Toyota was never sure what to call its forward control van in North America. Rejecting the TownAce name it wore in other markets, it was referred to simply by the unimaginative and generic “Toyota Van.” The lack of a real model name was actually quite fitting. In reality, the TownAce version was just a placeholder model, a quick-and-dirty response to the runaway success of Chrysler’s minivans while the Previa was being developed. By the time this ad photo showed up in ’87, the passenger version had been dubbed the Wonderwagon. The fancy name change didn’t fool many people; it continued to sell poorly. The fact was, it rode and steered as if it had been designed to deliver packages in downtown Tokyo. Which, of course, was precisely the case. But today, the Van/Wagon/Wonderwagon enjoys a cult following. Speaking of cults, is the family standing beside it starting one, or running from one? Or is there another reason why they’re dressed is khaki safari shorts in the middle of nowhere? I am sure you can tell us exactly what the sitch is in the comments.
Last week’s contest showed a “motor bank” being patronized by a Dodge pickup and a bicycle-mounted paper delivery boy. Serial quipster 0A5599 offered the best explanation, referencing the ’80s comedy masterpiece Better off Dead:
“Lane planned to build a sturdy fence to keep the paperboy away, but ultimately, he figured it was easier to just swing by the bank to get the two dollars.”
In second, our esteemed mdharrell offer us this narration:
“Welcome to Drive In Motor Bank. How may we help you?”
“Yeah, I’m gonna need a couple of L-heads and a Hemi, and I’d like to place a deposit for one of those cross-rams for when they come out. Oh, and a Whizzer for the kid back there.”