Sunday, August 7, 2011

All the Cars, Part 1: Introduction, Terms Key, 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan

Writing about my new car got me thinking about the various cars that I have owned and/or driven over the years. I wrote a blog about all of these, but it ended up being ridiculously long. As such, I'll post about one vehicle a day to make for more manageable reading.

First, a terms key (reference for all the "All the Cars" posts):
4WD = 4-wheel-drive; AWD = all-wheel-drive; FWD = front-wheel-drive; RWD = rear-wheel-drive;
L = liter; V = engine style denoting 2 rows of cylinders in a "V" shape (so, for example, a V6 engine has 2 rows with 3 cylinders each); I = engine style denoting a single row of cylinders, so the cylinders are "Inline" (ie I4 engine has a single row of 4 cylinders); HP = horsepower, a measurement of engine power output; MPG = miles per gallon of fuel; MPH = miles per hour (speed); AT = automatic transmission; MT = manual (or "standard" or "stick-shift") transmission; A/C = air conditioning; CC = cruise control; PS = power steering; Turbo = an exhaust recycler which increases both the power and efficiency of diesel engines; NA = Naturally-aspirated, in other words a diesel engine with no turbo.

Picture: I couldn't find a picture of the actual van, but it looked similar to this: 
Car/Body/Engine: 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan / white extended minivan, 3-doors, hatchback / 3.3L V6 gasoline engine, 150 HP
Features: 4-speed AT, FWD, A/C, CC, PS, seats 7
Owned?: yes
Purchased for/from: $900, from my parents
Summary: the first car I ever drove, the first car I ever owned. I have many fond memories of "The Van".
What I Liked: Extremely comfortable, powerful V6 engine, all the room you could ever want for hauling stuff.
What I Didn't Like: Only getting 18-24 mpg. Which, is really not bad gas mileage at all for a van. But because I didn't usually need all that cargo space, it felt a bit wasteful driving it around. Also, although I didn't care about driving around a minivan, based on other people's responses to it ("You drive a mom-van?"), I should have been ashamed to drive it. I wasn't. Towards the end of my time with the van, the A/C stopped working well (blew only slightly-cool air instead of cold air), and the fuel economy dropped from an average of about 22 mpg to an average of about 18 mpg. Oh, and the van wasn't very good in snow, lots of sliding.
What Happened to It: I sold it for $800 to a guy who was starting his own custodial services business. I'm pretty sure I've seen it still driving around here in Sparks, NV, but I can't be certain as there are many white Dodge Grand Caravans out there that look very similar.


Ben said...

I just learned that Sparks, NV sometimes receives snow. Learning!

Joe said...

Yup, high desert climate. Lately it's been in the 90's during the day, low 60's at night.