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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

A fighter pilot's ode to an around-the-world (Honda) Odyssey | Hagerty Media

My mom turns 70 this year. Now, it may be unpolite to share a lady's age in public, but I'm writing under a pseudonym so it's cool. She's a tremendously kind and loving person, provided you don't cross her. I have vivid memories of her chasing a teenaged brother down the hall, tackling and placing [...]
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/a-fighter-pilots-ode-to-an-around-the-world-honda-odyssey/
17 REPLIES 17
93viggen
New Driver

As an owner of a '93 Previa with over 235k miles and '17 Sienna with just 25k miles, I genuinely enjoy reading this article! Before owning these vans, I was one of those people who thought vans were ugly and boring. A wife and 2 children later, I discover how wonderful vans are. SUVs and x-overs are overrated.
Josh_Arakes
Intermediate Driver

A '93 Previa? That's some classic styling right there! And I agree, vans are awesome. Glad you enjoyed the article
CitationMan
Instructor

I always pat my cars on the dash for a job well done. Don’t care what anyone thinks.
Josh_Arakes
Intermediate Driver

Bravo, good sir, bravo
Spuds
Advanced Driver

I do that too,all the time.Just like a faithful dog,its also a valued member of our family.I have 254K on the old LS400 and cant imagine what I would replace it with,hope it outlasts me,it might.
CitationMan
Instructor

An LS400 like that is irreplaceable. Just keep putting money into it, definitely worth it. Also keep an eye out for a well cared for example that’s for sale, sometimes you can get lucky. Never hurts to have a spare LOL.

salguod
Pit Crew

This is fantastic. I've always said that a van does more things well than any other type of vehicle. Nothing else has the combination of comfort, utility and efficiency.

I come from a van loving family. Dad bought a 1972 Chevy window van in 1973 or so and we camped across the US in it. A couple years later he upgraded to a 1974 Dodge Maxiwagon pop top camper conversion. He was vanless for about a decade until the Caravan came out. He bought a new Grand Caravan in 1988, upgraded to a new one again in 1996 and to a Town and Country in 2007. Not only are his kids out of the house, but most of his grandchildren are too, but he's contemplating another new van.

That '88 got handed down to me and I replaced it with a 1999 Odyssey. With the kids grown, we've now shifted to cars, but I still love the minivan.
Josh_Arakes
Intermediate Driver

Those maxiwagons are awesome! We had something similar to that when I was really little, but I'll have to ask my dad if that's what it was. Our had a table and my dad built a giant shelf in the back that we'd put luggage under and sleep on top of.
salguod
Pit Crew

Ours was a 1 ton window van (were all the Maxiwagons window vans?) with a full TEC (Travel Equipment Corporation) camper conversion with a kitchen in the back, a dinette that converted to forward facing benches or a bed and a pop top.  My parents slept in the dinette bed and my sister and I slept up in an aluminum framed, canvas, hammock style bed that attached at the roof line inside the pop top.

 

I've searched for pictures or info on the TEC conversions and there isn't much out there and I haven't found anything online that looks like ours.

wandering_fit
New Driver

my parents have a 195k mile 2005 EX-L odyssey that we bought as a quick replacement for our totalled Sienna back in 2012 with 130k miles then on the Odo, so this naturally made me emotional
Sure it has a gaping rust hole, finnicky power doors, a replacement trans, and ofc the HVAC controls don't work in the dark either
but there's much more to that- it's helped us make trips countless times moving from CT to NYC, then back up again, trips to my grandparents in philly, monthly grocery hauls from places all over, driven to key west ( and back), dropping me off on my first day at college, and so much more
currently its being used as my mom's commuter of choice, but when the time comes, it's gonna be hard to part with it
stuff like the lazy susan center console, the ergonomic controls, even VTEC crossover of the J35, make this generation of odyssey's one of Honda's best ever products in my eyes
Josh_Arakes
Intermediate Driver

Sounds like our vans have some of the same issues! That said, we are still on our original transmission. We had a transmission cooler installed when we bought it since we knew we'd be doing some light towing, no idea if that's the reason why ours hasn't failed (knock on wood!).

Thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Aaron
Pit Crew

In 2017 my family set off for a 10,000 mile, 30 day trip from Baltimore to Glacier National Park in Montana with many, many destinations along the way. The van was a 2003 Ody with nearly 300k on the clock. I bought it for $1500 and had the whole thing gone over for another $2k. I then parked it in the alley and sprayed a Martini Racing Hippie Car psychedelic paint job on it, in homage to the Porsche 917 that finished second in the 1970 24 Hours of LeMans. This included all of the sponsorship decals and a huge number "3" on the doors. The van hauled us, two kids, four bicycles, camping/climbing/hiking gear, and the dog for a month with no complaints. That van is gone now, but has been replaced with a silver '12 that just got a full set of Martini Racing stripes, and yes, a big "3" on each door. It's almost road trip season...
Josh_Arakes
Intermediate Driver

That's an awesome story and it took some guts to paint your Odyssey like that.

Thanks for reading!
Flashman
Instructor

Fighter jock (F-22?), family man, and...poet. What a combination.
Josh_Arakes
Intermediate Driver

Sorry, I can't confirm which aircraft I've flown or which branch of the armed forces I'm in; that agreement was part of getting approval to do this. Jack picked an aircraft photo from Getty images to accompany the article without any input from me.

Thanks for reading!
Utopia1
Detailer

I feel the same way about my 2004 Tundra. 584,000 km currently (365,000 miles), its faithfully taken my family and our travel trailer on some simply amazing journeys. Across all 10 Canadian provinces and 37 US states including Alaska. It's made the round trip from Toronto to Los Angeles six times! It has never left us stranded once and I've watched my kids grow up in the back seat. I brought my son home from the hospital in it when he was born and it was new. He learned how to drive in it last year. The decision on what to do next wasn't too hard though. I recently placed an order for a '21 Tundra and my son is already planning on the "mods" he plans on doing to the 2004 when my new truck arrives in a few weeks. So the '04 stays in the family where it belongs but starts a new chapter in both it and my sons life. I have every faith that it will run for as long as he wants to keep it because family doesn't let family down. 🙂
Josh_Arakes
Intermediate Driver

Toronto to LA is no joke! I think it's great that your son will get the Tundra and is already planning to mod it. Thanks for reading!