At $5,500, Is Buying This RHD-Converted 1997 Chrysler Town And Country The Right Thing To Do?

Craigslist RHD-converted minivan
Photo: Craigslist

Boxers know it’s always smart to watch out for a sneak left jab. Do so today, however, and you might miss the right hook packed by our Nice Price or No Dice Town and Country. Let’s see if this right-hand-drive van is worth its price or if it should get left in the lurch.

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Why is it that Americans get the short-shrift when it comes to things named after the country? I mean, take food for example. France gets delicious French toast. Germany has tasty German chocolate cake. Here in the U.S. we get, um… American cheese. Don’t get me wrong, American cheese has its place in the world. Still, must something named for America be so bland and single-slice packaged for your convenience?

We are fortunate to live in a land that allows us to enjoy the namesake foods of all those much luckier countries. We also get to enjoy other wares that spring from foreign soils. One of those was yesterday’s 1985 Renault Fuego, a car that came from the French toast people. Sadly for the seller, most of you didn’t find that Fuego’s $9,000 price to be particularly appetizing. In the end, the quirky and almost forgotten coupe fell in a sizable 88 percent No Dice loss.

Hey, how have you all been holding up during this latest surge of the pandemic? Are you simply hunkering down at home and spritzing your delivered mail with Bactine just to be safe? Or, are you masking up and heading out to keep your stock of two-ply and turn-your-head-and-cough gloves in ready supply?

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Photo: Craigslist

If you are among the latter, you’ve likely been presented with the conundrum of how best to deal with the process of getting to-go food. A lot of restaurants have had to close due to the pandemic, but a few have pivoted to offering takeout. Those already offering drive-through service had a leg up, but that option of a single-lane window on the left may still not be a safe enough venue for some.

For those folks, I have a solution. That manifests in this 1997 Chrysler Town and Country, which, as you’ll note, has been converted to right-hand-drive.

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The conversion seems to have been originally undertaken to facilitate postal delivery (remember that Bactine?). It does, however, provide an additional few feet of distance between you and the drive-through server at your local Mickey-D’s, Stuckey’s or wherever it is people go to get fat.

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Photo: Craigslist
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Alternatively, you could use this converted minivan as an entrée to the exciting world of gig economy delivery services. How cool would that be?

The Town and County was Chrysler’s luxury version of its market-defining minivan. The fancy-pants people mover carried on a storied name from Chrysler’s past and featured an elegant grille and a spate of options to make it feel upscale, even if it was just a Dodge Caravan underneath.

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This one has a capacious interior owing to its having had all its seats removed, save for one. In their place are a platform for parcels and an ingenious contraption for moving driving duties to that remaining curbside seat. The parcel shelf and the repositioned driver’s throne are what make this minivan such a perfect vehicle for food pick-up or delivery.

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Photo: Craigslist
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Now, that V-belt connected steering mechanism may prove less than effective at your next gymkhana event, but seriously, are you still doing those? The pedal actuators also appear to be a bit close to the seat, and checking the instruments will require some craning. Those, however, are all but minor issues when you consider both how much safer and convenient this single-seat minivan will be during our ongoing pandemic. You also have to weigh what a hoot it would be to make people think you are a passenger trapped in a runaway, driverless car while you actually pilot it down the road.

The rest of the van seems to be in decent shape though in need of a good vacuuming. There doesn’t seem to be any rust or body damage, and the paint appears serviceable. The seller notes a mere 86,000 miles under the tires, and those have been made by way of Chrysler’s V6, here in either 158 horsepower 3.3 liter or 166 horse 3.8 liter displacement form. The ad doesn’t say which. Bolted to that is a four-speed automatic.

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The ad says that the van “Runs great” and claims it has both a clean title and a set of snow chains.

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Photo: Craigslist
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I think my favorite part of this van’s RHD conversion is the turn signal extension. That is a long, C-shaped affair that goes up and over the original steering column and could potentially put an eye out if you forget that it’s there and swing down to pick up that McNugget you just dropped.

Some of you may also see the whimsy in that semi-dangerous element. A few more may also see this converted van’s potential. For you, we’re all now going to vote on this Chrysler’s $5,500 asking price. What do you think, could this RHD minivan be worth that much cash? Or, does that price have you refusing delivery?

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You decide!

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Seattle, Washington, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Dan H. for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

DISCUSSION

vetracer
VetRacer

Maybe if I worked for the PO, but otherwise, just NO. Even then, that’s a lot of bucks for a 23 YO nuthin’-special minivan. Only 86,000 miles? Call me dubious (I’ve been called worse . . .)

The postman does not ring twice with this thing. No Dice.