Beta Previa, herein “The Red one” or “TRO” is a 95, just like TGO, but it’s an All-Trac, so it has 4WD, and it’s got swiveling captains chairs instead of a bench in the second row, allowing for twice as many captains as TGO.
It’s also seen a few modifications by the previous owner, or likely, one owner before that. It’s been lowered, considerably in the back, and given gold wheels that looked like Rotas to me, but are actually by the painfully named “Drifz.”
The lower plastic trim and bumpers, grey from the factory, have been painted black and the hood has been debadged, if not completely deglued.
The front also houses some (somewhat surprisingly) well executed xenon lights behind smoked lenses.
The most perplexing modification speaks to a mismatch in ambition and means. As the seller explained, the owner before him wanted to completely customize the inside and outside of the van to match, to create something like this.
Sadly, it appears life got in the way, and he only got as far as this one door.
Seemingly by design, the interior door handle isn’t functional, but I don’t want to think about the unsavory implications of a front door that only opens from the outside
There was also a sticker on the back that Yahoo answers tells me is an apparel brand that concerns parents, and while I took it off, it left enough adhesive residue to reappear with rain and road salt.
TRO has a cold-air intake setup, as well as a fully custom (hacked together and loud) exhaust that sounds ridiculous on a van so adept at dulcet highway cruising.
There are a few other mechanical issues to address, including a seized right front caliper, much like the old van, and a leaky valve cover gasket (another repeat), but the corrosion situation is considerably better on this new van, the engine’s younger, and the heater works.
Let the progress commence.