Count me in the "never heard of Commer" before category. I'm impressed with how well this has been kept near original state. In this case, I think I would prefer a restored model where some liberties were taken. This particular specimen is too nice to molest. Imagine swapping out that engine for a modern 4-cylinder for more power and reliability so that you could actually get around more easily. I'd leave the interior retro-designed but ditch the record player for more useful amenities. Add some modern seats up front so that driving time is not a chore and it would be a fun, low-budget camping machine.
I'm confused re the '85 Toyota pickup. The owner puts in lots of money for " a new interior, paint job, lift, bumper, light bar, and of course the KC Daylighter spotlights." If he/she wants to sell a 37 year old truck for $22K, why not spend 30 minutes cleaning up the engine bay?
Never heard of a commer. But it's cool, different. My favorites here are the falcon ranchero and I like the 200ci 6 with three on the tree. The only thing I'd change is I would repaint that red center section white also,but that's just personal taste. I really like the car. I like the 240z also but the paint so to busy for me. To cool a car to pass on though.
The Falcon Rancheros are "cute as lace pants," but not really up to any real trucking. Don't try to put a compacted Lincoln in the back, like in that movie. When you think about how much a lot of pickups get used now, Ford was way ahead of their time with this rating. It's not fair to call the 200 Six "same family" as the 170, as it's a fundamentally better motor, with seven main bearings. With more carburetion, it would move a Mustang in a sprightly way. The 170 did not hop up well. At all. Ford had an even smaller and frailer six in that period (144?), and we used to pity the utility crews who got trucks issued to them with that setup.
The Commer would have a basic Sunbeam/Hillman 1725cc engine and transmission, so parts wouldn't be that difficult to find. Swapping in an aluminum head from an Alpine, plus a Weber carb, would boost horsepower by at least 20, making it reasonably drivable. It's finding suspension or steering parts that would make me think twice.
In 1965 I bought a very basic 62 Falcon work truck for $500. It was sold originally with no radio or heater, but it had one wonderful feature that I've never seen on any other Ranchero - the bench seat upholstery was a sort of faux leather tan, imprinted all over with the 2 inch high head of a long-horn steer. I wish I still had the truck, but I wish even more that I had a couch covered with that material.