Toyota Chinook Project Car

Andrew's 1980 Toyota Chinook

Friday, 01-May 2020 @ 4:05 pm
Andrew's 1980 Toyota Chinook

I've just purchased a Toyota Chinook!

I became aware of them while living in Canada, and had planned to eventually import one when a friend let me know about this one that had already been imported to Australia.

So, even though I'm really not in a financial position to be buying another vehicle, I begged and borrowed what I could and managed to snap it up.

A previous owner had already swapped the Chinook camper body onto a right hand drive 1980 Hilux, and added a 170W solar panel.

I can't believe my luck! This thing is in amazing conditions, and while the odometer on these models only goes to 100k, I think the reading indicates 189,000km. All the controls and interior are in great condition.

I plan to add lots more photos soon, but wanted a place to put them first.


EDIT: Completed items have been marked off :) Progress has come to a halt during COVID-19.


  • ✅ 18R-GU and 5-Speed (stolen from my 1982 Toyota Hilux, which has since been sold with the 18R and 4-speed from this).
  • 🔲 New brakes (look into possible 6-stud hub swap, 4-pot calipers and vented discs from the 4WD equivalent?).


  • ✅ Restore original wheels with dress rings and center cap etc
  • ✅ Repaint grill in darker shade: "Metalic Charcoal"
  • 🔲 Retro Chinook stripe like this one
  • 🔲 Reversing light (the otherwise brilliant reversing camera is useless at night)
  • 🔲 Exterior shower box connected to pressurised water system (for washing sandy puppy toes)

Hilux Interior

  • ✅ Stereo (Alpine 7125N Cassette, AM/FM stereo)
  • ✅ Swap in SR5 dash, door cards, speakers, center console, and tacho (no photos yet)
  • ✅ Volt gauge, clock, and USB center cluster

Camper Interior

  • 🔲 12V Electric waterpump with built-in 45psi pressure switch (for water pressure without manual pumping)
  • 🔲 Water pressure accumulator
  • 🔲 Hard-wired interior lights
  • 🔲 12v power sockets in camper
  • 🔲 Relocate 240V outlet off bench
  • 🔲 Retrim cushions in a plaid pattern
  • 🔲 New curtains with retro pattern
  • 🔲 Small cosmetic changes (eg: cabinet handles etc)

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About RetroJDM

This all got started when I purchased a couple of JDM brochures for my RA28 Celica. I'm now completely obsessed with old Japanese cars. Basically, if it's Japanese and had chrome bumpers, I love it!

You may have noticed there's no longer an online store. I've made all the sticker source files available for download. Feel free to print your own, make T-Shirts or whatever :)

~ andrewzuku

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