By on February 12, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride is a very interesting version of a ho-hum economy hatchback. By the time Toyota finished with their edits, said hatchback was turned into a pickup truck in similar in concept to the Chevy Avalanche.

Feeling intrigued?

Though Japan received the Toyota bB with its traditional name in 2000, it didn’t arrive in North America until later. In 2004, Toyota introduced it as the xB, a key component of the new Scion brand.

The BB was offered in a five-door hatchback configuration most of the time, but we’ll get to that shortly. Based on the subcompact NBC platform from the Toyota Echo, bB had a wheelbase of 98.4 inches, and an overall length of 155.3 inches. Power was provided by 1.3- or 1.5- liter engines, though the smaller mill did not appear in the Scion. Transmissions on offer were a four-speed auto or five-speed manual.

The model’s first generation lasted through 2005 as the BB, and 2006 as xB before a split occurred. In its home market, the second-gen bB (also sold as a Subaru and Daihatsu) was made specifically to appeal to youths in Japan. In 2007 the new xB debuted on the Corolla platform and was sold in Japan as a larger car, the Toyota Corolla Rumion.

Early in the bB’s production, Toyota got creative and reworked the hatchback into a new car: the Open Deck. Classified as a coupe utility, Toyota cut the roof off the cargo area and placed structural bars where the roof used to be. The hatch was replaced with a tailgate to gain access to the newly created truck bed, and the new rear window became another tailgate. It was a two-piece clamshell design, where rear glass lifted on gas struts, and the lower portion folded down flat into the truck bed. Rear seats folded flat to make for an extra-long cargo area. The abbreviated site profile of the bB could no longer support four doors, so the rear door was removed on the driver’s side. On the passenger side, the rear door was shrunk and hinged at the rear. Then Toyota removed the passenger side b-pillar for maximum access. The three-door Open Deck was a (very) short truck all the time, and a slightly more capacious truck when you needed it to be.

There’s no word on how many Open Decks were made, but it’s a safe bet there weren’t many. It’s like a SEMA custom job that actually made production. They’re difficult to find for sale, but today’s black example was available in Japan recently for $8,000.

[Images: Toyota, YouTube]

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12 Comments on “Rare Rides: The Ridiculous Toyota bB Open Deck, From 2002...”


  • avatar
    RHD

    Kudos to Toyota for creativity. We need more thinking like this in a world filled with identical pickups, SUVs and sedans.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    RANDOM HISTORICAL WHOLESALE UPDATE

    I was just on Reddit trying to dissuade someone from purchasing a Daewoo Leganza they somehow found for $1,750 [!!!]. I went though my physical print outs of wholesale auction reports I saved from 2004 to 2006 and I could only find three Daewoos in the period:

    JULY 20 2005: 2001 Daewoo Leganza SE, 59K miles, $1,200 USD (MSRP $13,9)
    JULY 27 2005: 2001 Daewoo Leganza, 48K miles, $4100 USD (MSRP $13,9)
    NOV 16 2005: 2000 Daewoo Nubria, 52K miles, $2700 USD (MSRP $10,9)

    This has been your random historical wholesale update.

    Good night and buckle up.

  • avatar

    I also just realized where the lights for this bB came from.

    https://j3v8m9d3.stackpathcdn.com/photos/IIo2V4e/11306355/213294_800600.jpg

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Thanks for an interesting vehicle. Definitely ahead of its time. Much more innovative than the upcoming Ford Maverick compact pickup.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Well, I loved my 05 xB, but I can’t be a fan of ruining its utility by… adding utility. IMO the car was just too small to be chopped like that.

    Kind of cool in a surfer way, I suppose.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    You only need to replace your house water heater every decade or so, but when you do, it’s good to have a bB Open Deck.

    • 0 avatar
      Yankee

      Funny you should say that indi500fan. One of the funniest moments with my 06 Xb came when I replaced my 50-gallon water heater. I was coming out of Lowes with it on the cart and hit the remote to unlock the car. When a guy getting out of a pickup saw this he started laughing, saying “That ain’t goin’ in there!” “Just watch,” I said. I opened the hatch, folded the rear seats down, and pushed the passenger front seat all the way forward. Then I slid the water heater (in the box) in and closed the hatch. “Damn!” he said. “Here’s the difference,” I said, pointing to his truck. “If it rains, my Sh**’s dry.” “Ok, ok” he said,” after which I added, “By the way, what are you getting on that thing, 13, 14 mpg? I get 30 no matter how I drive it.” “Alright, you win,” he said. He was a good sport and we shared a good laugh.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Some of those “youths in Japan” manage to almost fulltime, in home made conversions of vehicles no larger, in some cases even smaller, than this…..

  • avatar
    amca

    Wonder how many they’d have sold in pick-up crazy US?

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    What a miserable little chitbox

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Au contraire mon amis; stuff that hot Corolla mil up front and the Corolla all wheel drive system underneath it and you have a winner! Sell it for less than 25K, make the interior of the usual Toyota 20 year/300,000 mile poverty spec plastics and you have the ultimate urban beater. J.C. Whitney could dedicate four of five pages for accessories for this.

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