Fascination of the Boring: 1983-1989 Toyota Van

Also known as the MasterAce, the Passenger Van, and advertised for its last two years as a Wonderwagon, the 1980s Toyota Van is a fascinating vehicle. 

Oh wait, no it’s not. I forgot that for a minute there. It’s just an old van.

Well, it’s probably not as much of a landmark vehicle as its contemporaries, the Chrysler and Renault minivans, none of them came with such a remarkably short wheelbase or escape pod styline.

Is this the closest the world has seen to a Syd Mead concept coming to life?

Its unpretentious manner and durable mechanics give it a definite charm, and any additional owner-added modifications just end up looking the business.

With such a plain exterior, the fuzzy zebra interior comes across as exceedingly awesome.

Even the factory appointments of zippy stripes shine out from such a straight-laced design.

In all seriousness, however, it is crazy to think that car enthusiasts so readily declare these cars as nothing more than humdrum and uninteresting. Toyota vans have had millions more miles on their collective odometers than probably every Ferrari ever built put together. If Toyota Vans like this one are just plain, everyday appliances, then they only show more clearly the habits and traditions of automobile use.

Car culture is always being defined by its extremities, and for good reason. The strange, unusual, rare cases of automobile history elucidate the trends and standards of mainstream motoring by testing their boundaries.

The Toyota Van “proved” no realities of driving and owning an automobile, but it is a clear picture of what transportation looked like to a vast number of delivery drivers and frugal families. For that it is interesting, and for its rough dynamics and intergalactic styling, I love this old Toyota Van.

For Reference:

I found my information on the Toyota Van at Toyoland.com and on wikipedia:



Also, some Toyota Vans showed up on DOTS, but I’m still waiting for Curbside Classics to do a piece on these old Toyotas:


This entry was posted in Davis, Fascination of the Boring, Pictures. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Fascination of the Boring: 1983-1989 Toyota Van

  1. Isaura says:

    I would like to know what is the price of the van

  2. TP says:

    i owned 2 but it was fun to drive and you could put a full size sheet of plywood in it they had head gasket issues

  3. victor cruz says:

    who has eny of this vans for sale??

  4. deez nutts says:

    I for one have a 1989 toyota van and I think its the coolest van out there hands down who cares what other people say I sure dont..im looking forward to the up coming years that im going to spend with this van

  5. Pingback: Home Sweet Home | Mocha Gypsy

  6. tom says:

    i have one of these vans and i love it. For the year it loaded with gadgets. The moon roof is really awesome. The little four cylinder engine isn”t the easiest to work on because of the compact design but that doesn’t matter because it”s so reliable. The turning radius is unbeat anywhere. Takes a little bit of time to get parts because of the age. Gas mileage is around 24 highway.

  7. Smacdoug1 says:

    im just so excited to get one of these beasts…. im gunna love the crap out of it and camp everywhere! aww so much fun, so cool looking, I love unique ugly designs like this! im sure they have the same engines in other cars that are more common right? engine parts are hopefully not to hard to find…..

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