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Is That A Space Shuttle Or A Ford Aerostar? No One Can Tell!

"It has been proven that a more aerodynamically styled a vehicle is, the easier it slices through the air," the announcer says. And what could possibly be more aerodynamic than the 1986 Ford Aerostar? Nothing, obviously. It's got "aero" in the name!


With the Aerostar's future-iffic styling, you'll need to get used to your neighbors mistaking it for one of NASA's Space Shuttles. But you won't care — you'll be too busy stretching out inside and parking with the greatest of ease.

Unlike those wimpy vans that came from the Chrysler plant, the Aerostar was rear-wheel-drive, baby, and it had an available five-speed manual gearbox. It's like a Fox Mustang you can take your kids to school in!


And if you really have a need to snub the other soccer moms, there's the ultra-exclusive Eddie Bauer Wagon edition, which turns this tough minivan into a suburban luxo-cruiser. What's not to love?

When the Aerostar came out in 1985 as a 1986 model, Ford ran print and TV ads that compared the Aerostar to the Space Shuttle, as we see here. I have to wonder if that was suspended in the wake of the Challenger disaster in '86.

At any rate, the Aerostar had a staggeringly long run well into the late 90s, even after it had been replaced by the more modern, Taurus-based Windstar. They used to be ubiquitous on the roads when I was a kid, and you still see them around today sometimes, often relegated to fleet use of some kind.

Come on, Jalops. I know a lot of you guys either owned one of these, or your parents did. Share your favorite Aerostar stories with us in the comments below.

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I remember seeing these everywhere when I was a kid. It really bothered me that the Ford emblem wasn't centered vertically within the grill, and it still does. WHY???