Junkyard Gem: 1995 Toyota Previa All-Trac LE

Junkyard Gem: 1995 Toyota Previa All-Trac LE

Toyota sold its van (the model name it applied to the Masters Surf in North America, following the precedent of selling the Hilux pickup as a truck) during the 1980s, and it was marketed as an Americanized SUV. It was decided to follow along. Version of the Toyota Estima van. It was the Previa, a family-carrying machine that looked odd but packed a lot of interesting hardware under an egg-shaped body. Here’s a mid-production Previa with a supercharged engine and All-Track AWD system, found a few months ago at a self-service junkyard in Northern California.

The Previa was sold here for the 1991 to 1997 model years, after which it was replaced with the much larger and more conventional Sienna.

The idea was that the Previa would compete with the Plymouth Voyager/Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country for sales, but it was designed for the Japanese domestic market and proved a bit too radical for most American minivan shoppers. even once potential buyers got past body size—which was supposed They learned that the engine was a straight-across that was placed on its side and placed under the front seats – to resemble an egg.

The powertrain layout gave the Previa great handling and plenty of interior space on a small footprint, but it also made it impossible for Toyota to squeeze in a V6 engine. This meant that the 1991–1993 Previas were too weak to haul heavy loads at US highway speeds.

Nissan attempted to solve its own underpowered mid-engined van problem in the 1980s by shoehorning a large engine into a much smaller engine compartment, with disastrous results. Toyota decided on a different approach: take the small-displacement Roots-type supercharger it had been using in the MR2s and remote-mount it (along with an intercooler) along with the alternator and other accessories that sit on the front of the Previa. Lived near the bumper. This gave the 1994-1997 Previas a respectable 158 horsepower (and they look cool). scheduled caste badge) while increasing fuel economy at the same time.

By the 1990s all-wheel-drive had become a major selling point of minivans, and so Toyota offered the All-Track AWD system in the Previa. This van is so equipped.

All rear-wheel-drive Previas were available with a five-speed manual transmission (as were Caravans and Voyageurs, at least until 1995), but only the 1991–1992 Previas could be bought with both five-speed manual transmissions. And All-track. This van has automatic.

You would think that the complicated hardware and blower boost would have killed these vans quickly, but today it is very rare to find a Previa with less than 200,000 miles showing on the odometer. Several examples in the junkyard I found made it well past the 300k mark.

The JDM ads for this van are way more fun than the ads we’ve got here, so let’s take a look at them first.

With V grade super charger!

Respected Gaijin Philosopher orders Estima from their lunch menu with an optional blower.

Meanwhile, in the USA.

Oh the sacrifices we make for our children.

In Australia, the Estima was known as the Tarago. Be sure to check out the canine crash dummy in this ad.

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