Friday, January 17, 2014

2k: Elf Sized Truck: 1990 Daihatsu Hi-Jet Mini Truck

Picture this:  You've just chopped down a tree on your palatial estate using nothing but an axe and your bare hands.  Even the log splitting was done by hand because your Harbor Freight log splitter broke the first time you used it.  Now you need to transport the timber a few miles away and you cringe at the thought of denting the pristine painted bed of your $50k turbo diesel Duramaxstroke powered F3500 SuperDuty.  Plus you'd need a ladder to get stuff into the bed after that lift kit and 33 inch super swamper look for another alternative.  The Polaris Rzr you bought last summer?  Nah, still too nice and expensive.  Hey, what about that JDM mini-truck you bought on a lark a few years back?  Find this 1990 Diahatsu Hi-Jet Mini Truck for sale in Bigfork, MT for $2,500 via craigslist.

Sure, it looks like it was sized based on specs that came out of requirements from Santa's workshop, but the Hi-Jet mini truck would be perfect for hauling toys around a North pole secret base.

The seventh generation S80 Hi-Jet  is equipped with a 660 cubic inch  centimeter inline-3 cylinder engine good for 40 horsepower, mounted in the middle and putting power to all four wheels.  The Hi-Jet is barely able to reach freeway speeds, but it shouldn't be much worse than driving around a 60s Beetle...and those aren't that bad...right?

The interior of this Hi-Jet looks like the room in the back of a Pachinko parlor used by the Yakuza to help people remember things.  It should be good enough for hauling wood, but if you want to win awards at the next Japanese Nostalgic Car Club event, you'll need to do some reconditioning. 

See a better way to cruise in a Super Deluxe pickup?

Originally posted by For Sweden on Jalopnik's opposite lock


  1. These are suprisingly street legal in most states, but not on the interstate:
    I would like to install a Hayabusa engine in one of these to see what it would feel like.
    I have never seen one on the street here in NE, where the size of a man's truck is very important.

  2. I have mounted aggressive snow tires with chains, a full skid plate and front & rear winch mounts (the winch attaches to either on a 2" receiver) on one of these 4WD Daihatsu, for running test equipment to the diamond drill rigs. It worked excellent, had heat and was entirely disposable if the geologist(s) wrecked it in the process (instead of a $50,000 pickup).

    Unfortunately the experience was a failure after one of these university degree packing knuckleheads pumped diesel fuel into it. (Some days you just have to shake your head and laugh at the human race's endless stupidity and the lawyers who encourage it)

    I was told a high performance, 3 cylinder, liquid cooled, Arctic Cat snowmobile motor bolts right in for a huge boost in power. ATV rims bolt right on for better floatation on the snow too. Cannot remember which make of ATV though.

    Great for your acreage!

  3. This is a RHD Japan domestic model; VIN may not be street legal. These are very popular in the Bahamas.

  4. Was skipping through radio stations recently, and stumbled across a country song. A guy singing about his ex's new man: "Nah he can't amount to much, by the look of that little truck..."

    I, on the other hand, have driven these little 1600lb 4x4s, and they can go a surprising number of places. They don't sink in the mud or slide around the way big 4x4s do. Just skip around on the top of things like mountain goats.

    1. I've heard the same. "The Legolas Effect."

  5. 660 Cubic Inch? I hope you meant CCs since that would mean this little monster would have a 10.8 Liter engine!

    1. Inches, centimeters..yup, not the same! Fixed!

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