Originally, this was going to be a post dedicated to showing off full-size vans. BIRD's post got me thinking about full-size vans, specifically, which one I'd choose over all other full-size vans. However, through some research and childhood memories, that idea derailed into a more interesting post idea; How can a mass produced vehicle be more special than a modern supercar.
To make one thing clear, not just any mass produced sum of parts can be this special. It takes a certain sum of parts certain circumstances to achieve this level.
First, let us start with this 1974 Plymouth Voyager. You may be thinking; “How is this van from the 1970’s special?” You also might be thinking; "There was a Plymouth Voyager before the ubiquitous Plymouth minivan we've all come to know?" The answers, in order, are; We’ll get to that, and Yes. While mostly forgotten when looking back at 1970's vans, it an interesting variant of the typical Dodge van of the time. Only available in a 12 or 15 passenger configuration, with either the 318 or 360 LA V8, and wasn't able to be optioned as a cargo van.
Now, let’s look closer to see how special this van really is. The Voyager was basically a rebadged Dodge Sportsman, though not produced in nearly as many numbers. An elderly neighbor of my grandmother's used to have an old Plymouth Voyager, typically sitting in his backyard. It was in original unrestored condition, and was used hard. It very rarely moved by the time I came around. I would often stare at it when I would come to visit my grandmother, first wondering what it was, and later, admiring its clean and simple design. That Plymouth gave me that first thrill of seeing a rough, hidden, and semi-unknown gem. It’s a vehicle that, while never intended to become rare, has over time become just that. All of these things are what makes this vehicle, and many others, special.
I realize that this is just a personal opinion, and not everyone feels this way. This is mainly meant as a piece to get readers thinking. In the earlier days of Jalopnik, Murliee Martin and his “Down on the Street” series showed this not often thought about side of the car world; those cars that through a variety of unintentional circumstances became rare and special. I’m sure that everyone passes by at least one of these vehicles on a daily basis, often without thinking about it. Thanks to that Voyager, DOTS and countless other hidden gems I have found over the years, I always keep a look out while I’m out and around. I always find myself gravitating towards those special cars, remembering this thought: that the modern supercar will still be around for many years to come, but how long with that hidden gem be around?