“Most of the time, I sing along, but don’t move my mouth, so people don’t know I’m singing.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Kristy
- Car in Question: Cream Colored 1985 Chrysler Minivan
- Spotted at: The Round Tower at Fort Snelling, 200 Tower Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55111
- Odometer: 45,000 miles
- Car’s Nickname: Minnie
Q: What color is Minnie? Cream?
A: Yes, but we like to call her pudding, vanilla pudding or butterscotch pudding.
Q: How many miles on her?
A: Roughly 45,000. The odometer doesn’t work any more, but my grandpa kept track. She’s never seen a winter until this year when we got her. She was my grandma’s pride and joy.
Q: How did you get Minnie?
A: From my grandparents. My grandpa passed away and my grandma doesn’t drive any more, so my dad bought it for us this past Christmas. She’s in mint condition. I remember taking her to Chicago with my family when I was growing up, so a lot of good memories.
Q: What brings you to the Fort Snelling area?
A: Photo ops. There are great opportunities to take photos and I like the historic backdrop.
Q: What do you typically use Minnie for?
A: My husband uses her for work. When you take out the seats, there is a lot of room for tools and stuff. But we also brought her to the cabin this year. It is nice to have the room. We only had the Jeep and the truck before that and it was hard to pack everything.
Q: What’s the furthest you’ve ever driven her?
A: With us, it was Deerwood, Minnesota. But it was Chicago back in the day with the family when I was little.
Q: Have you taken her anywhere strange or crazy?
A: Not yet. But we thought about putting her in a car show in Shakopee. She’s an antique already! She’s over 20 and she’s pretty much in mint condition. And she’s beautiful!
Q: Do you have any rules about using her?
A: No smoking! We always have the floor mats down to protect the interior. I make my husband clean her out because he tends to leave trash in vehicles. He’s doing really well keeping her clean.
Q: It is spotless. The material on the seats is perfect.
A: Yes! Even though it wasn’t being used, my grandma would wash it out, vacuum it, and dust it all the time. She loved it.
Q: Do you listen to anything when you’re driving her?
A: She has a tape deck, so we can hook up our iPhone to her with the adapter.
Q: Do you ever sing along?
A: Depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll be bebopping. Most of the times, I sing along, but don’t move my mouth, so people don’t know I’m singing. I did have some young guys check me out in this though. I was pretending they were checking me out anyway. But I’m sure they were looking at the van going, what is that?! She stands out. Even to some of my husband’s co-workers when we’d gone to a wedding in Shakopee. We left her there overnight at the Knights of Columbus Hall. A couple of his co-workers saw her and they noticed. She just stands out.
Q: If she had a theme song, what would it be?
A: Life of the party. Is that a song? Rolling down the river? Rolling. Rolling. Rolling down the river. Is there a theme song to the Griswold’s when they’re going to that theme park? I have to check on that.
Q: If she had a human emotion, what would it be?
A: Pride. She’s proud! She’s beautiful and old and she’s original. I love her.
Q: If you get another car someday, what would it be?
A: We want to get a four-door car that gets good gas mileage and is up to date with all the safety things. This car doesn’t have air bags. That’s the only concern I have about this van. It’s not up to date with safety features. But, yeah, so we’d like a little one. I like Honda Accords or Toyotas, but my husband is really into American cars. So a little family car, so we can have our kids.
Q: Any news on that front?
A: Starting to try in September. My aunt is already making things. We’re excited to have kids in this van and have memories camping. We want to take them camping.
Q: What’s your dream car?
A: Tony and I are both into the muscle cars. The fast cars. I’m kind of bad with car names, but I drove a Dodge Viper once and that was really, really fun. Tony loves the Challengers. Anything Mopar. We’re a Mopar family. Every car we have is like Chrysler, Dodge, the Jeep, the Dakota, and now this. I don’t know about a dream car. I like a lot of different cars.
Q: What are your favorite features on Minnie?
A: For me, it is the memories definitely. I think of my grandparents every time I’m in it. Especially my grandpa because there are little door dings from my grandpa opening the door in the garage and my grandma getting mad at him. I love the little dents in the front because he forgot to put it into park and hit the back of the garage. I think that’s cute! For me, it’s the memories.
Q: Is there anything else we should know about Minnie?
A: Just that she’s an eye catcher and she’s a beauty. And we love her! Everyone who’s seen this van has said something like, “Oh, I knew someone who used to drive one,” or “I’ve driven one and they last forever. You’ll be able to drive it forever.” So we’re excited. We’re going to keep her in the family. Maybe she’ll be our kid’s first car, to learn on anyway. We wouldn’t let them take her out without supervision. She’ll really be an antique by then. We found one online just like her already in a museum.
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Photos and interview by Marla Geary