Dodge Caravan “Blacktop”: proving you have a pulse
“We killed that dragon, caught the bad guys, and got the treasure back.
Now let’s get these kids to school…”
This is the Dodge Caravan Blacktop. For some people, minivans are the perfect vehicle. They’ve always been practical, utilitarian entities, but now they even drive pretty good. Only problem is that, when you look at a minivan driver from the outside, you just assume they’ve given up (if they ever tried at all). They have no personality, no flavor, no spark, no personal pride whatsoever. Of course I see that, because I give more thought to a car than most people give their wedding. That person may look at cars with the same attention you give a garbage disposal, but to me, it seemed like you couldn’t possess a single drop of automotive lust, if you bought a minivan. There was no way to make them cool.
But Dodge is at least trying. Outside, the package for the Caravan includes a black grill, black 17″s, and black headlight surrounds. It’s an improvement over the grey one we had last week. Inside everything gets covered in black leather, with some silver stitching as an accent; again, it’s welcomed. No, there’s no HEMI or turbo, but this package is only $595. That’s cheap for noticeable changes you will see every single day. Normally I dislike upgrades that are purely cosmetic, but in this case, it’s not about what you get, it’s about what it says.
It says you care. It says you wouldn’t just go quietly into the night. You won’t give in to the pressure of logic, reason, and (possibly) the influence of your significant other, repressing the side of you that likes Italian curves on California roads, burnouts, and looks for apexes everywhere, even in a parking lot.
It shows the world you have a soul, that you’re alive, that you are willing to spend 3% more on your rolling billboard of dispassionate, calculated thinking, preserving your dignity in those black headlamps. If you can’t get something cool, at least get the thing that’s closest to cool. It’s like being lost in the woods, but choosing to chew on grass instead of rocks.
You think I’m making fun, but I am a full minivan fan convert now. Not because I think they’re fun, exciting, cool, tough, sporty, or have any kind of personality (or indicate that you have one either). But if judge them fairly, like a normal human, god damnit, they get the job done.
“I can haul plywood or children, but I prefer crates of home-made whiskey.”
We genuinely love minivans at TST. For what we need, they are perfect. On long trips they’re roomier and quieter than the Raptor,
the speed limiter is at 113MPH instead of 100 while offering more security and better fuel economy. Anytime we have a shoot within driver’s distance, we will rent a minivan. Yes, I laugh at the people who buy them, because I’m a hypocritical ass who makes fun of everything. BUT, if those people use all the capabilities of these cars, and their lives require them to do so frequently? Then I completely, 100% understand.
Split captain’ chairs: makes you feel like you’re in a poor man’s Leer jet. Even the towering giants of our team can fit back there comfortably. It floats along like a car with a 2″ lift, easily gets to-and maintains-high speeds, and feels totally composed doing so. If you need to transport people and stuff, a lot, it really is a fine solution. And as boring as you would look pulling up to a Vegas club in one, the ride out is would be far more comfortable than anything in the price range ($19,995).
The idea of a minivan with “tougher”, more “street” add-ons makes me a chuckle a little, but I earnestly hope we get to rent one soon. I’m the guy that would have painted flames on his plumbers truck back in the 1962. Because as funny as badass-edition minivan is, it at least tells the world that you care, or you’re trying, or you do have some personality. Burnouts help too.