To most (myself included), the name “Plymouth Voyager” instantly conjures thoughts of the Voyager minivans, and their three generations from 1984-2000. What some don’t know, is that the Plymouth Voyager was another unrelated Mopar product, sold from 1974-1983. The original Voyager was a full-size van, based on Dodge’s line of B-Series vans. I recently came across this one on eBay that oozes pure ’70s style.
Introduced in 1971, the Dodge B-Series was the first full-size van offering seating for up to 15 passengers. Like competitors, the B-Series could be ordered in a number of different wheelbase, length, and seating configurations in both windowless cargo and windowed passenger models. Throughout the 1970s, passenger models were badged as the “Dodge Sportsman”.
For one reason or another, Chrysler executives thought it would be a good idea to badge the Sportsman as a Plymouth, broadening the model’s availability to Chrysler-Plymouth dealers. The Plymouth Voyager was the result of this plan, and went on sale as a 1974 model.
I spotted this pristine 1977 Voyager on eBay. It reeks of ultimate shagginess. Starting with the exterior, it sports a bitchin’ pale yellow and bronze two-tone combo, complete with intricate pinstriping that somehow can’t help but remind me of trash barrels in Disney World. In true ’70s fashion, this one wears wire wheel discs.
Enter the backseat through the double doors, and you may need to pinch yourself in case you think you’ve entered the Bradys’ living room. I don’t know if it was officially marketed on the Voyager, but this lovely cloth and vinyl color scheme was called “Boca Raton” on other Chryslers of this era. And of course, no ’70s shaggin-wagon would be complete without orangey-brown shag carpeting. Curtains are provided all around for privacy of course!
Now THAT is a center console! And everyone complains about how big they are on today’s cars. That plasti-wood cup holder tray reminds me of a ’70s-era coffee table from my grandparents’ vacation house.
The Voyager and Sportsman also offered a class-exclusive, one piece swing-open tailgate. Competitors’ doors were spit down the middle.
Truck production figures are harder to come by than car, and I wasn’t around in the ’70s to witness any, so I have no certain info on how popular the full-size Voyager van was. I’ll go out on a limb, and say that these Voyagers weren’t huge sellers. The full-size Voyager was ultimately dropped after the 1983 model year, and the Voyager minivan picked up where this one left off. As they say, the rest is history.