OK, full disclosure: I never figured the Voyager nameplate was this old. I also caught a relatively similar Dodge version of this van (even before I bagged this beaut, truth be told), but rather than write that one up, I elected to take a trip on the Voyager instead. So much more evocative. And not often covered on CC.
Second (and far more substantial) bombshell: the only apparition on CC of this generation Plymouth Voyager, penned by Brendan Saur eight years ago, is of an absolutely identical van. And I mean eerily so: down to the colour, the trim level, those wire wheel covers and the curtains on the windows. CC Effect on steroids?
Brendan’s 2013 article was based on an e-Bay listing, so perhaps this is the exact same one. It was for sale, after all, so maybe the buyer was Japanese. Stranger things have happened, I guess, though finding the very same 1977 Plymouth van on the wrong side of the Pacific about decade after it was featured on CC would be right up there.
Those wire wheels are dodgy (plymouthy?) as anything and have clearly been added sometime later. Looking at the 1977 Plymouth Voyager brochure, the stock items were just as bright, but more tasteful.
It’s always a great help to have the brochure, so let’s peruse it a bit more. Our feature van doesn’t have that funny step in its floor that longer ones have, so it is therefore an eight-passenger version.
Just one more page, as this’ll save me from writing a bunch of technical stuff and add typos here and there. I have no idea what engine is in the van I found, but now we know what the choices were.
So let’s get back to the CC at hand. I’m not sure what the “sport” element is referring to here, by the way. I mean, they always like to add that word to family cars to make them sound less vanilla, which is fair enough. But on a gigantic ‘70s van?
From the side, I would be hard pressed to be able to tell this Plymouth van from a mid-‘70s Chevrolet or Ford, though I guess the latter did have a squarer snout. The Big Three really didn’t try to rock the boat too much, van-wise. After the demise of the Greenbrier in 1965, the basic blueprint for the American van was set in stone – until Chrysler went mini and FWD in the ‘80s.
Whoever ordered this back in 1977 forked out for the Sport’s optional interior package, with the “cloth-and-vinyl high-back Commander seats” (which may or may not swivel). The extra fans might indicate that the A/C box was not ticked on the options list, however.
More of that barcode-themed upholstery for the back seat. There ought to be another bench behind this one, but there was a lot of stuff back there. Remarkable condition for a 45-ish-year-old Mopar vehicle.
The front end is where the Big Three vans show some semblance of individuality, and I must say the Plymouth is very nicely done, compared to its rivals. The Ford Econoline looks like it was drawn with an etch-a-sketch and the Chevrolet G20 is inoffensive. Or really bland, depending on your point of view.
Along with the very real possibility that this Voyager is now clocking its second appearance on CC, this Plymouth is quite an outstanding vehicle. Here’s hoping someone else finds it again on another continent circa 2030, still in use and still looking great in its whitewalls.
eBay Find: 1977 Plymouth Voyager – The Ultimate Shaggin’ Wagon, by Brendan Saur