Maximum luxury in a minivan, 1980s style

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The Dodge Concept II minivan limo conversion. Photos courtesy Joe Bortz.

From Hemmings’ old friend Joe Bortz comes this velour-covered glimpse into a limousine conversion concept, circa 1984-1985.

The accompanying images are obviously show photos and handout materials, but Joe wound up owning this very “Concept II” 1985 Dodge Caravan customized by Cars and Concepts as a display unit. Joe proceeded to use it as his regular transportation for around 100,000 reliable miles until trading it in. Now, he’s curious about whatever happened to the one-off, limo-fied mini.

We’ll let Joe tell the story from here:

It was set up to be either driven by a chauffeur or by the owner. Obviously, the center-seat was removed in order to put in a center module which contained a TV, pull out writing desk, a refrigerator, and a built-in beverage dispenser. It had blinds on all windows except the front windshield and the two front doors. The passenger seats swiveled around so that seating was available for conferences with the people in the two rear seats.  Not only did it have a television but it also had an antenna on top of the car that allowed you to watch the television while the car was in motion.

Dodge Concept II limo conversion

Its true nature, as explained to me by Chrysler executives at the time, was that it was a combination personal vehicle, chauffeur driven vehicle, and business conference vehicle. It had a full padded top like a limousine, typical wire wheel hubcaps, and narrow whitewalls.

Dodge Concept II limo conversion

The sound system was absolutely the highest level of the day, interior fabrics were the softest material you could imagine. The blinds were installed to give full privacy. The steering wheel was leather wrapped. The limousine also contained lower body side panels, special gauges, special lighting package, rear window defroster, power locks, power lift gate, power front door glass, tilt steering wheel, and heavy-duty suspension.

Dodge Concept II limo conversion

Chrysler finally decided the car would not go in to production and wanted me to have it because I was the “concept car guy.” I used it from approximately 1985 until 1991, putting on just under 100,000 miles before trading it in on a 1991 BMW. Today, I wonder what happened to this vehicle. It certainly has a lot of historical significance.

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Did you or someone you love purchase a used minivan with miniblinds, a mini-TV and maximum amounts of plush interior and exterior surface coverings from a BMW dealer or car lot in the 1990s? We’d like to hear about it.

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