It’s 1990. The eighties are fresh, but a new decade beckons with new ideas and opportunities. Chrysler has rolled out something called a “minivan” and it’s quickly turning station wagon customers into van buyers. At General Motors, something must be done.
Oh, and GM did something. The automaker engineered the all-purpose vehicle trio: the Chevrolet Lumina APV, Pontiac Trans Sport and Oldsmobile Silhouette. Frankly, it’s strange to see these minivans in their prime because they look seriously ahead of their time in MotorWeek’s Retro Review.
The Chevy was, of course, to be the volume leader, while the Pontiac was to court performance buyers (somehow?), and the Oldsmobile catered to the luxury folks.
As a direct response to the Caravan and Town & Country, GM put cubbies everywhere, made each of the bucket seats removable, and plopped a 3.1-liter V6 engine under the hood to out displace its rival (even if the engine made less power, and was coupled to a three-speed automatic versus Chrysler’s four-speed).
The vans have a cult following now, sometimes going by their colloquial name of “dustbusters,” and if you’re between the age of 20 and 30 years old, it’s likely you have at least one memory pertaining to the wedgey people haulers. Check out the video right up above.