I am always on the look out for motorhomes and campervans that are a little bit different, so when an email from the owners of this imposing specimen dropped into my inbox recently, I was extremely pleased.
The Gray Warrior is owned by Graham and Jean, two retired former caravanning enthusiasts who have recently been converted to motorhoming. It is a 2.8 litre Toyota Hiace which they imported from Japan and have since had converted to a well-specified campervan by Japanese import specialists Wellhouse Leisure.
The Gray Warrior’s striking looks are down to its history as a Tokyo Street Cruiser – operated on a specific stretch of Tokyo highway by a “less than respectable Japanese gentleman”, according to Graham!
As with virtually all Japanese imports, it was very low mileage for its age – 19,000 miles and fifteen years – and in excellent condition. Size-wise, it is very similar to a short or medium wheelbase European panel van – 5.5m long and 1.86m high. It is quite high, however, at almost 2.8m, thanks to its distinctive styling.
Although it had a basic, ‘day van’ conversion already fitted, Graham and Jean decided to go the whole hog and have it professionally converted by Wellhouse Leisure, with all creature comforts. As luck would have it, Wellhouse was looking for a van to do a custom conversion on and as you can see from the photographs, the results are very impressive. I have seen a couple of Wellhouse conversions in the flesh and they are very high quality – Graham says they are “very impressed with the build quality”.
The conversion includes:
- 3 batteries
- Webasto diesel heating
- 1000W inverter, providing ample ‘mains’ power to fitted sockets
- Fiamma Turbo Vent Polar Control rooflight – giving both light and forced ventilation
- LED lighting
- Cooker, sink & three-way fridge
- Fiamma 45i awning, colour coded
- Lots of cupboard space, seating and double bed
As you can see from the pictures, it is a unique and charismatic conversion – my thanks to Graham and Jean for their photos.
Update: If you would like to see more of these eye-opening Japanese custom vans, take a look at this article, entitled “Japanese Van Mentalism”!