As the late great George Carlin famously pointed out, the words Jumbo and Shrimp are mutually exclusive terms, and yet are commonly shoved together as though the conjoined twins of the English language. Point in fact, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Daihatsu is a shrimpy 4x4 that's ironically named Jumbo. You’ll have to decide whether its price is likewise shrimpy or jumbo.
Nitrous Oxide, or N2O, is commonly referred to as laughing gas. It’s also used as an oxidizer to increase engine power, and with a 55% Nice Price win, yesterday’s NOS-equipped 1985 BMW 535i’s price proved to be no laughing matter.
In contrast to that very serious Bimmer, today’s 1983 Daihatsu HiJet Jumbo might cause you a spasm of uncontrollable giggles every time you drive it. Others would likely share your joy in the truck, pointing and laughing every time it trundled past.
Here in the States you might remember Daihatsu (gesundheit) as the ‘80s purveyor of tiny cars and trucks that wasn’t Suzuki. Of course naming your car the Charade probably wasn’t the best idea, and neither was the decision not to officially import the HiJet, a trucklet so small Japanese schoolgirls wear them on charm bracelets around their wrists.
Fortunately the Kei truck HiJet is so small a few were bound to slip through the U.S. border patrols, and today we not only have one that did, but it's a Jumbo to boot. This is a pickup with fold-down sides on its micro-sized bed. It’s also four-wheel drive, but with only 28-bhp on tap, you had best be four-wheelin’ downhill whenever possible.
It does rock a four-speed stick and you can bet that those four speeds are: walking, brisk walking, barely a jog, and holy crap, that’s all it’s got?! Yes, if this were your planned zombie apocalypse escape vehicle, then your brains are toast. Or, on toast as the case may be.
Still, in light of the undead rising still being a ways off, this 547-cc two-cylinder powered cab-over would be a blast drive, no matter how slowly. Plus, right-hand steering wheel, left-hand shifter, bizarro world!
From the photos it looks like it’s in pretty good shape, and no, that’s not smoke in the shots but the seller’s attempt, probably using MS Paint, to mask out what might be a Bobcat that he probably wasn't supposed to have borrowed from work.
The photos also don’t show the front end, but suffice to say that if it’s a completely stock S65 Hijet then the nose looks exactly like Bert from Sesame Street. True story. The Jumbo part of the name denotes the extended cab that also raises the roof and shakes its boo-tay. The greater room afforded inside sacrifices bed space in the rear, exchanging functionality for comfort. Hey, that makes this the perfect model for a lethargic America.
Now that it’s here, this 38,000-kilometer tiny truck is presently registered as a multipurpose vehicle in Wyoming, the forgotten state. Seeing as it’s well over 25 years old, registration may not be a hassle anywhere else outside of California. There, even the Daihatsu’s diminutive size and unbelievable cuteness won’t be able to overcome its inability to pass that state's more stringent emissions requirements. Still, Golden State residents can always find somebody in Oregon who’s amenable to letting them register a car in their more lenient neighbor to the north.
This Hijet may be a Jumbo shrimp, but it sure looks like it has a lot of heart. And how fun would it be to tell your Mopar friends that you've bought an ‘83 “K car” and then roll up in this? It would blow their minds right out of their hemi heads.
Unless you’re really good at hotwiring cars - and here the fact that its right hand drive might stymie such attempts - the only way to make the K/Kei konection is to drop the $5,500 that the seller is asking. That or trade him for a Bobcat so he can stop getting in trouble with work for taking theirs.
What do you think about this adorable little truck for that kind of scratch? Is that a price that’s pretty shrimpy? Or, is it just far too jumbo?
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