Minivan Life

As a car enthusiast, the last thing you would do is buy a minivan.  As a 29-year-old, with zero children, the last thing you would do is buy a minivan.  What did I do?  That’s right, I bought a freakin’ minivan– a 1996 Previa LE S/C All-Trac.  Did I ever think I would own a minivan?  Certainly not.  Have I given up on life?  Certainly not.  Am I writing this article in my underwear? Yes, but that’s because it’s more fun.

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My 1996 Toyota Previa LE S/C All-Trac

If you are anything like me, broke with no steady stream of income, you are living life on a strict budget.   Here’s the story: three months ago, I left my cushy restaurant job with its healthy salary and great benefits including a company car.  I was in need of a car and was recently combing through the used-car postings on Craigslist and came across a unique minivan, a 1996 Toyota Previa LE S/C All-Trac.  The Toyota Previa is the forgotten egg-shaped spaceship from the 1990s that I have a weird affinity for even though it’s a minivan.

The moment you mention that you drive a minivan it means that you have given up on life.  It means that you may as well put on those $9.99 Wal-Mart stretchy pants, get out your Magic the Gathering cards, put that varsity jacket back in the closet because it is time to go load your minivan with 144 oz Heinz ketchup from Costco.  Most of these statements are true– I’m here to tell you there is a silver lining in minivan ownership.

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Lee Iacocca debuting the minivan to the world

Fun fact about minivans: they were popularized by Lee Iacocca, the Chrysler marketing genius who previously saved Ford by creating the Mustang– a genius indeed.  He was fired by Ford in the 1970s when his ego led him to believe he could overtake Henry Ford II– an insane genius.  Chrysler instantly recognized his talent and brought him onboard.  Shortly after Iacocca was recruited by Chrysler, in 1983, the automaker rolled its first minivan off the production line.  After 30 years, the minivan isn’t quite the revolution it was in the early 1980s, but– love it or hate, it certainly has changed automotive transportation.

There are definitely positive aspects to owning a minivan that I’ve learned in the past month.

  • Minivan ownership is so uncool that it has become officially cool.  Think of yourself as a trendsetter for future automotive enthusiasts.
  • Minivans have comfortable executive level captain chairs.
  • Minivans have lots of room for activities.  I can load seven people comfortably, with room in the back for Costco toilet paper.
  • Minivans have power sliding doors.  Last month, Tesla broke the internet when the Model X opened its “falcon doors,” but we forgot that minivans have been doing this for years.
  • Minivans can haul all your toys.  You can fit your mountain bike in the back without having to take off any of the wheels. Clearly most cars are not capable of such a great triumph.
  • Minivans qualify you can to become an UBER XL driver, which is one of my life’s ambitions because it would be just too much fun.
  • Minivans can fly under the radar.  You can avoid speeding tickets.  With a “Baby on Board” sticker in your window, police will not pull you over.
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My Yeti SB-66 in the back of the van

My minivan is supercharged, mid-engine and has all-wheel-drive– features that are only common to hypercars.  I’ve come to love my egg-shaped spaceship of a minivan over the past month.  Whatever your reason for owning a minivan, you don’t need to hide anymore.  Minivan enthusiasts of the world, find that silver lining, stand out and be proud!

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My 1996 Toyota Previa LE S/C All-Trac with the gold emblem package– Premium Fuel