My dad's friend got 400K miles out of a 5-speed Astro!

My dad's friend got 400K miles out of a 5-speed Astro!

Postby 99SLEG80AWD [OP] » March 21st 2017, 2:17am

I do not know the exact mileage, but it was close to 400K. If I remember correctly, it was two-tone with dark red upper paint and silver lower paint. All of the hubcaps were long gone and it just had black steel wheels. The paint was in horrible condition, but the body was rust-free and straight. The only significant problem with the van was that the A/C didn't work.

My dad was in the Navy for 25 years (1982-2007). He joined right out of college and retired as a Captain. From 2000 until 2002, we lived in Oak Harbor, Washington while my dad was stationed at NAS Whidbey Island. One of the guys in my dad's squadron was reservist officer (To the layperson; Reservist means part-time and they have another job outside of the military; My dad was what you would call active duty). This guy was a principal at a middle school on the mainland, about two hours away from the NAS Whidbey. His beater/commuter was a 1987-1989 Chevy Astro with the 4.3L V6 and 5-speed manual transmission. I did not know stick shift Astros existed prior to seeing this van for the first time. Back in 2001-2002 it had close to 300K miles on it. I'm 99% the engine was original, but I do not know about the transmission. If the van had A/C (which I'm sure it did at some point), it hadn't worked in years (in this part of Washington, A/C was rarely needed). The engine ran like a Swiss watch. The steering, brakes, heater, radio, etc all worked too. Over the course of the next decade, the van was used less and less, but still kept registered and insured as a backup vehicle.

My dad's Navy buddy knew how much I loved that van, and remembered me when he donated it somewhere in the range of 2011-2013. He was still in contact with my dad, and he told my dad to "tell Charlie." The odometer reading was at least 390K and it was still running, but by this time the van was about 25 years old and just not worth sinking anymore money into.
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Re: My dad's friend got 400K miles out of a 5-speed Astro!

Postby paulbot » April 6th 2017, 5:51pm

That's awesome, hope to get the same out of mine! Currently at 222K, we'll see...
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Re: My dad's friend got 400K miles out of a 5-speed Astro!

Postby Meterpig » April 9th 2017, 3:59am

I would love to see some photos of this astro.
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Re: My dad's friend got 400K miles out of a 5-speed Astro!

Postby markmitch » April 9th 2017, 5:35am

very cool story thanks for sharing.
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Re: My dad's friend got 400K miles out of a 5-speed Astro!

Postby ccookie66 » April 9th 2017, 6:14am

Meterpig wrote:I would love to see some photos of this astro.

:banana-gotpics: I have heard these vans last forever. Its awesome to hear one last to nearly 400k! Especially if its all original. Congrats Chevy! I have a long way to go on mine, currently at 145k.
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Re: My dad's friend got 400K miles out of a 5-speed Astro!

Postby andiastronaut » April 10th 2017, 3:12am

I just came across this one on craigslist, 365k, maintained and running.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/cto/6011081000.html

I've never something like this in Germany!! WOW
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