Vantastic Is The Word That Pops Into Mind

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The Daihatsu Mira Walk-Through Van is one of those things that could only come from Japan, a place where a coffin is considered to be a flat.

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Now, I love the Volkswagen Fridolin. I really do. But what if you're looking for something smaller, right? You start wondering about kei cars. Because Kei cars are the best at being tiny but still practical. And I have a soft spot for Daihatsus.

On walk-through van bodies were available right from the start with the first generation Mira appearing in 1980, positioned under the high-selling Charade compact.

Its back doors could be divided...

Illustration for article titled Vantastic Is The Word That Pops Into Mind
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...open just upwards...

Illustration for article titled Vantastic Is The Word That Pops Into Mind
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...or be folded like on a bus:

Illustration for article titled Vantastic Is The Word That Pops Into Mind
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While the Mira was available with a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, and although I'm not sure which body style came with which powertrain, you could surely jam any part from one to another, ending up with a four-wheel drive turbo walk-through van that's only 78 inches tall and have a four-speed manual. Imagine that!

While the number of gears could climb up to five with the fourth-generation Mira in 1994 now producing 55 horsepower, the walk-through van died four years later with the next generation. Still, it's not like fresh styling was needed to keep owners happy...

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Illustration for article titled Vantastic Is The Word That Pops Into Mind

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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