Our First Barn Found… Minivan?

Minivan Barn Find

I had always assumed that we would never feature a minivan on these pages, but when Alex L sent in this one, I just couldn’t resist! Not only is this 1989 Plymouth Voyager covered in dust, but it’s also still in the hands of the original owner. It’s never been driven in the winter, so it supposedly doesn’t have any rust and it’s even been stored inside for the past 10 years. The seller is also including two spare engines, one being a turbo. The best part of the deal though is that they are only asking $1,000 here on craigslist! I’m not sure why that seems like a good deal, but it does for some strange reason…

Yoyager Side Windows

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I find this find fascinating. Perhaps it’s because I know most of these vans have long since been driven into the ground by kid-toting moms and dads. Or maybe it’s because I have memories of being hauled around in the back of a similar machine myself. Whatever the reason may be, I bet this unlikely barn find won’t last long. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. sir mike

    just let it in the barn till the end of time..

  2. Jeff Staff

    Jesse, I don’t think you’re crazy at all. Mark my words, when a low-mileage Turbo model pops up on eBay, it will go for stupid money. Too many Gen Xers have fond memories of these things and most were used up and thrown away. When a good one shows up, people will let sentimentality do all sorts of crazy things!

    • YoungCrone

      Oh, yeah. I mean, no one really wanted them but we had insane times in those. :)

  3. rdc

    I had a 90 Plymouth Grand Caravan I bought new. Went through 4 transmissions. Chrysler Corp. paid for most of them. Leave it in the Barn, please.

    • Dan h

      I second that! Had to to replace the trans 3-4 times on one, also. I learned to hate these vans. My blood would curdle everytime one rolled into the shop. Allot of them caught on fire(also trans related).
      Ford Aerostar was harder to work on, tho.

  4. Fred

    Then there was the one my sister had, which went about 15 years with no real issues. But she never drove it over 45.

  5. sparkster

    My son HATES to seen in our 99′ Dodge Grand Caravan Sport as a contractor I started using the Caravan in place of the diesel work truck for service calls. I found I can fit a lot crap in those vans. And now at 245,000 miles it refuses to die. The previous owner put a new transmission 100,000 miles ago before I bought it for $2250. I call these disposal type vehicles , when they die you find a dumpster.

    • krash

      “…when they die you find a dumpster.”

      No need…
      …. when it dies, you simply park it behind a K Mart or fast food restaurant, sawzall the roof off, and (taa-daa)..you have a dumpster !

  6. Howard A Member

    I agree, this is kind of the “bottom of the barrel” for this site. Make no mistake, I had several of these, and everyone was a great vehicle. Many, MANY miles. And comfortable too. Loved those cloth seats. I had a turbo Plymouth, and I tell you what, that little bugger had some steam. 150 hp, I think. Loved oil though. I used it as a courier business for a while, and it always “hauled the mail”. And so simple, I changed a timing belt ( not serpentine) in a truckstop once on a Dodge V-6. I liked the 4 cylinder better.
    BF material? Hmmm, better give it a few more years yet.

  7. jaygryph

    Hey, there’s no turbo on your Phoenix :P

  8. Gnrdude

    ohh Dear GOD WHY! Send it to the Junk yard Pronto….

  9. Mark S Member

    I had a 1990 caravan my wife mostly drove it we replaced the trans at about 140000 Kms. That dam van had an electrical problem where it would NOT stall but it would not respond to the throttle either. This problem would occur out of the blue about once a month at very inoppertune times. I would shut it off for a minute or so then fire right up and be fine. I chased the problem for a couple of years, never did find it finally I sold it. I think the ones after 2000 were better at least as far as transmissions went

    • JeffW

      That was more than likely a bad crank position sensor, had the same problem.

  10. DRV

    I had one of the first ones in 1985 with ” wood” on the sides hence th Town and Country name. The big innovation was the handle on the roof that manually operated the rear windows. The counterbalanced four was good until the carb had a problem …something in the choke system had wax or something that needed replacemeant. The brakes were cheap and needed lots of attention. I liked it’s size compared to today’s mastodons.

  11. jim s

    hard to tell from the limited photos but if it is all there this could be a good deal in a work van. keep the extra parts or sell off to reduce your cost. in a nice price range for a driver. interesting find.

  12. Claus Graf

    Save the Mini-Van!!!!!

  13. Walter Joy

    My mom had a blue on back in 1999-2000 that she bought off her mother in law. Hit a deer with it and it sat for 6 years after that in one spot. Still ran when someone bought it in 2006

  14. grant

    My ex wife and I ran one of these into the ground. Camper, school bus, moving van it did it all. But a barn find? Nope….

  15. Bobsmyuncle

    Awesome! I’d grab it if it were local. It’s tough to beat the utility of a minivan!

    Saw a turbo version tarted up at the Woodward Cruise this summer that grabbed my attention. The owner claimed some remarkable 1/4 mile times!

  16. 64 bonneville

    If the turbo engine will run anything like my b-I-l 2006 PT Cruiser that has a turbo on it, jump on that puppy and make it bark!

  17. Will

    There is a 1985 model in excellent condition on a dealers lot in town they are asking $1995.. My kids are the ones with fond memories about our old van. We bought it very used and but it came with a pa system that included a cows moo. There were more sounds but when my 30 year old kids talk about that van the cow horn always gets mentioned. I may go look at the van down the road.

    • Will

      Here is the one for sale down the road. 70.xxx miles.

  18. John H.

    Jesse, I beg you, no more minivans. These are the scourge of humanity. There should be a law that anyone who drives one has to get therapy. Beyond not cool.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Don’t worry John, minivans aren’t going to become a regular feature here. It was good for a laugh though and obviously it got a few people’s attention.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Jesse, I’m sorry, but I can’t believe the closed mindedness of some people. The Chrysler mini-van was one of the most influential vehicles of our time. They sold millions, saved Chrysler almost single-handedly. To call them “the scourge of humanity” is poppycock. While they have fallen out of favor for the “SUV”, for it’s time, NOTHING hauled the family, groceries, trips to the park (economically) better than the mini-van. Like I say, I had several, and in my courier job, everybody ( half dozen other O/O’s) had Chrysler mini-vans. I want to thank you for featuring this very important vehicle, even though, it may not be BF’s material,,,,yet.

  19. Carl W French

    They are the station wagons of at least one generation. Just like 60’s/70’s era wagons being very hot now, why would these not be different? Not for style but nostalgia.

  20. charlie Member

    I had an ’84 new (ordered it without having seen a real one), with the 2.2 4 cyl, manual trans, went over 200,000, a used ’86, a used ’90, a used ’94, a NEW 2000, a used 2006. All were good for between 150,000 and 200,000 miles, very little rust despite salt on the roads and not being garaged in New England, the V6’s were great, carried kids, and hay, and large quantities of stuff. Parking brake cable would rust and seize, they didn’t get it right even after 30 years, and the 2006 was the most rust prone of all.

  21. George

    Maybe if it were the turbo model with the 5 speed stick. Yes, they did make them… 1989-90 model years.

  22. That Guy

    Just as those of us who grew up being schlepped around in Nimitz-class station wagons now think they are cool, the kids whose childhoods were spent in Dodge Caravans and Ford Aerostars will have a soft spot for them when they reach A Certain Age.

    Not sure we’re there yet, but the time will come.

    And there’s no denying that the Chrysler minivans were hugely influential and important vehicles. Along with the Jeep Cherokee, they laid the groundwork for the minivans and SUVs which, for better or worse, continue to be the family vehicles of choice 30 years later. If that doesn’t make a car deserving of classic status (eventually), I don’t know what does.

    • rdc

      All true, but the fact remains the Dodge and Plymouth minivans of that era were poorly designed and constructed with questionable reliability. However, many cars of the era suffered as well.

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