The Toyota HiAce is the most important JDM car that you’ve never heard about. Introduced way back in 1967, the HiAce keeps Japan alive. It’s been available as a minivan, bus, panel van, crew van, taxi, ambulance, and pickup truck. And one Japanese tuning company specializes in turned it into the classic Dodge A100 van: TSDstyling produced by T-style.
It’s a company that does everything from refurbishment to customization and used car sales, and it’s somewhat specialized in the Toyota HiAce. Their most recent product is the T-style HiAce body kit which replicates the design o a Dodge compact van from many years ago.
Between 1964 and 1970, Chrysler made a compact van and truck called the Dodge A100. It’s not exactly a cult car, but it competed well with things like the VW Type 2 Bus and the Ford Econoline. The A100 has a specific retro design, sometimes associated with the Mystery Machine.
The Toyota HiAce has a very boxy shape and a slant nose, which is why TSDstyling chose to convert it into a fake Dodge A100. The T-Style package is mostly concentrated around the front end, where the Japanese tuners gave it a brand-new bumper. Instead of modern rectangular lights, it now integrates two round projectors with chrome discs around them, just like the 1970 Dodge A100.
How they turn A Toyota into a Dodge
There are also some smaller changes, like a faux chrome grille at the bottom of the bumper and extra chrome trim, on the doors and mirrors. Portholes have been added to the side, and the rear taillights were redesigned.
The Japanese tuner is by no means trying to make the HiAce look like a real Dodge van. It’s just a way to make a Toyota van stand out at tuning events, where hundreds of these things can sometimes be seen. If you have deep pockets, these tuners can also do a faux leather interior for your upmarket minivan needs.
The T-style HiAce seems to sell as a complete conversion instead o a kit. For what it’s worth, one recently sold for about 4.5 million yen or $32,000. But the van is a pretty new model, so it’s not like you can import one to the United States.
As far as performance tuning is concerned, this doesn’t have any. However, the HiAce does have air suspension and some retro-looking 15-inch wheels. As far as engines are concerned, this appears to be a 5th-gen Toyota van built from 2004 onward. It would have been offered with a variety of 4-cylinder engines ranging from 2- to 3-liter displacements, usually making about 140 hp.
The original Dodge A100 would have been similarly under-powered when equipped with the famous slant-6 (101 to 145 hp). And although V8s were available, they topped out at 210 hp.