Thank goodness that Lee Iacocca, upon exiting Ford on less than rosy circumstances, took his vision of a space-efficient people mover with him to Chrysler. In no uncertain terms, the 1984 Dodge Caravan (and Plymouth Voyager) that grew from the kernel of this idea changed the way families made their way across America. The van was no sports car, but Chip Foose nonetheless enjoys the technical challenge of turning an American icon into something unexpected. Very unexpected.
Chip starts with a wood-paneled Caravan in front three-quarters view and traces its simple form with a significant twist: turning it into a roofless, off-road-style vehicle. His overlay uses many of the lines penned by Chrysler designers, but the end result is something more akin to a contemporary Ford Bronco or Chevrolet Blazer. The pillarless and roofless (he retained the A-pillar, but layed it down lower) Caravan sports a push bar, nerf bar, roll bar with driving lights and a mild lift kit.
Chip renders his design in a white and red body, with a red roll bar, black nerf bars, and white wheels with red center caps. The end result is a wicked off-road vehicle that is convincingly rugged. Of course, all of this overlooks the fact that the twin vans were originally derived from a front-wheel-drive Chrysler K-car, but Chip’s creation certainly deserves a Jeep Cherokee chassis and its 4.0-liter, six-cylinder powertrain. Jeep hardware underneath would give it performance worthy of the design. What do you think of the end result?