The Real World – Ford Aerostar

Frank The Tank

Minivans in general don’t get a lot of respect, and the Ford Aerostar in particular has been the object of derision as being a particularly lackluster example of the genre. One Aerostar that bucks that trend of disrespect is Frank the Tank, a $300 ’93 rust bucket that a group of Indiana Hoons bought with the intention of taking on a road trip just to see how far it would take them.

As the hilarious video after the jump shows, it thankfully didn’t even make it out of the parking lot.

Source: [YouTube]

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39 responses to “The Real World – Ford Aerostar”

  1. Devin Avatar
    Devin

    Reminds me of a photo I took a few years ago.
    <img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2523/3710943790_5c09b1dec1.jpg&quot; width="500" height="333" alt="Oh Hai Thar!">

    1. Alcology Avatar
      Alcology

      Wow, some explanation will be needed!

      1. danleym Avatar
        danleym

        Looks like a training day, burning cars. Though I have no idea why the front end would be so far off the ground.

        1. Alcology Avatar
          Alcology

          fork lift most likely. Lie about whatever really happened!

        2. Devin Avatar
          Devin

          Nope! Explanation below, but I found another picture that, while too zoomed in, does show that this was no fire fighting demo.
          <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8093/8361518721_2e217c37b0.jpg&quot; width="500" height="333" alt="102">

          1. danleym Avatar
            danleym

            Well geeze, you post that picture and offer no explanation of the super short Metro? in the background?
            It sounds like it was a pretty cool show. That pic certainly shows a different perspective.

          2. Devin Avatar
            Devin

            The Metro was part of their more jokey sections, I don't remember exactly what they did with it. It was completely driveable though.

          3. danleym Avatar
            danleym

            That's kind of cool, in a goofy fair type demonstration way. I guess it wouldn't take too much to make that drivable.

      2. Devin Avatar
        Devin

        A couple years ago there was a car stunt show at the local fair. They did stuff like drive in close formation, go up on two wheels and crash into things while on fire, that kind of stuff.
        I talked to the guy who was the leader, he was really old and had been doing stunts for decades at that point, he had all sorts of stories. What I remember most is that in the old days he said everyone who did it was super drunk, and that he found new cars could take abuse really well. In a strange coincidence, we had the same dentist 20 years ago.
        The picture itself was just poor camera position, but it made me laugh.
        <img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2618/3687776371_2eb4267279.jpg&quot; width="500" height="333" alt="Kablam!">
        I also got this picture there, it hangs on my living room wall.

        1. Alcology Avatar
          Alcology

          That's awesome!

        2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          "The picture itself was just the most optimal possible camera position"
          FIXED IT FOR YOU.

          1. Devin Avatar
            Devin

            I did kind of want the entire flaming Aerostar though.

          2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            Noooo, you didn't, not at all. Then it would be a very understandable photo of a burning car. People know that other people ordinarily take a picture of things like that. As it appears now, it's more like, "They had fire trucks there. Oh, yea, there was also a burning van flying through air, too."

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I would love to blow that up really big and hang it in the lobby of a Hilton hotel somewhere.

      1. Devin Avatar
        Devin

        The file is pretty high res. Let's find a printer and do this.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          I happen to have access to a 36" wide roll printer. Send me that print!

          1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
            mr. mzs zsm msz esq

            I will pay for a copy! Devin you want some cash too?

          2. Devin Avatar
            Devin

            It is my policy to never refuse cash.

          3. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
            mr. mzs zsm msz esq

            Alright, if T can get one to me as well, will do!

          4. Devin Avatar
            Devin

            Sent!

        2. MVEilenstein Avatar
          MVEilenstein

          I like where this is going.

  2. jeepjeff Avatar
    jeepjeff

    My Father-in-Law has an undead Aerostar. It's got over 370,000 miles on the clock. At 326,000 miles, he took it on a 5000+ mile road trip. I helped him drive it through Washington state and then again from San Francisco, CA to Albuquerque, NM via Moab, UT. The A/C only half worked (original charge of coolant, and it still produced some cold air!). The shift linkage was shot, and my Father-in-Law, my Brother-in-Law and myself are probably the only people who can consistently get it into gear right now.
    But the (original) engine runs strong and the transmission doesn't slip. The brakes work as well as they ever did. We did have to get some work done on them in Reno during the road trip, but it was minor and didn't delay us at all. And that bit of brake work was just because the pedal feel was off. That's all the trouble it gave on that trip.
    Ok. The driving dynamics of the Ford Aerostar sucks. My Father-in-Law's example is showing nearly every mile of it's age, but it's doing it the American Way. The trim pieces and body are falling away (gone) and deteriorating until naught is left but a running engine and driven wheels. The Aerostar soldiers on.

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar
      MVEilenstein

      We had a '93 in our fleet at my old job. It was a cargo van for hauling things and running errands. I hated it driving it, hated its ride, hated its performance, but man, it was reliable. I could haul surprisingly heavy loads inside it, and it never broke down.

  3. PotbellyJoe Avatar
    PotbellyJoe

    I was privileged enough to have an Aerostar XLT Ext 4.0L AWD in the family growing up.
    That beast made it 225,000 before some jackass (a friend of the youngest in the fam) slid the side door too hard back and got it stuck. Then in the attempt to fix it, slammed it forward and wedged it partway open.
    Apparently this happened to the doors from time to time because the Ford Dealer knew the fix. A Sawzall and a new door. He said they had experience doing three of them.
    No thanks. Car donated.
    Went to the auction and killed it. I'm sure it's in Central or South America since that's where most wholesale vans went from my lot.
    Good van to road trip in, plenty of space.
    Just don't ever volunteer to give it a tune-up, the rear spark plugs are a bitch.

  4. pj134 Avatar
    pj134

    This video brings that subtle joy that Jackass has.

  5. rpdred6 Avatar
    rpdred6

    That puts a new meaning to "Aero" star

  6. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    Aerostars aren't bad – at least they're RWD. The plastic bumpers are a PITA, though – after enough summers' UV exposure they become brittle, and then any bump causes them to crack or shatter. I did have a Ford body shop manager tell me one time that in an airbag deployment, the pressure change with the windows rolled up caused the little front quarter windows to pop out, requiring replacement.

  7. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Buckle Up America!

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I'm still looking for a proper set of rear seat belts for my MG Metro. It has the anchor points but inasmuch as rear belts weren't mandatory in the UK until 1987, '82 belts are rather scarce.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        They were never really necessary in either the Metro or Fiesta during the late '80's or early '90s when the roads were saturated with them. Instead of seatbelts, to secure those passengers riding in the back the favoured technique was to cram in six or seven illegitimate, social security-funded offspring which would act as wedges and prevent anybody moving around.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Mine's an MG, not an Austin.

          1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

            I retract my previous statement.

      2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        Just get some lap belts out of something at a yard, the sort before the spool should fit, and if not you can put the anchor between two license plates and bash away until it does.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          My stash of license plates is reserved exclusively for structural repairs on my race car.

  8. 71MKIV Avatar
    71MKIV

    Yea, I found that video kind of sad. Our Aerostar has 211000 miles on it. It rattles, but all the trim is there. The front suspension cups tires in about 3000 miles, but it drives and shifts nice.

  9. waltgator Avatar

    that looked like too much fun!

  10. Ol'Shel' Avatar
    Ol'Shel'

    I drove an Aerostar panel van with a manual trans at my first job. We went way too fast, together. And floored, it made decent sounds.
    The thing I remember most is that I could get absolutely no warmth to come out beneath the dash. Winters were unpleasant.
    Generally fond memories.

  11. carter Avatar
    carter

    I once had a $400 Aerostar…
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/S0JUf.jpg"&gt;

    1. mike england Avatar
      mike england

      Now that's what I call a tank. Too many road-wheels though. I like the overall concept.

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