Curbside Classic Capsule: 1989 Dodge Caravan C/V – With Rare Fiberglass Split Rear Doors

Finding a gen1 Dodge Caravan C/V (Cargo Van) is getting to be rare enough, but one with the split rear barn doors is worth stopping for, even if it was getting dark. To tell the truth, I’d forgotten that this split rear door option even existed; it was first available in 1989, when the Mini Ram Van was renamed Caravan C/V. These doors were not built and installed at the factory, but by a vendor. The door-less Caravans were shipped there for that procedure before heading off to the dealers.

I spotted a really early Mini Ram Van some years back, and wrote it up here.

All of these had the conventional lift up rear hatch door.

In 1987, when I moved to the San Jose area to start up the newly acquired tv station for Telemundo, we needed a cargo van for the production department for remote shoots (commercials and such). The obvious choice was an Econoline, but I was rather enamored of the Caravan, and for 1987, the new lwb versions had arrived, including a cargo version. I ordered or found one, in white, of course, with the newly-available V6 engine. With the bare interior, it scooted right along. It turned out to be a good workhorse.

Oddly, I’m utterly unable to find a lwb Caravan cargo van of that generation on the web except this one in Germany hauling some kind of mud bogger contraption. It also has the barn doors, so it must be an ’89 or ’90. Were they that rare?

The interior in the cab is of course pure Caravan, and all-too familiar. The one we had at the tv station had the same color scheme.

This one is being put to appropriate use. The bare steel walls and even the sliding side door are all-too apparent.

This one looks to be in fine fettle still, and even sports those yucky cheap aftermarket wheel covers, a sign that someone still loves this little cargo van. Do they know how rare it is?