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The midlife crisis-wrecking Caravan

Around the time I got my driver’s license, my mom’s family hauler was a 1988 or 1989 Dodge Caravan, the old non-stretched version, with a 4-cylinder turbocharged Mitsubishi engine in it.

I have several coworkers who are car enthusiasts and love to share their car stories, so I shared mine.

The first Caravans were rather underpowered, which was why Chrysler started putting a turbocharger in them. I never drove one of those, but Mom had one of the original 1984 Caravans and she complained about the power, or rather, lack of power. The newer Caravan that she traded it for had lots of power, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

From time to time Mom would turn me loose with the keys to her Caravan. And, almost inevitably, I would end up sitting at a stoplight next to a middle-aged guy driving a late 1980s Camaro. I’d look over at the guy, and he’d look at me, scoff, and then, when the light turned, I’d mash the gas pedal and get a good look at a Camaro in the rear view mirror, piloted by a guy who was rather annoyed at being blown away at a stoplight by a minivan of all things. Being blown away by a minivan piloted by a kid who was 16 or 17 probably made it even worse.

That Caravan and I probably ruined a good half-dozen midlife crises in our day.

I never dared tell Mom those stories, but I did tell Dad. Dad laughed, then took the Caravan out and did the same thing. So he probably ruined another half dozen too.

But, come to think of it, I guess that hot-rod Caravan fueled his midlife crisis.

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