QotW: What’s your favorite JNC work vehicle?

Today is Driver’s Day in Japan, an occasion to honor the professionals who operate the trucks, buses, and taxis that make the economy hum. It takes place on October 18 every year, because an alternate pronunciation of the numbers “ten, one, eight” happens to be do rai ba, or “driver” in Japanese. Japan has a huge number of workhorse vehicles, from post office Super Cubs to three-wheeled pickups to blinged out Hinos. Not to mention nearly every wagon ever made had a commercial “van” variant, so there’s no shortage to choose from.

What’s your favorite JNC work vehicle?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your favorite Japanese race truck?“.

The answers to this week’s question ran the gamut. There were favorites like Tofu Delivery‘s choice of the Ironman Stewart Toyota Baja trucks or Super Exceed‘s Mitsubishi Pajero Paris-Dakar racers. And, there were awesomely obscure picks like wil d‘s Archer Brothers SCCA Mitsubishi pickup or j_c‘s rotary-powered Mazda B-series stadium truck. Max Motter‘s 1989 Toyota BJ74 Dakar race truck made us grin too, simply because there is a Tamiya model of it. However, the most entertaining answer this week goes to Ellis and his explanation for the ironically named Hino “Little Monster”:

Any of the Hino ‘Little Monster’ Dakar trucks! I had a great poster of the great Yoshimasa Sugawara standing in front of one behind my desk at my first real job. And I actually ended up taking it with me when I left. Seeing these boxes on wheels flying over the sand dunes always makes me smile. Plus their record speaks for itself. And just look at them….they look like they could survive the apocalypse!

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 your favorite JNC work vehicle?

  1. CycoPablo says:

    In Australia, the Holden (Isuzu) Rodeo was a utility available as 2×4 / 4×4 in several variants of cab-chassis, dual-cab etc.

    They were tough, reliable, hugely marketable by Holden and widely prolific. Public and private sectors ran them in large fleets, which meant low-mileage used examples regularly hit the auctions as they updated.

    A fond memory of my youth; at one stage the customised mini-truck craze of the US resonated with me, and I was set on obtaining an Extra-cab variant, lowering it with cool paint, bed liner, hard bed cover and billet wheels…a trail bike (or a quad if I could stretch to one) in the back, girl in the passenger seat and hard tunes on the radio-cassette.
    Sadly life, or fate, sent me down a different path!

    Rodeo — ISUZU — THAT’S WHO!

  2. Banpei says:

    I’d say the JDM hearses are something you won’t see anywhere in this world. They are also known as the Miyagata Reikyusha (宮型霊柩車) and basically a small shrine built on top a luxurious car. For instance a big Crown, Century or American land yacht would suit fine. I definitely wouldn’t mind going in such a car. 😉
    Here’s one shot up close by Wasabi Cars:

  3. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Growing up, I was always fascinated by the scores of Mazda K360 trucks running around the neighborhood. The Kerosene delivery truck in particular stand out to me. These Trike Trucks were found hauling all sorts of stuff.

  4. Dutch 1960 says:

    I am thinking of a certain tofu delivery vehicle…black and white…a Toyota…

  5. f31roger says:

    Work vehicles… easy!

    80s Toyota pick ups. I guess you can put Tacomas in there now. I see a lot of contractor trucks and most use beat up Toyota pick ups.
    Not to mention the bullet proof 22RE and OG Top Gear’s episode of total destruction of one and it still ran.

    When I was looking to get a previa, most that I looked at were “work vans”, so they had seats removed in the, paint and all kinds of scuffs all over the interiors.
    I also noticed this with 1st gen Siennas.

    A local cab company has quite a few 1st gen siennas as their taxis.

  6. crank_case says:

    My Dads old 1980s Daihatsu Hijet panel van. A kei sized van, but with an export “big block” engine. 850cc of raw muscle. 🙂

  7. Jeremy A. says:

    I can’t think of any that are strictly JDM, given there are so many, but I can certainly think of a captive import here in the States that I can call my favorite.

    The Chevy Luv AKA Isuzu Faster. When I was a kid these were everywhere, beds loaded down with tools, ladders, paint, you name it. Because it was an “American” vehicle, buyers in the Rust Belt where I grew up bought them in droves, and proceded to use them and abuse them, usually retiring them not because they fell apart or were broke, but simply because they needed a bigger truck as their business grew.
    Integrated hooks and tie downs, a low loading height, suspension which would dutifully carry much more than the GVW and docile handling even when overloaded definitely make it my favorite JDM workhorse.

  8. Michael K says:

    It’s gotta be the Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s used around the world in search and rescue, mining, exploration, war, conservation… I could go on and on. Even the United Nations uses them to deliver medical supplies! The 70 series not being allowed to sell here is probably some kind of government conspiracy to not embarrass the hero of WWII, the Jeep. They might be slow as a slug, but it’s the only way to keep Range Rover owners from dying of shame!

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