There aren’t too many vehicles that can really heat up the bile in your stomach like a botched custom. The Plymouth Prowler isn’t for everyone and the Mustang II is an acquired taste, but neither elicit the negative response of a customized El Camino donk riding on 27-inch wheels with a Dora the Explorer paint job.
However, donk culture includes a community of enthusiasts who love their vehicles dearly. Some people see a malaise-era classic cruising on wagon wheels and representing their favorite candy, soft drink, or television show and think it’s glorious. Loads of donks and hi-risers are tastefully executed each year. You can make a case for almost any custom, no matter how heinous it is to your own sensibilities.
There are, of course, exceptions, and the Caravan Pickup custom abomination seen above is assuredly one of those. I was getting coffee when news of this abomination reached me. My phone vibrated to indicate I had received a text message from a friend who shares a mutual interest in cars. “Dude, you’ve got to see this thing,” it read. “But I hope you’re sitting down.”
Honestly, I should have laid down on the floor with a wallet in my mouth to stop myself from biting off my own tongue. The link I was sent took me to a Facebook Marketplace posting for Providence, Rhode Island — a city I used to find charming. In the post, one James Pina indicates he is selling a “One Of A Kind You Will Never See Another One Like This Runs And Drives Exellent Must See To Appreciate” vehicle.
(Classic Intrepid Rims… What A Vehicle! – Ed.)
The heading describes it as a 2000 Dodge Caravan Pickup, a model that was never built. As I clicked through the photos, auditory hallucinations began populating my mind — screeching tires, a crash, distant screams. Why had my friend done this to me? He knew my introduction to driving came via the Caravan and, as a result, I have a deep and irrational affinity for the family hauler.
As I began trying to make sense of why someone would convert a minivan into a pickup, things only got worse. Presumably, the customizations done to the minivan were aimed at making it more utilitarian. But the Dodge Caravan is already the most versatile vehicle on the planet. Keeping the seats in, you can transport up to seven passengers. With the seats removed, it becomes a perfectly serviceable hauler for furniture, mulch, or whatever else you can fit through the back hatch.
I have to assume this was done purely for aesthetic reasons, as any structural integrity this thing had before the modifications are completely gone now. Were it to be rear ended, it would absolutely fold into itself like an accordion. The type of person who could look at the egg-shaped cab and think it an improvement is not someone I’d ever want to meet.
“Deffinitly A Head Turner,” is how Pina describes the physical manifestation of worst nightmares, and I have to agree. If I saw this tragic creature on the street, my head would turn away so hard and fast, there’d be a real chance it might spin off my body.
While it remians mildly impressive that someone managed to repurpose the tailgate as the back portion of the cab, the fact that they had the idea in the first place is concerning. What else are they capable of? When I asked Pina if he was the one who had done the modifications, his response was an incredibly swift “No.”
He had no idea who built the car and didn’t seem particularly interested in answering my questions. Frankly, maybe it’s better not to know. I was already on an incredibly dark path.
If you’re interested in what is almost definitely a cursed vehicle, the Caravan Pickup is listed for $1000 OBO. My “friend” attempted to convince me to go and see it for laughs over the weekend, but I didn’t see anything funny about the quest. The only way I would ever make that trip is if I bought the vehicle for the explicit purpose of ensuring it was destroyed.