The car that cares

Junkyard Gem: 1992 Dodge Caravan With 5-Speed Manual Transmission

Imagine it or not, minivans with guide transmissions at the time roamed America — not in huge quantities, but they existed. Plenty of mid-engined Toyota Vans and early Previas arrived with a few pedals below, and Ford offered guide-trans Aerostars by means of 1994 … but Chrysler dominated the American stickshift minivan planet, providing non-slushbox Caravans and Voyagers all the way by means of the 1995 design 12 months. I am constantly on the lookout for these types of vans when I check out car or truck graveyards, and now here’s this ’92 Caravan in a snow-protected property in northeastern Colorado.

Some minivan customers may well have opted for the 5-pace because they favored driving a guide, but primarily you received a Caravan or Voyager so equipped because you received the most affordable trim amount and failed to want to shell out the further for an computerized. The foundation-design entrance-wheel-travel ’92 Caravan experienced an MSRP of $thirteen,706 (about $25,960 in 2021 dollars), and if you required a a few-pace computerized instead of the standard 5-pace you experienced to shell out an further $576 ($one,090 these days).

Air conditioning on that very same van charge $857 ($one,625 these days), because minivan house owners were more durable in the early nineties.

Essentially, this van does have pricey refrigerated air, so most likely its first purchaser just favored the increased driving pleasure and enhanced fuel financial system of a 5-pace guide over the inefficiency of a a few-pace computerized.

Simply because these vans shared managing gear with their Dodge Shadow/Plymouth Sundance initial cousins, together with gearshift linkage, the shifter ended up further more to the rear (relative to the entrance seats) than in a normal car or truck. This meant the driver experienced to achieve back fairly significantly to get a gear, but you would get employed to it. Hey, if road-racers in a Voyager Turbo can beat BMW E30s with this setup, it labored nicely sufficient.

Much better than 150,000 miles on the clock.

It seems to have served as a small business auto at some place. Think about trying to come across staff members capable of wheeling a guide-equipped auto these days!

Nevertheless, the trouble of obtaining drivers willing and capable to run these types of a transmission counts from a van like this when it will come time to offer it. It may well have been managing great when the stop arrived.

Maybe a supplier trade-in that couldn’t offer at auction? We’ll never know.

The 1992 Grand Caravan arrived with an computerized as foundation gear, nevertheless the A/C nevertheless charge further. As significantly as I can explain to, its Chrysler Town & Nation sibling never experienced a guide transmission.