The production of the Delica light commercial cab-over pickup began in 1968. Using a KE44 1.1L engine producing 58PS (57hp/43kW), its maximum payload was 600kg (1323lb) and had a top end speed of 115km/h (71mph). A year later, in line with consumer needs, a cargo van and a passenger van were added to the lineup. The passenger van adopted the name Star Wagon and could seat nine people in three rows of seats.
The Delica's popularity meant that in 1979 the line-up was expanded to include ten model variations encompassing a wide variety of passenger, cargo and recreational applications. A four-wheel drive option was made available in 1982, a first in the Japanese van market.
In 1986 the Delica underwent its third full model change. More aerodynamic than previous versions, its monocoque body and extensive safety features proved very popular in Japan's fast-growing recreational vehicle market segment.