The Truth About Cars » Toyota Space Van http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 13 Dec 2014 16:45:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Toyota Space Van http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1984 Toyota Van, With Bonus San Francisco Beachfront Rust http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1984-toyota-van-with-bonus-san-francisco-beachfront-rust/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1984-toyota-van-with-bonus-san-francisco-beachfront-rust/#comments Tue, 22 Oct 2013 13:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=627466 Unless they’re air-cooled Volkswagens, cars in non-mountain California don’t suffer much from the teeth of The Rust Monster. Sure, the rainy winters mean that leaky weatherstripping results in rusty trunk floors (especially in GM cars of the pre-1990s era), but plenty of 50-year-old street-parked California cars have solid sheet metal that leave Michigan residents in […]

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11 - 1984 Toyota MasterAce Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinUnless they’re air-cooled Volkswagens, cars in non-mountain California don’t suffer much from the teeth of The Rust Monster. Sure, the rainy winters mean that leaky weatherstripping results in rusty trunk floors (especially in GM cars of the pre-1990s era), but plenty of 50-year-old street-parked California cars have solid sheet metal that leave Michigan residents in awe. However, all this goes out the window if you happen to live within a block or two of the not-so-aptly-named Pacific Ocean in San Francisco. During a trip to California last week, I spotted this victim of Outer Sunset District Rust in an East Bay self-serve yard (with a spectacular Halloween display).
12 - 1984 Toyota MasterAce Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThose of you who imagine California beaches to be warm, sunny places full of movie-star-gorgeous babes in bikinis are getting your imagery from Southern California. Go 400 miles north and you’ll find beaches that feature howling winds coming straight from the Aleutian Islands, gigantic waves, freezing-ass water that will kill you stone dead from hypothermia in minutes (that is, if the Great Whites or rip currents don’t get you first). That’s in August; it gets a lot worse during the winter. Why, it’s enough to make you shoot an OD in your squalid Ocean Beach hotel room right before your struggling band’s album suddenly goes multi-platinum!
05 - 1984 Toyota MasterAce Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSo, with constant salt spray from the gigantic waves crashing into the beach, prevailing winds from the northwest, and heavy morning/evening fog approximately 362 days of the year, cars parked within a few hundred yards of the beach tend to spend their lives bathed in an eternal saline mist. Any nick in the paint, no matter how small, will become a horrible festering hole within a year or two. And, of course, cars parked on the streets of San Francisco get dinged, bumped, key-striped, sideswiped, and otherwise have their paint chipped on a depressingly regular basis (which is one reason my super-patina’d ’65 Impala sedan was such a practical daily driver when I lived there).
18 - 1984 Toyota MasterAce Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou don’t have to go very far east— a half-dozen blocks will do it— to avoid this problem. This residential parking permit is for the northeastern corner of the city, far from the ocean, but there’s no way you get rust like this in North Beach— clearly, 1996 was a brief respite from the joys of oxidation for this Toyota.
13 - 1984 Toyota MasterAce Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBecause important structural components (being protected beneath the car) don’t get rusty, you can keep your 48th Avenue car going for as long as you’re willing to tolerate the ugliness and/or big holes that allow chilly winds inside.
09 - 1984 Toyota MasterAce Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis MasterAce got to 300,000 miles before the rust reduced its value to sub-scrap levels and/or parking tickets totaling more than 150 bucks landed it in the clutches of AutoReturn. These vans were as hard to kill as cockroaches, what with their indifferent-to-abuse pushrod Y engines, so we can assume that it was still a runner at the end.
06 - 1984 Toyota MasterAce Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior isn’t so bad for a 300,000-mile, 29-year-old van. Perhaps all the additional ventilation kept mildew from getting to be a problem.
02 - 1984 Toyota MasterAce Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHey, because plastic paneling doesn’t care about salt water, you couldn’t see most of these holes from the inside!

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Toyota Master Ace Art Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1985-toyota-master-ace-art-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1985-toyota-master-ace-art-car/#comments Sun, 09 Sep 2012 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=459486 If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and you need something to drive to Burning Man, you’ll find that the glue-a-bunch-of-stuff-all-over-a-random-vehicle art-car approach will let your ride fit in just as effortlessly on the playa as the soccer mom’s Voyager blends in at the mall parking lot. I’m not against art cars (I […]

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If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and you need something to drive to Burning Man, you’ll find that the glue-a-bunch-of-stuff-all-over-a-random-vehicle art-car approach will let your ride fit in just as effortlessly on the playa as the soccer mom’s Voyager blends in at the mall parking lot. I’m not against art cars (I consider my 1965 Impala Hell Project to be an art car at heart), but I prefer the approach of the artists who built such fine machines as the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir or the street-driven Denver Pirate Ship to the type who feels contempt for the canvas disappearing beneath their hot-glue gun. Anyway, the upshot of the large number of Bay Area art-car types who glue 10,000 plastic army men or Lucky Lager caps all over their cars is that many of them wind up in self-service wrecking yards. Here’s a Toyota Master Ace aka Toyota Space Cruiser aka Toyota Van that I spotted last weekend at an East Bay self-serve yard.
The thing about these cars is that the owners often pick up many parking tickets and/or don’t do any maintenance on the mechanical components. That’s probably how the skull-covered ’69 Mustang and Groovalicious Purple Princess of Peace Taurus wagon ended up getting picked over for parts by befuddled junkyard shoppers.
The dash of this Master Ace is covered with wedding toppers, graduation-cake decorations, and plastic bowlers.
It’s too bad that spell-checkers don’t work on backwards writing.
A Master Ace should be good for many more miles than 209,691. Very slow miles, sure, but more of them.
It looks like a thrift-store toy bin exploded in here.
Here’s a cool find: an ANC pin from the apartheid era.
The Department of Mutant Vehicles probably wasn’t impressed by the Thrift Store Explosion Master Ace (how could you be impressed when you’ve got stuff like the Telephone Car driving around?), but I’ll be it went over big at the Forbidden Island.

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Down On The Mile High Street: Toyota MasterAce http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/down-on-the-mile-high-street-toyota-masterace/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/down-on-the-mile-high-street-toyota-masterace/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2011 13:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=392011 Here in North America, Toyota’s marketing wizards figured out that a vehicle name that sounds like “Master Race” would be something of a liability, so they put in a bunch of grueling all-nighters and produced… the Toyota Van Wagon. Not so fast, said Volkswagen, claiming that the name sounded too much like “Vanagon,” and Toyota […]

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Here in North America, Toyota’s marketing wizards figured out that a vehicle name that sounds like “Master Race” would be something of a liability, so they put in a bunch of grueling all-nighters and produced… the Toyota Van Wagon. Not so fast, said Volkswagen, claiming that the name sounded too much like “Vanagon,” and Toyota lopped off the “Wagon” to create a van name so boring that we still can’t quite believe it ever existed: Toyota Van.

Despite the terrible name (why couldn’t we have had Toyota Space Vans, as Europe did?), the Toyota Van turned out to be an excellent machine. Cockroach-grade indestructible with car-like manners, you’d think the thing would have sold like crazy on these shores.

The mid-engine layout ate up a lot of interior space, however, and Chrysler’s minivan was so much better suited for American tastes that sales of the Toyota Van were mediocre at best. Today, you still see them in use as work trucks, as is the case with this example I found parked on the Denver street. Californians might also see an Audi-powered race version in the near future.

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