Man Van!

In Get Shorty, John Travolta’s character, loan shark Chili Palmer, ends up with a minivan at the car rental instead of the Cadillac he requested. The rental agent explains, “Oh, you got the Cadillac of minivans.” Even Chili Palmer wasn’t cool enough to make the mini-van a vehicle favored by the mob instead of the mom. Too bad. It could have given a whole new meaning to “family” transportation.

Now Chrysler is rolling out a version of its ubiquitous Dodge Caravan dubbed the “man van.” Basically it’s just a trim package, as described in the Wall Street Journal:

The vehicle will feature a slightly sportier look on the outside, possibly finished off with a black-and-gray interior trimmed with hot-colored stitching on the seats and steering wheel.

Ooooooo! Nothing says manly like hot-colored stitching.

Over the weekend, I pulled the seats out of my Honda Odyssey and hauled a load of debris to the dump. Rough and rugged stuff like the rotted sections of fence I took down. Perhaps it’s not the Cadillac of minivans, but it may be the F-150. It’s a moving van, bus, garbage truck, and movie theater all rolled into one. You can even sleep in the back of it.

On top of that, it’s the most reliable and comfortable vehicle I’ve ever owned.

How did minivans get such a bad rap? Back in the 70s, station wagons were not viewed as suburban mom assault vehicles, but cars for guys. I pity the fool who would smirk at dad’s Buick Estate Wagon.

But still, people see their automobile as something to define them. What a terrible burden. Some guy once referred to my van as “dorky.” No, it’s not as cool as your BMW or Volvo, but on the other hand, I don’t really care what the neighbors see sitting in my driveway. And let’s see you put 1200 pounds of wood flooring in the back of your car.

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