Mid-Engine, Manually-Shifted Van: 1991 Previa

Sure, it looks like an egg, but we respect the Previa. What other minivan has offered a mid-engine layout, manual trans, supercharger and all-wheel drive? Sadly, one couldn’t combine all of these concepts, as it seems all supercharged Previas were of the automatic, rear-wheel drive variety.  Today’s feature is a rare one with its five-speed manual.  The addition of Lexus SC430 “pie plate” wheels is an added bonus.  We stand by previous claims that this is among the five ugliest OEM wheels ever offered.

This is a 231K mile van, but it’s a Toyota, so maybe it’s just getting broken in. The seller has had quite a bit of maintenance done recently, but anyone buying should assume this high mileage vehicle will occasionally need attention. That means anyone buying should be prepared to take to YouTube for videos on how to get to the engine for even the most basic of services. It is, after all, located under the floor between the front seats.

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Laguna Beach, CA, USA
$3,800

Here’s the delightfully odd profile and those hideous wheels. Oh, those wheels.

Odd from every angle (which is to say we love it).

Sorry, there’s no S/C badge on the right rear corner of this’un.

This money shot shows the manual shifter.  We assume seats look like the inside of a pumpkin when we see cheap seat covers used for hiding.

How about one more show of that shifter and a touch of dash. It looks like a double DIN head unit will fit here. That means Android Auto can bring you all the modern technology you need!

Here’s the third row. The second has been removed, but that’s a temporary issue.

Here’s the second row, which appears to be in great shape.

Yes, there’s cargo space behind that third row!

Ad text:

ULTRA RARE 91 TOYOTA PREVIA/ESTIMA 5SPEED MANUAL! Mid-engine, RWD, old-school Original TOYODA PRODUCT(YES Toyota with a D) Extensive maintenance has been done. Here’s what I did just in the last 3 months…..New NGK Iridium IV spark plugs and NGK wires, Brand new Clutch master cylinder, Brand new slave cylinder, Brand new Stage 2 Carbon Kevlar clutch and new transmission fluid, brand new rear main seal, brand new tie rods, brand new ball joints, Brand new rack and pinion, New stabilizer bar bushings, New control arm bushings, New stabilizer bar rod ends, new starter, new battery tie down. Drain, refill and seal rear differential, fresh oil change with Castrol 10w-40 with magnetic aluminum drain plug, BFI intake mod, Lexus SC430 plate wheels may or may not want to keep depending on the offer. Has a brand new alternator and belt. I might be forgetting something but yah, a lot of maintenance has been done! All pure and manual everything! Also has the Tow Package! I believe I’m only the second owner since I bought it.Just drove it to Vegas and back with no problems. Cons are has dime size dents here and there, could use some paint, Needs a new cat and o2 sensor. (no prob with smog). Needs a new compressor for the AC if you want AC(Windows down in Cali is the way to go). Heater works and Fan works. Also the interior is fairly clean. 7seater, 5 with the middle row taken out easily, and 3rd row can be folded out of the way to reveal huge cargo space if you need it. I was going to stance it out but I don’t have any more to keep it. Original, oldschool, and bad ass bippu or stance start. 3800obo negotiable. CLEAN TITLE and Registered until April of 2018, 2nd owner, 231kMI. Other pics are examples of how it could be modded. Email me if your interested. Thanks

Dumped 4-Runner Project

Like yesterday’s Cutlass lowrider, this is an incomplete project based on a terrible idea.  Is it too late to save it?

Let’s try to figure out just what we have here.  It’s a ’92 4Runner on hydraulics, it has no engine or trans, it comes with a right-hand drive dash and steering box (not installed) and it supposedly lays on the pinch moldings with 20-inch wheels (whatever that means), but said wheels are no included.

Maybe the seller will get damn lucky and find just the right buyer.  Note that the seller will consider throwing in a Toyota pickup as part of the deal (huh?).

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Ramona, CA, USA
$4,000

Yep, it’s low.  Really low.
Did we mention it’s low?

The extra, RHD dash has been thrown inside, but it’s not clear whether anything is or was wrong with the stock LHD unit.  Hmm.

Ad text:

I have a 1992 Toyota 4runner here. Go-Ez customs built a 3/4 chassis for it. It’s on a 2 pump hydro set up. Brand new cylinders and hoses but the pumps are used. Currently lays pinch molding on 20’s with 225/40R20 but with different tires will lay rockers. Currently has some stock wheels on it. The interior was removed for the stock floor body drop and just loaded back inside. I have recently purchased a a right hand drive dash and steering box for it. the stock back seat will fit in its stock location. I DO NOT HAVE A MOTOR OR A TRANSMISSION. all the wiring is still there for it. It was a 3.0 V6 and an auto. I am sad to have to do this but i am not sure when I am going to be able to finish this project. Asking $4K o.b.o. or trade for something running and driving. The 4 Runner is currently on non op status with DMV. I am located just outside of San Diego CA. I do have a trailer and can deliver for the right deal. I also have an 86 standard cab daily driver I would be willing to throw in to the right deal. Hit me up let me know what you got.

Recent Oddimobile Sightings – January 10, 2016

What with holidays and CES, Oddimotive (almost a one-man show) has been slow.  Fear not, however, as we’re back on a schedule!  Also, slow on posts doesn’t mean slow on sightings…


Let’s get started…

Let’s start with a lovely, almost Grabber Blue Festiva spotted at Malibu Creek State Park.  Surely this fits right in driving around Malibu and Calabassas.  What on earth does this tow?!?

Later the same day, this lovely quad-exhaust-and-rimzzzzz-equipped Camry was spotted near Oddimotive HQ in Lake Forest, CA.  Maybe the car is parked here because its owner handicapped it with crap modifications.

A few days later, this Buick Reatta Coupe was spotted at the Irvine, CA train station.  We later saw it drive away under its own power, but didn’t get to question the driver.

Though the automotive exhibits at CES were in the North Hall, this Citroen Van was part of the Pico Brew display at Tech West.  Leave it to the only beer company present to have arguably the best Oddimobile at CES.

Finally, while the vehicles involved aren’t all that odd, the sight of a Chevy Suburban on a flatbed in the MGM Grand passenger drop off area was entertaining.

4Runner Pickup Conversion

Did you lament the death of the first-generation 4Runner’s removable top in 1989?  Apparently, someone did, as they opted to modify a second-gen vehicle to look somewhat like a first-gen with the top off.  Was that a good idea?

Because the photos are lacking, it’s not clear what in the back, but we assume it’s a pickup bed, rather than an open air third row.    What appears to be missing is any rear opening to access said pickup bed; so don’t plan on loading anything heavy into this.  That’s probably not an issue, given the bed’s diminutive size.

The seller claims about 169K miles, which means this Toyota is barely broken in; but is there any way it’s worth $7K??

Click for Craigslist
Canoga Park, CA
$7,000

The radical change in shape means this doens’t even look like a 4Runner when you can’t see the front end.  Given four doors, this is more useful than a first-gen 4Runner, but still not as inherantly cool.

Here’s the profile – thins appear to be finished out well enough that this almost looks factory.
There is a fixed rear window here, unlike in a first-gen 4Runner, which is open to the elements with the top off.

No cut lines are visible to indicate an opening bed.  It would operated a bit strangely with the spare, anyway.

Ad text:

Unique 4Runner Conversion/95 SR5 Auto 4WD/169,366 miles/AC/All Power Locks/windows
Rebuilt Cylinder Heads/New Exhaust Mufflers/17″ Wide Alloy Tires/Smog Cert

Corolla and Museum in One Sentence?

We don’t need to add much here – the seller is convinced this 1997 Corolla is in “Museum Condition.”  We can’t verify that, because it’s likely no front-wheel drive Corolla has ever been in a museum.

This is supposedly a “CE Classic Edition”,whatever that means.  Bottom line here is this is reliable transportation with a manual trans and low miles for its age.  If you –  or more likely your child – need/needs a cheap daily driver, this could be the car for you. We strongly recommend clutch pedals for new drivers – keep those hands occupied and away from the phone.  You should try to get it for a bit less, although asking price is not TOO far off the NADA book value.

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Bellflower, CA (Long Beach area)
$3,500

Taste the excitement.  Prizm owners should find this very familiar.

Boring from every angle, but certainly not offensive.

There’s the legendary CE badge!  If this is museum condition, that implies that the Jesus fish was standard equipment…

Interior appears to be in great shape, as claimed by the seller.  Accordion shifter boot is pretty awesome.

If a double-DIN head unit fits in that open slot, one could feasibly add an aftermarket unit with Android Auto and CarPlay, suddenly bringing in a host of modern features…

Things are very tidy under the hood, but should be, as this Toyota engine is barely broken in at 120K miles.

Ad text:

Hi, we are selling our very well preserved and babied 1997 Toyota Corolla CE Classic Edition. Its a rare 5-speed model with only 120k original miles ! Has a clean title and has never been in any accident s. . Usually garage kept. Non smoker car. Meticulously maintained . . Currently doesn’t need a penny of work . . Has newer Pirelli tires. AC blows ice cold . . Has power steering, and power windows. . Dash has no cracks . . The interior looks like brand new . . No rips or stains at all . . Back seats and passenger seat hardly ever used . . Exterior has not the slightest ding dent or scratch! Paint shines like glass . . Has a brand new headliner . No leaks at all . . If you have any other questions call or text anytime.

4Runner Rickshaw

Would you like to pretend you have a first-generation 4Runner?  This could be just the ticket.  This would also be good if you want exercise while transporting your parents, but we’re not sure about regulations related to rickshaws in the US.


This is being sold as a trailer, but we see no way to attach it to a ball or fifth wheel; so that means it’s a rickshaw.  Also, there could be problems keeping your stuff in the trailer when braking.  We recommend finding a 4Runner rear seat and embracing the rickshaw lifestyle.  Hopefully, you’re very strong.

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Adelanto, CA (no, we’ve never heard of it, either)
$250

Sadly, it looks like the top has been chopped, so this isn’t even useful as a replacement.  It seems there’s nothing to keep items in the trailer if a driver hits the brakes (assuming one figures out how to attach it to a tow vehicle).

Rear seat mounts should still be there.

Tailgate could be good for parts.

Diff housing and suspension parts could still be useful for a 4Runner owner?

Ad  text:

project 1988 toyota 4 runner off road trailer good top good rear axle 4 inch lift springs 15×10 aluminum wheels comes with two extra wheels all matching good tailgate no rust 7sixzeroxxxxxxx asking 250 firm

A Corolla for Restoration?

A rusty, rough Corolla is usually just a good candidate for scrap metal and engine donation, but this one is a rare convertible, done by a company called Griffith and likely sold at the Toyota dealer at the time.  Does that mean it’s worth restoring?

The good news here is 67K miles, but that can also be bad news, as it has likely sat too much.  Still, this Toyota isn’t mechanically broken in – just watch for corrosion and other neglect/sitting problem. Hopefully, new fluids and a good tune up will solve the idling problems confessed by the seller.  Other good news is

The bad news here relates to cosmetic and possibly structural condition.  One has to hope the rust is essentially on the surface with only minor rust-through.  If the floor pans or anything structural have rust problems, this car is already upside-down at the current $995 bid.  We do know it needs at least minor rust repair, paint, a new top, new seat upholstery, a dash cover and a good clean-up.  Did we miss anything?  All that said, one could deal with the mechanical bits, replace the top to prevent leaks and do a ‘driving restoration’.

Who would invest in this car?  The only focus target customer who comes to mind is a former employee of Griffith.

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$995 with one bid and about 5.5 days to go
Hedgesville, WV

This has the potential to be an attractive, unusual car, but will it ever be exciting?

Profile shot reveals poor condition of top and some of the rust.  Original steel wheels are cool.

Diving board rear bumper is surprising for a 1980s model.  Usually, automakers had figured out better solutions by this time.  Luggage rack is…classy?

For some reason, this car has a Sundancer badge, instead of a Griffith badge.  Sundancer was, of course, an AMC convertible…

Interior looks pretty much shot – cheapo seat covers likely cover a total mess and are not there to protect pristine, original cloth.

Here’s evidence that the top goes down!  Note the sun damage to the dash, but the welcome, manual shifter.

Yes, this car has a back seat.  Were you conceived there?

Here’s a Griffith badge on a destroyed dash.  Hopefully, some form of dash cover is available for this car.

Some trunk space is retained, but don’t bring a big cooler.

Engine compartment is dirty, but all there.

The seller has a random collection of parts!  Radio is a nice touch!

Ad text:

 1982 Toyota Corolla SR5 Sundancer convertible Griffith Limited Edition. Was told only 200 Corollas were converted. Car is very complete but has rust as shown in pics, top is torn and seams came apart. Looks like it was repainted many years ago and wasn’t done well. Body has very few minor pings and is very straight for its age with no signs of a previous accident damage. Has a power top but is not working-reason unknown. 1.8liter engine, 5speed, rear wheel drive. Car will start, run, drive and stop but sometimes will not idle and sometimes will idle smoothly. Engine seems to be solid with no smoke or unusual noises. Does not overheat or have any issues I am aware of. Transmission is smooth and tight. Clutch feels good but engages at far end of travel, Brakes stop well but have a slight drag when car is rolling. Exhaust is intact except muffler is off and pipe is rusted. Turn signals do not work, possibly no flasher, but have not checked. Front seats are in very poor condition. Comes with parts as seen in last pics including the top cover, original radio, door molding, 2 keys and a clear title. Car has 67k miles but has been sitting for years and needs restored. It does run and drive but will need gone over to be a driver. Good car for an original or custom build. If you have any questions email or call 304-xxx-xxxx. Thanks for looking.

Euro-Emissions Oddity: Aston Martin Cygnet

The European Commission planned to adopt corporate average emissions standards in 2012 and that scared some small makes.  Aston, sitting all-alone (post-Ford), decided it needed an emissions champ to offset its core product.  Thus was born the ill-advised partnership with Toyota and a Toyota/Scion IQ-based Aston microcar.  Needless to say, we can’t wait until there’s reliable way to legally import one to the US…

The Aston Cygnet has since been cancelled, which begs the question of what happened to the EC’s rules.  These were silly expensive when new (about 30,000 pounds sterling) and we can only hope prices crash as the market forgets about them.

The car was smartly (pun intended?) re-skinned for Aston duty and received major upgrades to soft points in the interior.  The downside was the lack of mechanical upgrades and the obvious remaining hard points on the interior.  At least the Cygnet came with IQ’s top engine, a 1.3-liter four making about 98 horsepower – not bad for a tiny car.  The very good news is these could be had with clutch pedals, unlike the US Smart.  This example does indeed have a manual shifter.

Anyway, if you live in Europe or elsewhere and can get one, we here at Oddimotive will be jealous until about 2035 when we can import one under the 25-year rule.  Surely, however, someone has reskinned a US market Scion version.  Hmm….

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Radebeul, Germany (Dresden)
€ 29,900

They did a pretty good job Astonizing the front end, though the stance is obviously different from anything in the Aston stable.

The wheels are nice and the side ‘vent’ pulls in some Aston-ness, but the profile is all IQ.

the rear has unique lamps, but no exposed exhaust, which seems a bit odd.  Maybe they knew any change would make it sound horrible.

The interior isn’t exactly subtle and classy.  Smart owners will justifiably be envious of this car’s manual shifter and clutch pedal!

Here’s another engle on the seats, which at least have Aston emblems.

Nothing says luxury like a tacked-on Garmin.  Presumably, Toyota did not offer a navigation head unit for the IQ.

Ad text:

Body: Compact (4 Seats)
Mileage: 7,520 km
First registration: 05/2011
Power: 72 kW (98 HP)
Fuel type: Gasoline
Consumption: 5.0 l/100 km(Combined)
General inspection: 05/2016
Body colour: Silver Fox metallic

Interior fittings: Part leather Beige

Vehicle description by the seller
Sofort verfügbarer Vorführwagen mit Erstzulassung auf den Händlerbetrieb. 

Sonderausstattung:
ABS
ESP
elektrische Wegfahrsperre
Traktionskontrolle
Nebelscheinwerfer
Bluetooth
Bordcomputer
CD-Spieler
elektrische Fensterheber
elektrische Seitenspiegel
Multifunktionslenkrad
Navigationssystem
Regensensor
Servolenkung
Sitzheizung
Zentralverriegelung
16 Zoll Alufelgen
Einparkhilfe
automatische Fahrlichtschaltung
Rückspiegel automatisch abblendend
Klimaautomatik
Radio mit CD
Dachhimmel Alcantara

Irrtümer und Fehleingaben vorbehalten.

Thomas Exclusive Cars – Wir sind Aston Martin Vertragshändler*

Google translation:

Body: Compact (4 Seats)
Mileage: 7,520 km
First registration: 05/2011
Power: 72 kW (98 HP)
Fuel type: Gasoline
Consumption: 5.0 l/100 km(Combined)
General inspection: 05/2016
Body colour: Silver Fox metallic

Interior fittings: Part leather Beige

Vehicle description by the seller
Immediately available Demonstrator vehicles registered in the dealership .

Special Equipment:
ABS
ESP
electric immobilizer
traction control
Fog Lights
bluetooth
board computer
CD player
electric windows
electric side mirrors
Multifunction steering wheel
navigation system
rain sensor
power steering
Heated seats
Central
16 inch alloy rims
Parking assistance
automatic headlight activation
Rear view mirror automatically dimming
Climate Control
Radio with CD
Alcantara headliner

Errors and incorrect entries reserved.

Thomas Exclusive Cars – We are Aston Martin dealer *

Drift While Carrying Sheets of Plywood!

Here we have a super-rare, manual transmission Toyota Previa!  Sadly, the manual precludes it being of the supercharged and/or all-wheel-drive variety, but a mid-engine, manual trans minivan is cool in an of itself.

As the seller states:
GOOD for Carrying goods, or Drifting!!



Condition looks rather dodgy, so we recommend offering $500 or less.  You’ll probably be rejected.

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Alhambra, CA
$1,850 Buy-It-Now with offers considered

Here’s the front of the legendary Previa.  The front end reveals that this was Japan’s answer to the GM Dustbuster minivans.

1) Is that a giant rust hole, a dent AND something tied around the bumper to hold it on (or hold the hatch closed)?
2)  If you cut out your license plate number from a photo, don’t paste it elsewhere in the image!

Rust hole matches on the other side.  Hmm, maybe this didn’t always live in SoCal?

Here’s the five-speed shifta.

Yes, this van has a tach, too!

Factory cassette head unit is in place and this bad boy has rear air.

the tape measure doesn’t help in the image if you can’t read it.  Oh well, this has a bunch of cargo space and not a lot of seats.

We assume this photo is just included for inspiration (?).

Ad text:

1992 TOYOTA  PREVIA,   Hard to FIND VERY RARE “5-speed Manual Trans.”!!

This Previa purchased for “Drift Project” &  “Carrying 4×8 wood panel for Home Project “.

We invested total $3,800- over to this Previa!

We done the home project,  My Son got S14 Drift base Car,  so do not use anymore.

We want to KEEP, but too many project toy.    Only reason for sale is Insurance expense.  

GOOD for Carrying goods, or Drifting!!

What you can see, what you get!

Need TLC for this mileage so we selling so cheap!!

VIN start “J” code, so its “Made in Japan”!!

I highly recommend to come to see & test Drive!

***  (Used Parts store selling ” 5-spd Manual Trans. itself for $1500″ ) ***

This cheap price for SALE !!

CA tag til “Dec. 2015”

BUY IT NOW!!

Thank you for coming to my eBay Auction!!