You might not think about the Toyota Previa often. Or ever. But you should.
I’m a car enthusiast, I straight up LOVE cars. So when I tell someone that I own a minivan, they do a double take and say, “Wait…what, why do you own a minivan? Those aren’t cool!”
Let’s just get this out of the way, yes I own a minivan and yes I think it’s cool. Owning a minivan doesn’t make you uncool, and having kids is not a prerequisite to minivan ownership. I have seating for seven, yet I typically only use one seat. I also haven’t given up on life, and don’t wear sweatpants to work everyday, yet. All those stereotypes you are thinking of minivan ownership, is NOT me. But how did I end up buying a minivan, and what minivan could a car enthusiast possibly own?
Well, this isn’t just any old minivan, it
is a 1996 Toyota Previa S/C LE All-Trac. The minivan choice of car enthusiasts around the world. It’s a mid-engine, all-wheel drive, supercharged minivan, all those features make it one-of-a-kind in the car arena.
To understand why I bought this car you have to take yourself back to Califon, New Jersey and the year 1995. Califon is my childhood hometown and 1995 is the year my Mom and Dad purchased a 1995 Toyota Previa. A Toyota Previa is the car that I grew up in, we drove to New Orleans and back one summer in it, I was taken to every soccer practice in a Toyota Previa, and I even fought with my brothers in the back of a Previa.
A Toyota Previa defines my childhood car memories. So when I stumbled up a mint condition 1996 Toyota Previa on Craigslist, I had to have it. I purchased it from the original owners, and they kept every service record on the car. It had 199,000 miles, and I bought the car for $3,600. I was now in possession of a mid-engine, supercharged “wondervan.”Owning a minivan doesn’t ruin your car enthusiast credentials either, I’ve actually learned that it has increased my enthusiast credentials.
Those enthusiasts who know how rare a 1996 Previa with the supercharged engine and all-wheel-drive love the car. I even got my first writing job at a Washington, D.C enthusiast website because of my Toyota Previa.
So this Toyota Previa is more than a basic minivan, it’s me reliving my childhood, it’s me being a car enthusiast, and it has opened up doors for me that might not have been there before. I also love telling my friends that I own a mid-engine, supercharged, all-wheel drive car and let them think it’s an Audi R8.
So if you’re ever hesitant about buying a minivan,there is life after minivan ownership. Don’t listen to the haters, just know that minivans ARE cool.