Home » What Car Are You Currently Obsessing Over?

What Car Are You Currently Obsessing Over?

Pontiac Transport T4
ADVERTISEMENT

I’m in too deep. My love for cars, which has dominated pretty much every element of my life, has me at a point where my taste is really, really niche. Case in point: The car I most want to buy on this day of our car-lord, December 26, 2023, is a minivan that was never sold in the U.S. with this engine or transmission combination. It is an absolute marvel, and I will buy one someday. Hopefully soon.

Back in June, I took my girlfriend — someone who isn’t at all a car enthusiast — to Germany, and introduced her to my family. Most importantly, I introduced her to my European car-family, which is really just one 1994 Chrysler Voyager Diesel minivan. It’s my pride-and-joy, a 32 MPG, stick-shift, seven-passenger cruiser that was built in Austria, and that comes with an Italy-engineered VM Motori turbodiesel engine mated to a beefy five-speed stick. It’s a version of a van sold in the U.S. as the Plymouth Voyager or Dodge Caravan, though in the U.S. you couldn’t get that good engine.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.42.05 Am

My girlfriend doesn’t really why I’m so obsessed, though she did marvel at the van’s comfort, and ultimately approved it as much better road-tripper than she’d feared. The truth is, most people don’t get it, because when you get to my stage of car-enthusiasm, you’re so deep into the weeds, you’re basically the leader of a cult, citing Haynes Manual verses so obscure only the most devout even know what you’re talking about. It’s with this in mind that I show you another vehicle that I’m obsessing over at the current moment — one that, in truth, I’ve been obsessing over for years. Just look at this article I wrote way back in 2020:

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.40.43 Am
Screenshot: Jalopnik

That’s three years thinking about the same minivan; suffice it to say, I will be owning one at some point. This itch must be scratched. Behold the current Apple of my Eye, a 1995 Pontiac Trans Sport:

ADVERTISEMENT

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.15.54 Am

“Wait a second,” you’re probably thinking. “Didn’t the Trans Sport have a bit more of a…buck tooth look?” Indeed, in the U.S., the early Trans Sport had some big front teeth:

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.22.02 Am

“Wait, but didn’t even that get a refresh in 1994?” Right again. This is how a 1995 Pontiac Trans Sport looks in the U.S.

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.23.33 Am

ADVERTISEMENT

You see, the van I’m obsessing over is actually a European Dustbuster van, and in Europe, GM basically just took the Oldsmobile Silhouette…

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.26.36 Am

…and added Pontiac badging and a few Euro-market changes like different color taillights and front turn signals, the addition of rear fog lights, and more.

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.16.16 Am Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.16.30 Am

But most importantly, the Euro-market Pontiac Trans Sport was the only dustbuster van to get a stick shift:

ADVERTISEMENT

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.16.42 Am

And more importantly, that stick shift was hooked to the legendary Quad 4, one of the most important GM engines of all time. It’s actually a surprisingly powerful engine in the U.S., making usually 150 ponies minimum — that’s solid for a 2.3, especially if you consider that the big 3.8-liter V6 offered in the U.S. (and also in Germany) made just 20 horsepower more. Sadly, in the European Trans Sport, power was just 135 horsepower pulling around a curb weight of 3,825 pounds:

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.33.41 Am

According to the German Pontiac Trans Sport brochure I’m currently obsessing over, the four-cylinder takes 12.3 seconds to do zero to 62 mph, while the V6 takes 10.6. So this isn’t a fast van.

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.35.22 Am

ADVERTISEMENT

Above you can see the power plot for both the Quad 4 and the V6.

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.34.11 Am

The German brochure paints the Trans Sport as a luxury family hauler, though the stickshift four-cylinder is meant more for economy. Look at those gorgeous leather seats in the image above.

Screen Shot 2023 12 26 At 10.45.58 Am

To have a luxury vehicle that can haul seven people, can look that good, and can give you the joy, fuel economy, and ease-of-repair that only a manual transmission can? All with a fascinating engine with good reliability and a rich and important history for GM?

ADVERTISEMENT

I’m in love. Now you tell me: What car are you currently obsessing over?

Images: All by manufacturer except for-sale images, which are from Annunci Al Volante

 

 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
99 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
MikuhlBrian
MikuhlBrian
3 months ago

I was just in Paris for vacation last month. While I was there, I spotted an even earlier Dustbuster there. This one didn’t have the plastic composite lights, but smaller rectangular units (I’ve seen similar “export lights” for the Beretta). It still has the Pontiac nose and plastic side cladding. The rear lights aren’t the red/amber units of the later Silhouette based Transports, but the full red ones. The amber signals are in the rear bumper.

Madewithgenuineparts
Madewithgenuineparts
3 months ago

I’ve always wanted a Final 500 Olds Aurora or Bravada, and a mint silver on gray E39 530i or E46 330ci, but until I get dumb second car money, I’m still chillin with my practical daily (2023 Mazda3 AWD) and offbeat backup car (2008 Aura 3.6 with 65k mi)

Already had the good fortune to scratch the itches for a german wagon (2016 Golf Wagen) and manual RWD sports sedan (G70)

Fuzzy Biffertons
Fuzzy Biffertons
3 months ago

There was one for sale near me in Switzerland for the longest time, for like no money. Desperately wanted to buy it for David to import. Can’t seem to find it now, but someone is selling a copy of that brochure nearby: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/591956699682646

VanGuy
VanGuy
3 months ago

Whatever the last extended-body 2009-2014 Ford E-250 conversion van with 6 captain’s chairs, rear bench seat that folds into a bed, high roof, and tow hitch that showed up on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist was.

They show up so infrequently and I can’t afford them yet…but they’re my goal. Eventually.
Gonna be a great ride to take my friends on our annual vacations.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

Nothing thankfully. Every time I see a car I even think looks interesting some aspect of the reality of owning that car just kills it for me. Too expensive, poor fuel economy, too polluting, high insurance, parking problems, too impractical, reliability nightmare, unobtanium parts, maintainence time sink, and fear of it becoming a multi ton metal albatross just to name a few. There are so, so many reasons to say no. When it comes to cars the older I get the more I’m a spectator.

Instead I hoard vintage 80’s fully lugged, ultra long chainstay steel bicycles. Does an ’83-85 Trek 850 count?

Keith O'Toole
Keith O'Toole
3 months ago

I bought an S213 with 64k miles on it for $37k last month, so I’m still doing the “omg that was a big spend” vs “no that’s a decent price” vs “maintenance is gonna kill me” vs “maintenance sucks on everything and you’re good at DIY” vs “OMG look at that loong roof waiting for me with his fancy interior and excellent road manors.”
I like having things paid off, I’ll like it better in a few years. I hope.

Von Baldy
Von Baldy
3 months ago

Up there weirdness? A 1uz swapped toyota previa with the awd, even more joy if its rhd.
But id settle for just toyota van or nissan van with v6 swaps

Grey alien in a beige sedan
Grey alien in a beige sedan
3 months ago

Subaru SVX with an LS swap. Jus’ because. Let’s obsess together my friends.

James Milton
James Milton
3 months ago

The STI is the only correct choice.

David W Alderman
David W Alderman
3 months ago

I would love a 3rd generation Lagonda (the one with the Corvette dash displays). It’s a ludicrous car but it would definitely stand out at any cars and coffee!

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago

I have been dreaming of an Indonesian-built Mazda Vantrend for a decade at least – a 1979-1986 Mazda GLC Wagon with the headlights from a 626, built between 1993 and 1997. There was a hatchback version also, called the Mazda Baby Boomers (for real).

99
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x