The Minivan. A Ford Idea
A brief history note about the Ford MiniMax and the Ford Carrousel
Ford can hardly take credit for the minivan. Although the concept was conceived and researched by Ford in the early to mid 1970s, it was Chrysler who took the risk of investing in its research and development for production, tooling, marketing and manufacturing. Of course we all know how well that investment payed for Chrysler and we all know who deserves all the credit for the minivan. Still the fact remains that it was an original Ford idea.
I thought that it would be interesting to discuss the MiniMax concept that Hall Sperlich developed while he was at Ford and that Henry Ford II hated since the minute he heard about it. Sperlich took the project with him when he was fired for being considered an Iacocca lieutenant, landing on Chrysler a few months before his boss with the MiniMax in his pocket.
So, I searched and researched on the internet (where else?) and found that the MiniMax while at Ford had a competing project, the Carrousel. While the MiniMax was to be based on a then non-existent FWD platform very much the way they ended up producing it at Chrysler, the Carrousel was based on a shortened Ford Econoline platform and was discarded without ever been showed since it was considered a threat to their cash cow the Country Sedan / Country Squire (that would have been one hell of a name for the Flex)
I couldn't find any pics of the MiniMax (if you have any, please post them) but there is this one pic of the Carrousel.