A reader based in Japan sent us more info on the current proclivity in that country to turn little vans into VW Microbus replicas. The vans are actually made by Subaru; apparently the company's Sumber is Japan's answer to the Chevy Astrovan in sheer numbers and cheapitude (if not size). "Keep in Mind," Pierre-Laurant, our ad-hoc Japan correspondent, told us, "that all those little tikes are powered by a 660 cc engine and can almost fit on the flatbed of a pickup truck." Mini micros, indeed. Read on.
Body kits for the little truckettes are plentiful in Japan (like this one for about $1,000), and not confined to old VWs either. Kits are also available to turn a Subaru Sumber into an elderly Citroen van...
...or a Suzuki Lapin into a Renault 4, circa 1975:
Of course, we have transformative body kits in the states, but most emulate sports cars, not dowdy utility wagons. Still, we'd heartily endorse more of this kind of oddball car shit, which seems to be missing over here, despite kit makers' best efforts. What about a kit to turn a Suzuki Samuari into a Mini 1968 Ford Bronco? How about one to convert a Honda Civic into a mid-1980s Ford Escort? Any other ideas? Send 'em to email@example.com.
Japan s Mini VW Micro Bus Replicas [internal]