Junkyard Find: 1987 Toyota Conversion Van

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1987 toyota conversion van

The last time we saw a Toyota Master Ace Junkyard Find was when I discovered this super-elaborate ’85 Space Van art car in Northrn California last year. I’ve always admired these mid-engined machines, with their unkillable pushrod fours and goofy Mars Base looks. Here’s one I spotted in a Denver wrecking yard a couple weeks back.

This is the first Toyota Master Ace I’ve seen with the full conversion-van treatment. With rear-wheel drive and the engine under the front seats, space is a bit limited in these things. Still, it was probably fairly nice back when it was new.

Just 132,619 miles on the clock. Just getting broken in!

You’ll find one in every car, kid. You’ll see.

When 24 Hours of LeMons legend Speedycop decided to turn a Cessna 310 into a road-race car, he used a Toyota Van chassis as the basis of the project. Short wheelbase, mid-engined, and reliable.

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2 of 17 comments
  • Russycle Russycle on Sep 03, 2013

    I managed a business that had one of these for deliveries. It was a kick to drive, reasonably quick when unloaded, and the turning radius was ridiculously tiny. Ours had a 3-speed slushbox with overdrive, and we burned through a couple trannies. It was strange to drive with no hood in front of you, like being in the front of a rollercoaster. Hate to think what would happen in a head-on.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Sep 03, 2013

    I will always call these a Space Cruiser, even though they weren't labeled as such here. I know other people who do as well.

  • Cprescott It is ugly enough. But why? You refuse to build enough of your products for your consumers.
  • Cprescott Only if your income also gives you more votes.
  • MrIcky It's always nice to see a car guy put in charge of cars instead of an accountant. I wish him well and look forward to some entertaining reveals. I think he and Gilles may be the only industry people that I actually enjoy listening to.
  • Master Baiter It doesn't matter whether autonomous vehicles are better or worse drivers than humans. Companies with deep pockets will find themselves sued over incidents like this. Enough lawsuits and the whole business plan collapses. Cheaper to just put a human behind the wheel.
  • MaintenanceCosts How many dogs are wiped out by human drivers annually?Which type of driver wipes out more dogs per mile? Per trip?Without some context there's not much information here.