QotW: What’s the best JNC camper conversion?

1976 toyota chinook

It’s summer, and thus camping season for much of North America. And as we all know, JNCs have had their share of camper conversions. What’s the best one for hitting the highways and heading to the great outdoors?

What’s the best JNC camper conversion?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the best Japanese getaway car?” 


The alarms are ringing, the Five-O is on their way, and the JNC crew is running from the bank with large duffle bags full of money (with which we will save every old slab of J-tin headed to the crusher). We approach the rendezvous point where the getaway car is waiting. What will it be?

Rainermaria had offered us a box-type Lancer GSR, but despite having real getaway cred these days it’s too rare, noticeable, and not quite fast enough to keep up with modern law enforcement steeds. Dickie and ImUrOBGYN tried to put us in an Accord or Camry V6, but we couldn’t risk running to the wrong identical car in a moment of frantic confusion. Lupus had suggested an all-wheel-drive, turbocharged rally machine for the street like a Legacy GT-B or Galant VR-4, but the trunks weren’t quite big enough for all the loot. Both MGamez and Jehsticles had the best option, a Nissan Stagea — basically a Skyline in wagon form — but the latter gave us the better sales pitch:

Stagea. Autec Stagea. Giants of cars. massive engines, twin sunroofs for A Team style shoot outs, 4wd, altessa system, HiCAS on some models… Absolutely bomb proof too.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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10 Responses to QotW: What’s the best JNC camper conversion?

  1. MGamez says:

    Wow what a coincidence. I like to read my JNC and check out Craigslist for some j-tin at the same time for some reason, well to get to the point I read the question of the week and was automatically going to nominate the Datsun 620, but before so I switched back to Craig’s to check my Toyota list. Skimming through all the celica convertibles and pick-ups I a came across this beauty of camper, a 1986 land cruiser troopy camper. Here is the link. https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/ctd/5697777651.html
    So clean I wouldn’t sleep in it, I’ll sleep underneath it.

  2. Yuri says:

    The Bedford Bambi. A camper conversion from the UK, using a Suzuki Carry as its base, and carrying a ridiculously adorkable name.
    Affectionately christened “Tardis” by some of its owners (because it’s so much bigger on the inside than the out), it answers the unasked question of “What if someone made a camper out of a vintage Kei van.”
    There were a few other Kei campers made over the years, but most seem to be one-offs, and not the full production piece the Bambi was. There’s even a rental company in the UK that maintains a fleet of 125 Bambis.

    However, if we’re allowing concepts into the mix, may I present the Toyota RV-2, a sexy shooting brake from 1972 that turned into a camper by having the rear end split open like a scarab about to take flight. Design wise, it has a very ahead of its time 1980’s vibe.
    If this thing had made production, I’m just imagining people trying to find the weatherstripping required to keep that seamed roof from leaking. Let’s be honest though. Everybody would be gutting out the camper components and swapping in AE86 running gear.

  3. Gerka says:

    To me it has to be the Toyota Chinook. I dont know a lot about JNC camper conversions but if there is one I know of its the Toyota Chinook, because you still see them around and still being used. These awesome little campers with there 80s/70s flair have stood the test of time. Look at this little buggar


    Just so cool… and mated with the trusty 20r/22r? Its no wonder so many have survived.

  4. James Kennedy says:

    Haha looks like the UK has cornered the kei kamper market.

    This parked up on my street the day after you posted this article.

    The Bedford (Suzuki) Nipper-

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