We are obviously deep in the 1970s here. Back when people travelled the Hippie Trail (head full of zombie) in old Camper Vans. And this Toyota is here to remind you that you didn’t have to use an old VW Kombi. You could have used a HiAce instead.
This is a model of the first series HiAce, which entered the market in 1967. The HiAce was primarily designed as a commuter vehicle, able to transport up to 8 people.
With this goal in consideration, the HiAce exterior dimensions and engine displacement were in compliance with Japanese Government regulations so as to encourage sales, and accommodate the most passengers by utilizing a cabover body style, with the engine installed underneath and between the front passengers.
It was available in short and long wheelbase form (this is a model of the latter), and came as a truck, van, mini bus and the camper you see here.
Toyota cranked out about 500,000 of these between 1967 and 1977 - but very few are left today. Most lead a very hard life, and rust killed the rest of them.
The camper vans tended to be looked after and seemed to have survived the longest.
Today, the HiAces are everywhere - and Toyota have made another 5 Million of them since. And while they are not sold in North America, they can be seen just about everywhere else.
Tomica have made this model in both their small scale line up. and in the larger Dandy range you see here. Though this pink version appears to be exclusive to the Dandy version. It couldn’t be from any other period but the early 1970s.
As you can see the stickers on the side are peeling a bit, which is rather typical of older Tomica. But it is a lovely time warp model from the era of jump suits and huge trouser flares. I guess you just had to be there...