At $25,000, is this 1974 Toyota Chinook a bargain?


Good Price or No Dice 1974 Toyota Chinook

Today’s Seller Good price or no dice Chinook claims it is the “cleanest and most original Toyota Chinook left on earth”. Let’s see if that gets cleaned up in our vote as well.

Due to its unassuming appearance and lack of accessories, the 1997 Saturn SW1 offered an extremely basic experience. At $3,900, it also offered a fairly basic price. It was good enough for most of you, earning the Saturn a stellar 80% win over Nice Price.

If you know Alton Brown, the creator and host of the beloved cooking show, Good foodthen you’ll probably know he’s opposed to single-function tools, which he likes to call “uni-taskers”.

I think it’s a safe bet that Alton Brown would find today 1974 Toyota Chinook to his taste. This is because it was positioned by its manufacturer, Chinook International, as three vehicles in one: an economy car, a station wagon and a motorhome. This makes it a true multitasker.

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The Chinook is the brainchild of Gary Lukehart, son of Don Lukehart and co-founder with his father of Family Wagon Compact Equipment Company. The company started by outfitting vans like the Corvair Greenbriar with camper accommodations, eventually moving on to building RV conversions on full-size van platforms. The gas crisis of the early 1970s reduced demand for these large campervans and motorhomes, leading young Lukehart to seek out smaller, more fuel-efficient options.

The result was the Toyota Chinook. It wasn’t just a rinky-dink aftermarket supplement, either. The prototypes impressed Toyota USA executives enough that they signed an agreement to supply Hilux chassis for motorhome conversions and sell the finished products through Toyota’s US dealer network. At the time, the five-year, multimillion-dollar contract was the largest contract Toyota signed with an American contractor.

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This first-year model is promoted by its seller as being in “incredible condition” and the photos seem to lend credence to that claim. It wears its original creamsicle paint with two-tone green and gold stripes and sports a bullbar in front of the grille. The pop-top, which allows for a total height of six feet when raised, appears to be fully intact and functional.

According to the ad, this is a two-owner motorhome, with the first using it only sparingly and keeping it locked up when not on the move. The result is a measly 73,000 miles on the odometer, which as we all know is nothing for the model’s robust Toyota mechanics. These include the standard 108 horsepower 18R four-cylinder and the Toyota four-speed manual driving a live axle at the rear.. With this combo, the Chinook is capable of highway mileage in the low 20s, which is pretty good for anything that seats four and lets you stand up inside.

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The ad touts a number of maintenance items undertaken to keep the truck in top condition and notes that receipts for all work are available. Other updates include a reconfiguration of the dinette/bed to make a larger sleeping area, however, the seller says this can be easily restored to the original configuration and will include the cushions to do so. In addition, all interior lighting has been replaced with modern LEDs.

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Other accommodations in the motorhome include a cooler with an external drainer, a sink with a pump tap and a ton of lockers for storage. There’s no cooktop or place to lay a heck down in private but one or the other could be added by a greedy home. Everything else inside looks clean and tidy and ready for adventure.

Issues include a flaw in the fiberglass that the seller says was likely the result of a parking shunt and a leak in the sink that just needed an o-ring. If so, it would probably have been fixed by now. The title is clean and being a Toyota of a certain age, it probably still has about a million miles ahead of it before something major goes wrong. what all what maybe to be worthwhile?

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The seller seems to think it’s worth $25,000. It’s not a small change, but remember this is three vehicles in one which works out to a more reasonable $8,333.33 per feature.

What do you think, is this perfectly crafted Chinook a bargain at asking $25,000? Or, should outdoor enthusiasts look for another campsite at such a price?

You decide!

Los Angeles, California, craigslistwhere to go here if the ad disappears.

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