Tokyo Auto Salon: This Isuzu Elf was incredibly popular

Our final feature from the Tokyo Auto Salon is a vehicle that we probably would have walked right by, but proved immensely popular with our Japanese friends. Built by students at the Fukushima Science and Technology College, the 1990 Isuzu Elf 250 got a lot of attention. One reason was that large cab-over medium-duty commercial trucks simply don’t get modified that much.

The other reason was the theme of the truck, “American Custom.” That might seem like an odd descriptor, since we in America have never seen a truck that looks like it. However, its four-cylinder diesel was swapped with a small block 305 Chevy V8 mated to a Camaro automatic.

Perhaps the American part comes from the fact that the cab was chopped 4.5 inches. Hot rod style mirrors, a metallic-look finish, and lettered sidewalls also add to a street rod look.

The entire thing was lowered on an air suspension, with the bed transformed into a diamond plate floor carrying a customized Honda Zoomer. Apparently, these touches make it just different enough that it became somewhat of a show stopper. Personally, we’d prefer a dekotora.

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9 Responses to Tokyo Auto Salon: This Isuzu Elf was incredibly popular

  1. Nigel says:

    Like a Hilux with a 2×4 flatbed.

  2. Rotsun77 says:

    Pretty neat, but lol someone shoulda stepped in and let these kids know us ‘muricans we swap 350s not anemic 305s ? then again I dont want to open pandoras box of LS swapping more Japanese classics…

  3. Yuri says:

    This seems to be done in a similar style to a lot of Toyota Hi-Ace vans over there. In Osaka especially, I saw a lot of Hi-ace’s slammed wearing nascar steelies and yellow-lettered tires.
    That look is gaining traction.

  4. Ant says:

    The Hayashi wheels on that Zoomer are brilliant. Whole thing is pretty cool!

  5. Scotty G says:

    Man, what a great motorcycle/scooter hauler! I could do without the (ugh) “Drop an SBC in it” drivetrain, but that’s just me, I know that most people like that sort of thing. I would add some drop-down bed sides and… wait, we weren’t supposed to critique it, sorry about that. It really is a fantastic creation!

    • Hashiriya86 says:

      I used to live in the city that school is in. The schools in that city produced more than one car like that for the TAS. The other that comes to mind is the purple Prius from a few years back. I think that ambulance had one too.

  6. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Simply awesome!!! I’m a huge fan of weird haulers. I would have preferred a weird Yanmar marine diesel with a pair of turbos adorning the back of the cab feeding a pair of semi stacks. Great article!!!

  7. Nobody says:

    Have you never heard of an Isuzu NPR? You don’t understand how the theme American custom relates to a Chevy engine swap in a medium duty commercial truck?

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