In-Motion Outtake: 1996 Ford Aerostar XLT – Aeros In The Wind

While its name may have been Aerostar, Ford’s first “mini” van’s exit was anything but. Despite introducing the small and stylish Mercury Villager in 1993 and the truly Chrysler-competitive Ford Windstar in 1995, the Aerostar dragged on for a few more years, resisting total discontinuation until August 1997, some twelve years after it first went into production.

With its low-slung, space-shuttle inspired nose, slabbed sides, sliding rear windows, and tall height due to its rear-wheel drive layout, the Ford Aerostar was undeniably one of the most unusual and frankly, awkward looking minivans on the market. Taking this into account, it sold reasonably well and despite few visual updates over its lengthy life, Ford made meaningful upgrades over the course of its run, including more powerful engines, available all-wheel drive, interior enhancements for greater comfort and convenience, and an advanced-for-the-times 5-speed automatic transmission.

While it wasn’t commonly inflicted with its younger Windstar sibling’s failing head gaskets of its 3.8L Essex V6 and self-destructing transmissions, nonetheless, with sales dwindling in its final years, the Aerostar is a vehicle rarely seen today, at least in the northeast U.S. So, while finding a pristine as can be Aerostar is the pride of a curbivore, to the average person it’s just a lucky star of free aero dust in the wind.

Photographed in Hanover, Massachusetts – May 2018

Related Reading:

1990 Ford Aerostar (CC Capsule)

1994 Ford Aerostar (COAL)

1995 Ford Aerostar (How Hard Can It Be To Make A Minivan) Part II