Paul Smith, 43, of Seneca, Illinois owns a 1989 Dodge Caravan with faux wood grain sides and 185,000 miles on the odometer. "So what," you say? Your ex-girlfriend's old man drove the same piece of junk. Fair. But did it house a turbocharged engine that got her up to 105 m.p.h. in 12.65? I didn't think so.
A husband and father of three with a trailer sales business, Smith drag-races mini-vans.
He's part of a curious corner of the auto racing subculture in which avengers of the sensible deliberately keep their mini-vans as frumpy and suburban-vanilla as possible. But menacing horsepower lurks under the hoods, and sitting in the captain's chairs are steely-eyed veterans.
Cue Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor's annoying "Oh Oh Oh" grunt, and make sure you check out the Chicago Tribune's slick Audio slideshow and Smith's personal website to see the "Turbovan" in action.
It's Not Your Mom's Mini-Van [Chicago Tribune]