Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. When we saw the Mitsubishi L300- which is a seriously rare machine in the United States, though I've just found another one in Alameda- some readers felt that the Toyota Van deserved a place in this series as well. You can find those things all over the place, so I decided I'd wait until I found an interesting one… and now I've found two!
Alameda's waterfront on the Oakland Estuary side has all manner of marine-related businesses, from dredging companies to marine engine rebuilders to sailmakers. Sea Worthy Canvas- located across the street from a Toyota parts warehouse (and just down the street from the '64 Olds Jetstar)- uses a pair of Toyota Vans to deliver the goods to salty sea dogs throughout the Bay Area. Actually, it looks like they're using them for sail storage at the moment.
These mid-engined vans sold like crazy in Asia, but they had a tough time competing with the front-drive Chrysler minivans (and, yes, we'll see an early Voyager in this series one of these days). Being Toyotas, however, most of the examples sold here are still on the street today.