History is riddled with stories of eventual successes that were initially ignored. For example, the automotive concept we currently know as the minivan was pitched to the Ford Motor Company in 1974 and summarily rejected. The progenitors of that idea wound up working at Chrysler, where the idea was enthusiastically received to go on to become one of the best selling automobiles of all time. In fact, the concept was so successful it spawned imitators from practically every mainstream automobile manufacturer—including Ford.
Ten years after that unsuccessful pitch, Chrysler marketed the concept as the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager. Over the years, other Pentastar variants included the Chrysler Town & Country, Chrysler Grand Voyager and the Volkswagen Routan.
In 1987, Chrysler lengthened the Caravan’s wheelbase to create an alternative version, called the Grand Caravan. In 2007, the short wheelbase Caravan was discontinued, but the Grand Caravan survives today as Dodge’s sole minivan offering. To date, five generations of the Dodge Caravan have been marketed. This article will focus on the third, fourth and fifth generations of this iconic automobile.