Is this the cutest vehicle to ever wrap around a 'Wing engine? Maybe.
There’s nothing like an icy cold treat on a hot day, especially if you’re walking around checking out iron at a great bike or car show outdoors. Why more vendors of frozen treats don’t show up to those events, I wish I knew. Luckily, John Salazar knows what’s up. That’s why he and his family put this 1992 Daihatsu Hijet kei van together for the family shave ice business. Their primary goal: Hit all the car and bike shows they loved to visit anyway as a family, and sell cold treats.
This tiny, adorable Japanese van is rare enough to see rolling down US streets—but the example here is even rarer. The original engine fitted into this microvan from the factory was a 993cc lump that only output 50hp. Prior to John purchasing it on Craigslist, the previous owner had upgraded it to the flat-six out of a Honda Gold Wing—and that mid-mounted powerhouse is what it’s rolling on today.
The ‘Wing engine was a definite upgrade, although it unfortunately sits significantly lower than the stock engine. As the video points out, it only has about 5 inches of ground clearance, which can be a challenge. For example, the Salazars wanted to slam it, but found that it’s next to impossible due to how low the ‘Wing engine already sits.
When the family got this van off of CL, it needed a lot of TLC. However, like John and his dad and his granddad before him, John Salazar welcomed the chance to work with his wife and kids to bring to life everything you can see. The interior, paint job, and even the Little Snokyo mascot that sits on top of the Hijet were all lovingly assembled by the Salazar family.
This is totally the best kind of project—and the family now rolls together selling delicious shave ice at car and bike events in Florida. That Hijet is adorable, reliable, and guaranteed to make people notice. Then, the prospect of delicious shave ice and the friendliness of the Salazar family do the rest.