Modified minivans may seem like an oxymoron, but what else would you call this 1994 Dodge Caravan that’s for sale on Cars & Bids. It’s not your typical family hauler as it sports quite the fun powertrain combination – a turbocharged engine and a manual gearbox. No one would argue that it’s a pristine example of mid-90s American engineering, but the right combination of nostalgia and upgrades makes it quite compelling.
It’s such a compelling combo that the minivan’s current bid sits at $8,000, with four days to go before the auction ends. Could the bid hit five digits? Well, it depends on how many people want a heavily modified mid-90s minivan. Not only does it sport a Chrysler 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, but the block has also been bored and machined .20 over. However, that’s just the beginning of the extensive modification list. The engine also features new cast pistons, new bearings and seals, a new water pump, a new Melling oil pump, PT Cruiser lifters, a two-piece intake manifold, a new head gasket, and a Garrett T2 turbocharger.
There’s a laundry list of mods that’s quite impressive, though it’s not a perfect specimen. The van has several flaws, many of which are visible in the photos here – and on Cars & Bids. The paint is peeling in places, it has discolored headlights, and the windshield is cracked – all things you’d expect from a nearly 30-year-old family vehicle. The interior has wear on its touchpoints, while the center console is missing some trim and the stereo. However, the turbocharger whine and poppy exhaust note help make up for the lack of tunes.
Dents and dings don’t matter much with this boxy blast from the past. It’s an odd combination that screams fun, if it the packaging is a bit boring, though the white exterior, white wheels, spoiler, and side skirts give it a sporty appearance, even if it’s just a Dodge minivan with burgundy seats.