Rare Conversion: 1984 Toyota Mirage Camper

This 1984 Toyota “Mirage” camper is a rare bird, and seemingly in good shape despite needing some TLC, according to the seller. Among the legions of brick-like camper shells bolted to a four-cylinder Toyota pickup, the Mirage stands apart for its futuristic appearance that is downright aerodynamic in comparison. The folks who follow these oddball conversions will tell you the Mirage is among the rarest Toyota-based R/Vs, and the whole kit looks to be in good shape – including the sexy air dam, amber fog lamps, and multiple windows for natural daylighting. The Toyota is listed here on eBay with bidding at $7,300 and no reserve.

While it may look slightly goofy today, it had to be a revelation when it was introduced. Think about the aerodynamics of your average camper shell and then bolt it to an equally-un-aerodynamic Toyota pickup with an anemic four-cylinder under the hood. While I’m not inferring a truck like this with some curves added to the shell is dramatically faster, it has to be at least a modest improvement and certainly looks much, much cooler. The big appeal to the Mirage among the legions of camper fans is the full opening door at the rear, which makes it possible to drive a dirt bike, scooter, or even a few bikes right up inside with far more ease than trying to load from the side.

The best part about this Mirage is how well preserved it is inside. The cabins are always the point at which owning one of these looks far less appealing given how many have either been righteously abused, gotten wet and moldy, or in most cases, both. This Toyota has no such issues, and has clearly been loved by its previous owners. The seller says it “…does need a little TLC,” which is surprising given the overall state of the Toyota seems to be quite healthy. However, the listing notes the alternator will need replacing, so there could be some deferred maintenance issues that have crept up. Many of these vehicles are used sporadically by owners, so it’s not surprising that it will need some sorting before becoming road-worthy.

Even better news: this one has the preferred manual gearbox. Now, some die-hard camper vanners may say that the automatic is far more enjoyable for cruising, and that you shouldn’t be trying to hustle a rig like this anyway. I don’t entirely disagree, but given how much downshifting it will have to do on hills, it’s nice to know you at least have some control from the driver’s seat. The rubber floormat is in excellent condition, as are the door panels, dash pad, and bucket seats. This is a very nicely preserved example of a Toyota camper conversion that rarely comes up for sale, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the final bid number surpass $10,000.

WANT ADS

WANTED 1975 – 77 Ford Granada 2 door Would like a V8 in decent shape Contact

WANTED 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix Looking for reasonable shape rust free car in the Midwest $14,000 to $16,000 Contact

WANTED 1964-1972 Chevrolet Chevelle SS… Nova SS… Chevy II SS Looking for SS ONLY.. project car or needing work preferred but will look at all… NATIONWIDE Contact

WANTED 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Looking for true 138 SS 4 speed car project . Doesn’t have to have motor or trans Contact

WANTED 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible Looking for the rear seats or bare frames. Must be from a convertible which are smaller. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Gunner

    Off-the-scale cool! Yes, you are correct. These are very rare and do not come up for sale often. This one is in amazing condition. Back when I was looking for a Toyota Motorhome, this was at the top of the list next to a Sunrader. The fiberglass shell helps ensure that water does not find a way inside. I want it! Well, in any case, I will watch it. I agree that it will surpass 10K. Awesome find!

    Like 8
  2. Claudio

    I have owned multiple muscle cars and simply got fed up of the attention that they get , couldn’t drive anywhere without all the questions and driving this thing would kill my quiet time while camping ! So , i will pass ! Nice little machine …

    Like 4
  3. LandYacht

    I like this as well, never thought about that one piece shell being pretty much leak proof. this would be cool to own. I have never seen one before

    Like 3
  4. Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking Toyota camper. I’ve seen my share over the years. But none this nice. If only more pics were posted than what was shown. For me, the more pics posted, the better.

    Like 4
  5. Dave Mathers

    That interior reminds me of the inside of our first motorhome, a 71 C-class 22 footer that we bought a year old in 72. Same material for the seats and same carpeting. GREAT memories with the kids in it.

    Like 2
  6. chrlsful

    4 me smaller is better (must have amenities tho) & agree w/above posters. Its not the aerodynamics, its the H2O proof that makes this 1 ‘better’.
    Last, auto would get it. Since the ’70, the kick dwn (blip the throttle) is as controllable as the stick. If U really must – the selector is at hand (but no clutch to mess with). Now my off rd ‘truck’ is another story (but revers, manual valve bodies solve that as well). Hey, “We got technology!”

  7. Erik

    What a time capsule from an era in U.S. culture of the 1970’s and early 1980’s when limited economic ability of the working middle class led Americans to turn to the outdoors for leisure and so manufacturers turned to offering small yet still affordable motorhomes and lightweight camper trailers to be pulled behind the family station wagon or car. Coupled with a trip to your local Kmart or Montgomery Wards one could be outfitted affordably to enjoy road trips to see the natural wonders of our nation and also do some camping and fishing.

    Europeans are still keen to this practice and in Europe such affordable small motorhomes and small tow behind trailers are still widely manufactured and available.

    Meanwhile back here in the U.S., a mentality of “Keeping up with the Joneses”, a personal finance approach of “How much per month?” regardless of cost or terms of loan, and coupled with increased fuel costs easily charged to a credit card to later be paid only by minimum monthly payment, has resulted in the U.S. roads littered with mega luxury RV’s along with 5th wheel trailers towed behind huge dually pickup trucks. Whereas affordable sparsely equipped occasional use motorhomes and affordable austere small tow behind trailers are non-existent.

    Who’d have thought the poor economic times of the 1970’s and 1980’s would have ended up being the “good old days” as a result of being before the “greed is good” mantra took over in the U.S. the past 30 years.

    Like 7
  8. Robert Eddins

    Needs a lot more photoes.
    Can that 4 cyl. pull thst rig all over the place?
    Please advise if you tried these or know.

  9. Jerry

    Caution! Please Google the multiple deaths from these conversions built on the standard rear axle. You must pull that rear hump cap and see if you see 6 bolts. This is the heavier rear end. If not this is literally a death trap. Axle explodes driving down the highway. Lots of info on Google. There were hundreds of these conversions but all closed down due to the product liability dollars they owed. I did a lot of research and pulled a lot of hubcaps before finding mine.

    Like 5

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.