This $3,500 Low-Mileage First Gen Chrysler Minivan Has A Manual Transmission And Also My Heart

All Images: Westtown Auto Source unless otherwise stated
All Images: Westtown Auto Source unless otherwise stated

My love for the first-generation Chrysler minivan reached new heights when I laid eyes on this perfect, manual, red-on-red 1986 model for sale on Facebook Marketplace for only $3,500. Just look at this sliding-door-having 1980s human-hauler, and you’ll agree that this may have been the deal of the century.

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Daniel O’Donnell, owner of the used car dealership Westtown Auto Source
in West Chester, Pennsylvania, posted this van to the Facebook page “Underappreciated Survivors For Sale” with the caption:

1986 Plymouth Voyager

Thought some of you guys would think this is cool.

32k miles 5 Speed Manual! 2.2 NA

Clean PA title

West Chester Pa

$3500

Only 32,000 miles! And it’s a five-speed? But oh, it gets better. Not only does the exterior paint appear to be in decent shape, but the interior is the definition of perfection. Look at these low-back burgundy seats! (Whiplash be damned!):

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Illustration for article titled This $3,500 Low-Mileage First Gen Chrysler Minivan Has A Manual Transmission And Also My Heart
Illustration for article titled This $3,500 Low-Mileage First Gen Chrysler Minivan Has A Manual Transmission And Also My Heart

Check out those four pedals in the picture above. Between those, the shifter, the steering wheel, the turn signal stalk, and those manual window cranks, you almost need to be an octopus to operate this machine. And that’s great; there aren’t nearly enough cars out there built specifically for cephalopod mollusks if you ask me.

Because this is what you all came to see, behold a closer look at the five-speed shifter, adorned at its base with the finest of shift boots, the rubber accordion-style:

Illustration for article titled This $3,500 Low-Mileage First Gen Chrysler Minivan Has A Manual Transmission And Also My Heart
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This Plymouth comes from an era when, if you opted for a red interior, you didn’t just get red seats and a few red trim panels like you do today, you got red everything. Red carpets. A red steering column. A red dash. A red headliner. Red door cards. You were encapsulated in a cocoon of blood-color, and man was it glorious.

I called O’Donnell to ask a few questions about this old van, only to hear that, unsurprisingly, he sold it to some extremely lucky bastard. “It sat indoors for 30-some years,” O’Donnell told me over the phone, and though he said the van is “very clean,” it’s not perfect. It has some scratches here and there, and some surface rust on its brake and fuel lines, though the body is solid.

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Illustration for article titled This $3,500 Low-Mileage First Gen Chrysler Minivan Has A Manual Transmission And Also My Heart

O’Donnell told me that he actually had the car shipped to the buyer, who will be receiving this gem in the coming days. So it seems that this was a sight-unseen purchase. That’s often a risky move, though I’d have done the same thing; I mean, just look at these pictures of this charming, boxy, extremely slow van!

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Plus, I have a special place in my heart for the manual transmission first-gen Chrysler minivan, as it was the vehicle that brought me home from the hospital after I was born. Here is my dad in our old 1990 Voyager, strangely and awkwardly resting his arm way up high on the window for reasons that still baffle me:

Image: The Tracy Family
Image: The Tracy Family
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One day, I will own one of these minivans. I have no clue what I’ll do with it, but that’s beyond the point. “Buy first, think later” is a motto that has never let me down.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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jbodybuilder
J-BodyBuilder - Never stick to sports

“One day, I will own one of these minivans”

You have a disease.