wasn't nearly enough. In the '80s, Sony Walkmans ruled home room; girls just wanted to have fun; and McDonalds introduced the McRib sandwich to satisfy a nation hungry for compressed processed novelty meats.
The '80s were also the time when American suburbanites grew bored with their stoic station wagons and yearned for something fresh that could still carry the kids, dog, and a week's worth of groceries, but in a taller, more slide-y door fashion. Requirements were the ability to fit in your standard non-Jay Leno sized garage, and to be able to swallow a sheet of plywood (what are you people doing with all this plywood?) between the rear wheel arches.
Fortunately for America, Chrysler was there with the answer, and luckily for you, one Canadian seller has a seemingly pristine Caravan up for grabs so that you can relive the experience for yourself.
This 1986 Dodge Caravan has but 76,000km on the clock, and is powered by Mitsubishi's 2.6-litre SOHC four. That's a mill that went into the sporty Conquest as well, if your goal is props through association. Rocking a 2BBL carb, these engines managed 104-bhp from their 2,555-ccs and were marketed by Chrysler as a 'hemi' here in the states. These engines are notorious for head issues as well as other malefactions of durability so props on this one for seemingly having survived.
The Caravan was available with a five speed stick, but the 2.6 only came with a three speed automatic. That's operated via a column shift leaving the floor space between the seats open for purses or the increasingly popular man-bags. The rest of the interior - corduroy seating surfaces and squared-off faux burl wood faced dash - looks to be in excellent shape.
The exterior too seems to be far better looking than it has any right to, aside from the bubbling of the way past its best-by date rear window tint. The ad calls it show-room condition which hopefully means it drives as good as it looks and not that there's some guy in a cheap-ass suit asking you about adding the gosh-darn undercoating dontchaknow.
It should be noted that this van is in Victoria Canada, on the nation's Pacific coast, and a place where it can be pretty damn damp a lot of the time. How this Caravan managed to survive intact all these years remains a secret as the ad offers little in the way of explication. What it does offer is an asking price of $12,995 in Loonies (about 11,960 USD) and you now need to weigh in on whether that's a fair deal or not.
What do you think about this amazing survivor van for that price, do you think that's fair? Or does that asking make this one secret Victoria can keep?
H/T to mark339 for the hookup!
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