1984 Toyota Van LE 2.0 liter from North America


I look for excuses to drive this car


Had a bad alternator when I bought it - not unusual for these.

I was told the transmission had been rebuilt or replaced by a former owner.

Power door lock switch broken.

Little too much play in the steering.

General Comments:

My wife calls it the "terrorist van" due to its appearance in Back to the Future. I call it the Golden Turtle and love it beyond reason.

I haven't owned it long and paid $650 for it when I bought it. It's in amazing condition for being 23 years old - everything works and there are only small dings and scrapes on the outside, and slight fading inside. I spent another few hundred on it, new tires and a new alternator, will probably engineer a fix for the power door lock switch, but beyond that I don't plan to do much except keep it running and drive it for the next 200k miles.

I've owned lots of quirky vehicles and I don't know what attracts me to them, but it's hard at work here. There's just something about the van's moon-buggy-like appearance and ride, it's wonderful layout and design that just makes me giddy.

It IS severely underpowered as far as off the line acceleration goes, this is no hotrod, but it has more than enough power for normal driving and for sustained speeds of 70mph on the highway.

I originally bought it as a dump runner, to haul trash or pick up yard supplies with, but now I find I can't bear the thought of taking the seats out of it or messing up the interior. As a result I am buying a small 4' x 4' utility trailer to haul behind it, for those times when I wish I had bought a pick up.. it has a tow hitch and trailer harness, though I think it would be ill advised to tow anything very heavy with this particular vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2007

8th Dec 2010, 09:48

Looking for an excuse to drive my 1984 Toyota Van. That is so true. Also, I bought mine to do work with it also, but can't get used to the idea of getting the inside dirty. Love this Van. Just amazing vehicles.

29th Sep 2016, 01:16

What do you mean? The van in Back to the Future was a VW bus.

15th Oct 2016, 21:45

Have seen BTTF 1, 2, 3 and 4. Had all 4 (quadriology) in video format. The van in BTTF is a 1984/85 Toyota van driven by the men (terrorists) shooting; the same as in the 'advert' there was never a VW van. You must be mistaken.

17th Oct 2016, 13:03

What "BTTF" are you watching?

The van driven by "the Libyans" in the first "BTTF" when Doc Brown gets shot is a mid to late 70's blue and white VOLKSWAGEN van, not a Toyota! The mistake is yours!

18th Oct 2016, 02:01

Pay a little more attention to the big VW logo on the front of the van.

18th Oct 2016, 09:05

I also remember it being the aforementioned Toyota van. Have called them terrorist vans since I was a small child. The van I remember was white or cream colored. However if you watch the movie now it always was a VW bus. Seriously though, look up the Mandela effect. Something strange is going on.

18th Oct 2016, 17:10

Back To The Future 4, Huh?

Never seen or heard of it. Was it produced in "very limited quantities"?

19th Oct 2016, 12:01


In #4, Marty McFly drives around in a 2005 Chevy S-10 after his 1999 Buick Lucerne blew up. (θ¿Ω)

9th Mar 2017, 01:19

I am aware of the Mandela effect and was trying to make people see it on their own... Worked.

1984 Toyota Van LE from North America


Mixed feelings, but overall, satisfied


Hello all, I owned one of these Toyota vans that you described, (1984-1989), and I had mixed feelings about. It ran fine, made some loud muffler noise, handled well and dangerously, but I had bought cheap and resold it cheap. The carped smelled, I felt every bump in the road and my back did not appreciate it. But I liked the gas mileage and the sense of reliability.

General Comments:

What I m looking for is information on converting these vans to use as campers and especially the possibility to cut one up and extend it length wise and even chancing making wider, as dodge did with one of their vans. I also considered adding a fiber glass top to give myself more head room. If someone has done similar things, please call (818) 832-9486 or e-mail MoroccaLA@earthlink.net.

Thank you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2007