Dodge Caravan 1987 posters

Dodge Caravan

Lee Iacocca and Hal Sperlich had conceived their idea for the Dodge Caravan, a type of vehicle, during their tenure at Ford Motor Company, but the idea was rejected by Henry Ford II along with the prototype in 1974. Nevertheless, Iacocca and Sperlich continued to build their vision and created the T-115 minivan, which was later marketed as the Caravan and Voyager, known as the ‘Magic-wagons’. Chrysler introduced the Dodge Caravan and the Plymouth Voyager in November 1983 for the 1984 model year, using the Chrysler S platform. This platform was an extended version of the Chrysler K platform. The same year, the Renault Espace was also launched in Europe, with the Chrysler Voyager being sold in the continent four years later. In 1987, the long wheelbase (LWB) Grand Caravan was introduced. All trim levels were available in the said variant, which allowed more cargo space behind the rear seat. Interior trim, controls, and instrumentation were taken from the Chrysler K platform, and it also had a lower floor due to the front-wheel-drive mechanism, providing an easier way to enter the van. It came with three trim levels; the base, SE, and LE. The base van had two bucket seats with attached armrests up front, followed by a three-person bench seat in the second row. The LE had seven passengers in total, with a two-person bench seat in the second row and a three-person bench in the back row. The two benches in the back were independently removable, while the big three-person bench could also be installed in the second row via a set of attachment points in the van's floor that were covered in snap-in plastic covers. This combination allowed for a traditional five-person seating with a spacious cargo area in the rear. The latching mechanisms for the benches were also easy to operate, though taking the seats out and installing them back in still typically required two adults. Every SE trim level in 1985 added a front low-back 60/40 split bench that can fit the third person in the middle. However, this configuration was dropped the following year.

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