At our native Vehicles and Espresso, we get the same old menagerie of funky Miatas, lifted vans, and the occasional Ferrari or Lamboghini. However this final weekend, one car received extra consideration than the pink Ferrari 488 parked simply toes away, and it was a minivan. Parked among the many Porsches and Challengers was a pearl white, slim and tall, 1997 Nissan Caravan Elgrand Japanese minivan. Not solely was the steering wheel on the unsuitable facet, however there was a on the market signal on the windshield, and an enormous crowd.
What’s a JDM van?
So, in fact I referred to as the quantity on the signal. Right here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we see some JDM, or Japanese home market, right-hand drive automobiles. There are just a few 4×4 Mitsubishi Delica vans round city. However no person at this Vehicles and Espresso had ever seen a Nissan Caravan Elgrand. The van’s proprietor, Oliver Tan, is tremendous completely happy to speak in regards to the van, too.
He’s from south of Hong Kong, and got here to Albuquerque to check mechanical engineering. However, the automobile bug bit him and now he’s working as a mechanic protecting Japanese imports on the street. He mentioned he would see luxurious automobiles and vans as a child in China, and fell in love with them.
“We have now loads of elegant automobiles there, and I grew up with them, however not having one,” Tan mentioned. “Now I can attempt them one after the other.”
What’s the Nissan Caravan Elgrand Japanese van?
Each automobile he’s purchased, whether or not that was a 1992 Toyota Crown or his Mitsubishi Montero, he had a die-cast toy model of as a child. The Nissan Caravan Elgrand is a Japanese 4×4 van, typically referred to as a JDM van, for Japanese home market. Tan’s 1997 Caravan Elgrand is a uncommon first-year model of the seven-passenger Elgrand van. They have been offered in premium shops in Japan and got here with a premium worth and options.
The common Elgrand, sans Caravan title, was the plain model. This explicit one has all of the choices that you could possibly order in 1997, together with distant management TV within the ceiling, a small chunky navigation display, and a powered curtain that encircles your entire again half of the van. It additionally has seats which can be on rails and might flip 360 levels, then fold flat right into a mattress that sleeps two. The rear A/C is managed by a distant management.
This one additionally has a uncommon four-wheel drive system. The driving force can choose the mode, and even lock the middle differential. Beneath the Elgrand is a Nineties Infiniti QX4 SUV, so it’s constructed stout. Tan mentioned he’s used the four-wheel drive within the van for snowboarding journeys, however determined it was too good to get muddy. Just like the QX4, it has a 3.3-liter V6 that in response to Auto-Information solely had 170 horsepower, which was most likely highly effective for 1997, however doesn’t lower it in at the moment’s site visitors.
“It was so clear, I didn’t wish to get a multitude in it,” he mentioned. So, he drives his equally classic Montero for snowboarding as a substitute.
How a lot is a 4×4 JDM van?
Tan mentioned he received the van final yr, “However I don’t haul a bunch of stuff or carry seven individuals,” he mentioned, so he’s going to promote it and transfer on. His coronary heart is about on a Japanese station wagon, like a Nissan Staega, from the identical period. He’s a Nissan man, and most of his automobiles and vans have been Nissans. This one is on the market domestically for $14,500. It has 77,000 km on the clock, or about 50,000 miles.
In the event you have been questioning: This van has a present clear title and it’s registered. Tan mentioned that the native DMV was high-quality registering his van. However, he mentioned, you want the right import paperwork (which he has) to register it.