Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 21:05:27 -0400

From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: Minivan; IHOP's supper/dinner; the Wave; NYPL again


"We added 'minivan' to the English language."

--Sports Illustrated ad, 11 August 1997, pages 36-37, "Caravan, The New


There's an explanation for everything. A six-month subscription to

Sports Illustrated began to arrive, with my father's name on it. My

brother-in-law and I were puzzled.

My father never read Sports Illustrated when he was alive. What time

after he died did he decide to become a dentist?

I asked my sister when she returned from her former nanny's wedding in

England. At what time after dad's death did he become interested in the

swimsuit issue?

"He had unused frequent flyer miles. I checked it off."

There's an explanation for everything!

Anyway, in the ad mentioned above, Dodge takes credit for "minivan." It

is true that the Caravan was announced in 1983, came out in 1984, and was a

tremendous success. However--

Playboy, November 1984, page 112, has, "Volkwagen of Germany created the

minivan in 1949, at least a decade before America though up the bigger ones.

(...) Unfortunately for VW, though, Chrysler has invented the American

minivan--Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager--and has done an absolutely

bang-up job of it."

Time, 3 October 1983, pg. 9, "Chrysler minivan, or 'T-wagon,' a hybrid

combining the features of a station wagon and a van."

Time, 13 February 1984, pg. 50, "Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca and

President Harold Sperlich first discussed building minivans in the mid-1973s,

when both men were at Ford." Mid-1973s, at Ford??

NY Times, 14 September 1975, pg. 84, col. 8, "15-passenger minivans."

NY Times, 14 January 1979, pg. 41, col. 1, "30 minivans."

Enviroline, Congressional Info Inc., DOE Transp. Energy Conserv. Div.,

Report, July 1978, vol. 1, pg. 1003, "the battronic minivan electric delivery


Jesse Sheidlower thinks "minivan" might date back to 1960. "Minibus," a

sightseeing bus for zoos and parks, was manufactured by the Passenger Truck

Equipment Company of Huntington Park, CA, from 1963-1980.

If "minivan" was clearly being used in the 1970s, how could Chrysler

have added it to the English language in 1984?

Check out the two-page ad for a sports utility vehicle in the latest

Wired. It shows a picture of the vehicle where the vehicle description

(minivan/SUV/car) should be.