I'm Taking My $600 Diesel Manual Chrysler Minivan On A 2,500 Mile Road-Trip To Turkey

The van has over 250,000 miles on it, but it did pass Germany's inspection. So it should be fine?

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Image for article titled I'm Taking My $600 Diesel Manual Chrysler Minivan On A 2,500 Mile Road-Trip To Turkey
Photo: David Tracy

Project Krassler, my $600 diesel manual Chrysler Voyager that I bought last year sight-unseen and arduously limped through Germany’s rigorous inspection, is going to be put to the test this week. I’m heading from my parents’ place near Nürnberg, Germany to a wedding in Istanbul, Turkey. That’s 2,500 round trip.

A little backstory, since I haven’t written about this incredible diesel manual van in quite some time: After buying a broken diesel manual Chrysler minivan, my German friends graciously stored the machine for a while until I could show up from Detroit. Upon my arrival, we spent two months fixing the van to prep it for Germany’s unbelievably hard vehicle inspection.

The van passed by the skin of its teeth after multiple attempts, and then took me on an epic road-trip to and from Ghent, Belgium via Frankfurt (Germany), Cologne (Germany), and Aachen (Germany). After that, I drove the van over 4,000 miles to Sweden, where I visited Königsegg and an amazing couple way up north who introduced me to EPA tractors. I’ll need to write about that someday, because it was wild. Here’s a little snapshot:

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That Sweden story, and the many stories about what it’s like driving around Europe (and living in a minivan) during a pandemic, will have to wait for another time, because look at this trek I have ahead of me:

Image for article titled I'm Taking My $600 Diesel Manual Chrysler Minivan On A 2,500 Mile Road-Trip To Turkey
Screenshot: google maps
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The trip to Sweden was similarly long, but it was in snowy November. This drive will subject my $600 machine to some seriously high ambient temperatures. Hopefully this new element doesn’t cause any problems for my dirt-cheap, but so-far-incredibly-reliable-and-efficient van.

Follow the trip on Instagram for the most up-to-date happenings on Project Krassler (As a reminder, that’s a play on the German slang term “Krass”— a word that means “cool” and that I have a mild obsession with).