Kei Class Classic | Daihatsu Hijet S100

BY Joel Tam

A frying wok for wheel covers? You better believe it. This classic Daihatsu Hijet S100 kei van went through a 5-month restoration process and came out looking all clean and funky!

Photos: Low Fai Ming

We don't normally feature vans in, but this classic Kei-class van was too adorable to miss.

The owner took a whole 5 months to complete the project and it wasn't farmed out to workshops all over the country either. Most of it was custom-rebuilt by the owner himself.

Let's start with those shiny custom wheel covers. I marveled at how he still managed to source for such retro-looking wheel covers, and that's when he revealed to me that they were actually frying woks! How ingenious and utterly creative!

Obviously pretty handy with the tools, the front bumper signal lights lenses, rear brake light units, front and rear number plates were installed by the owner too, as were some engine bits like the front radiator cover that was missing when he bought the van.

Step inside and the sliding door and rear panel windows all around too, were custom-fitted - he made a cargo bed area with a 1-inch plywood, painted the interior and laid a checkered design vinyl on the floorpan to spice thing up inside.

Being an old van, the seat belts were not working well, so he had them replaced too (yes, by himself). He sourced for an Isota steering wheel that fitted perfectly and replaced the feeble horn with a Bosch unit with a custom horn button. See that cool red gear knob? It's a snooker ball!

What we didn't manage to capture was the tasteful LED interior cabin light that he embedded on the ceiling, cove lighting style. It's even got a custom switch on the dash! The entire audio system - Pioneer headunit, MBQuart component speakers and monster cables were fitted, along with sound deadening of entire interior with aluminium backed bitumen sheets.

The red interior upholstery, door panels and rear seats were done by an external workshop, although I believe the owner would have done it himself if he could.

He did self-fix the power locking system with remote, a reverse sensor with distance gauge and LED odometer backlights though. That cool snooker ball gear knob just rocks!

Matching foot pedals complete the look.

Frying pan for custom wheel covers, hot wheels anyone?

The exterior paintwork was also something he had to outsource, but the overall project, still leaves us in awe. Not only is this van a rare sight on our roads, DIY owners like this one deserve a pat on the back for an excellent custom job done well!