I’ve seen these around for years, but somehow the actual maker and seller of these delightful kits has eluded me. We’ve talked about other Kei-van costumers before, but I’ve wanted to know which one makes those fantastic conversion kits to turn Suzuki Lapins into shrunken Chevy C10s or Toyota Hiaces into Dodge A100 vans or Honda Vamoses (Vamoose?) into Ford Econolines, and, thanks to someone named Joel, now I know. The company is called Blow, and they have all kinds of fun stuff in zero danger of being taken too seriously.
I used to think these Chevy truck kits were for Scion xB/Toyota bBs but that was just wishful, Americo-centric thinking. These are for Suzuki Lapins, and while so much of what this company makes is American-inspired, I don’t believe they make anything that actually fits a car that was officially imported here.
Still, if you happen to have a Honda Vamos or Suzuki Every or a Mazda Scrum or a Hijet or one of the Kei-class cars they target, you can have an absolute, hilariously shrunken blast.
Always wanted a big GMC school bus but just don’t have the room for one? Blow has you covered:
Prefer the subtle differences of an International truck cab, complete with a tilt-open front? Again, you’re in luck, and you don’t need a massive parking lot to store it:
Long for a glorious old Jeep FC, but cruel life has saddled you with a lowly Suzuki Carry? Blow is here to light a candle rather than curse your darkness:
The Hiace-to-Dodge A100 is especially good, even if the name, Papa Rider, sometimes gets translated on the site to Father Rider, which sounds like a terrible ‘50s Western about a priest who’s also a U.S. Marshall and might shoot you.
And, damn, these micro-Econolines! They look so much like regular ‘80s Ford vans that I bet it’s genuinely disorienting to walk up to them.
They do Dodge Tradesman vans as well, a personal favorite, as that’s what my RV is based on:
It’s like a real-world cartoon. I’m not sure if this one, the Rock Rider, is based on a specific source or is a amalgamation—I’m inclined to think it’s the latter—but it’s very cool:
Their version of a Ford F100-era COE delivery van is pretty special, too, and it looks like they can be had with lovely wood interiors:
The inside does reveal that rear door look is a bit of a lie, as it all just lifts up like a hatch, but I’m not bothered by that, thanks to all the charm dripping off this wonderfully goofy thing.
So, how much does a conversion like this cost? Let’s use this Dodge Tradesman-style conversion of a Honda Vamos as an example.
Well, using this list below as a guide, I added up all the parts I’d want (I left off that front visor, the port window kit, and rear wheel spats) and got a to a total of just under $5,000.
That, plus the donor Honda Vamos — it looks like very recent used ones go for between $10 to $15,000 or so, and slightly older but still usable ones can be much cheaper, between $700 and $5,000 or so, and there seem to be plenty of very good options in that $3,000 to $5,000 range, then I’d say you could do this all for a pretty reasonable $10 grand or so! That’s not bad!
It appears from the site that they do the installation as well, so this isn’t just some crate of parts that gets mailed to you; it seems you bring the vehicle there, and they do the work.
I think they can also offer loaner vehicles, in some cases? I promise I’m not in the pocket of Big Blow, I’m just kind of delighted this sort of thing exists.
Of course, it’s still not possible here in America, but I can dream, dammit. And those 2000-era ones are approaching the 25 year import rule, so, you know, maybe it’ll be possible soon?