The Grand Caravan‘s Grandfather

1970SPortsman

 

Dodge helped to invent the minivan category in 1984 with the groundbreaking Caravan, and Dodge continues to offer the industry’s leading minivan today with the 2013 Grand Caravan. But if you look back a little further in Dodge history, you can find a vehicle that foreshadows the Caravan concept: the A100 Sportsman, a compact van offered from 1964 through 1970. It was just a little ahead of its time, that’s all.

 

The A100 was built on a compact chassis with a wheelbase of just 90 inches, and a few years later…

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The Grand Caravan‘s Grandfather

1957 Dodge Royal Sedan

1957 Dodge Royal Sedan

 

Don’t call them tailfins. According to the Dodge styling department, those are “vertical aerodynamic stabilizers” atop the rear fenders of this 1957 Royal Sedan.

 

The Dodge design team tested scale models of their 1957 body design in the wind tunnel, and the results in the lab were less than conclusive. But this we know for sure: In the showrooms, consumers couldn’t get enough of the futuristic, jet-fighter styling. Dodge sales that year set new records.

 

The Royal shown here is the middle trim level in the ’57 model lineup….

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1957 Dodge Royal Sedan

1973 Dodge Monaco

1973 Dodge Monaco

 

The elegant Monaco was the top of the line in two-door hardtops from Dodge in 1973. On the strength of its 122-inch wheelbase and enormous, almost living-room-sized interior, Dodge called the big cruiser “one of the roomiest and most comfortable cars on the road regardless of price,” and justifiably so.

 

Loaded with features, the Monaco’s standard equipment included power steering, power disc brakes,
electric clock, and wood-grain interior trim. TorqueFlite automatic transmission was also standard, coupled to the buyer’s choice of a wide array of engines:  the standard 360-cubic-inch V8,…

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1973 Dodge Monaco