by Tod Mesirow

Chrysler is credited with inventing the modern minivan in 1983.  On November 2, 1983 the first minivan rolled off the assembly line in Windsor, Canada, across the river from Detroit.   It was reportedly a blue Plymouth Voyager with wood trim.

1984-plymouth-voyagerBut credit also goes to the United States government, and citizens, a.k.a. taxpayers.  On the verge of bankruptcy, Chrysler received $1.5 billion in Federal loans in 1980.  What did they do with it?

They built the minivan.

Hear Tod’s report on KCRW.

early-minivan

Images (c) FCA North America