Daihatsu Midget 2 into Australia

Hey everyone,

Saying hello on this forum, I have a Midget in Japan that’s coming to Australia. Some pics:


I like unusual cars and plan to modify this one quite extensively (cosmetically only, no point in chasing high performance) including a whole new interior, and I plan to make a body kit and vinyl wrap it. There shouldn’t be a square millimeter of red left inside and out by the time I’m done.

This is actually probably by a wide margin one of the nicer Midgets still out there, the condition is overkill and I didn’t need something quite this good given how much I’m going to change anyway, but it’s what I ended up with…

I work for J-Spec Imports and bring in quite a few Daihatsus to Australia for customers, last week for example I sourced two Hijet Jumbos and an Atrai for people. Despite what you’re seeing here please note I’m actually not that keen to import Midgets or other 25 year old kei cars, most are pretty tired now and finding them up to our standards really is tough.

To give you an idea, this Midget I wanted to be fairly nice as even though I’m going to do a lot of work to it I wanted a rust free base with good paint to make vinyl wrapping easier… at this standard it took me 11 months to find! Wanting a van over a truck made life harder since they are less common, this will eventually be used as a shopping car and if you’ve used a Midget truck they are surprisingly impractical in some ways… there’s no where to even put a shopping bag other than out in the open in the rear tray!

It’s a few months away from arriving in Australia, in Japan I’ve also already amassed most of the parts to do an auto to manual conversion (gearbox, clutch, shifter, pedals, clutch cable) since the vans are almost exclusively autos. I’m only missing the shifter cables at this point. I’m trying to decide if I do a 4 to 5 speed conversion as it looks like a straight swap with some other Daihatsu gearboxes, but that may be pointless? The first 4 gears in the 5 speed gearbox will be the same as a Midget 4 speed with just a slightly taller 5th. I was hoping that might make it a bit more tolerable to drive at high speeds with lower rpm, but actually given that you’re almost foot flat down in 4th at high speeds, in a slightly taller 5th it may literally not have the power to maintain speed. Thoughts?

Regards,

Ben Lippa
J-Spec Imports
www.j-spec.com.au

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Some more pics since I can’t put many in a single post here:

Here is a car I did previously as a bit of a dry run for this kind of thing, on the Midget I plan to go further.

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That figaro looks mint!

Welcome! Looking forward to seeing the midget build.

Love what looks like a “half seat” for the passenger.