The Toyota RAV4 is certainly not the first vehicle that comes to mind when talking about car tuning, but some people still give it a shot. The results can be surprisingly good or just plain weird.
You may have seen the one that was stretched into a limo or the RAV4 disguised as a Lamborghini Urus, but here’s a more recent creation that caught our attention this week.
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Mitsuoka is a Japanese tuner with a knack for unorthodox designs and it decided to turn the Toyota RAV4 into a Chevrolet truck from the 1980s, as you can see on these pictures. The vehicle even has a nickname—Buddy.
Don’t look for Chevy’s bowtie emblem anywhere, but the large grille, in-your-face chrome pieces and rectangular headlights are highly reminiscent of classic C/K series pickups, particularly the refreshed 1981 model.
Check out how the new body panels and extra cladding give off that vintage look—from the hood to the fenders all the way to the rear tailgate, the latter finished with a contrasting panel like in the good old days. There’s another chrome trim element on the rear bumper, of course.
We’re not so sure about the design of the taillights. Mitsuoka seems to have confused Chevrolet with Cadillac here. However, the optional dog-dish hubcaps and white lettering on the tire sidewalls are the perfect final touch on this retro RAV4.
Our only disappointment comes from the lack of engine modifications. The company merely worked on aesthetics, so customers ordering a copy of Buddy must settle for a modern four-cylinder (with less power than the ones we have in North America) instead of a big, unapologetic V8.
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