EVENTS: Mitsubishi Owners Day 2017

In past years, we haven’t found a lot of JNC-worthy material at Mitsubishi Owners Day. Ninety-nine percent of the cars there were white Evos, parked in formation like some kind of Galactic Empire land fleet. This year, however, there were all sorts of interesting offerings from the triple diamond clan. 

Right off the bat we came across a rare second-gen Mitsubishi Galant badged as a Dodge Colt.

Naturally, there were the requisite 3000GTs and Dodge Stealths, as well as their predecessor counterparts, the Starion and Chrysler Conquest. Notably, the trend these days is to keep the bodies close to stock. Gone are most of the Wings West kits from the Tuner Era heyday, a development we approve of.

A few Galant VR4s were expected, with one looking particularly tidy on flat-dish Watanabes. Even some of the grocery getter models enticed the lens, something similar-year Camrys and Altimas rarely accomplish.

Mitsubishi’s off-road heritage was well represented with a pack of Monteros of varying generations. Most were well-used, but there were a couple of short-wheelbase versions that appeared to be cared for.

Amazingly, there was even a Pajero Evolution (!), a homologation special that Mitsu used to win the Dakar Rally. It has about as much in common with a regular Pajero as a Lancer Evolution does with a regular Lancer: With a multi-link rear suspension, aluminum panels, plentiful but functional vents, and wing-like vertical spoilers, it was a race truck for the street.

Its 3.5-liter V6 with variable valve timing was rated at 276 horsepower, but since it hailed from the Gentleman’s Agreement Era, you can probably guess that it was a bit more than that in reality. Only 2,500 were built, and this was one of them!

For JDM off-road goodness of a more leisurely nature, there were a couple of imported Delica 4WD vans — a turbocharged and intercooled L400 diesel and an apocalypse-ready third-gen with a beefy brush guard, ample auxiliary lighting, safari rack, and a freakin’ six-foot snorkel.

No Mitsubishi gathering would be complete without a few captive imports, and one that filled that role beautifully was a bright yellow Plymouth Arrow Truck with the grooviest stripe package this side of a flaming chicken.

It had only 20-something thousand miles on it, and something about it looked familiar. Oh, that’s right, it was a former Kidney Car from Massachusetts, purchased and shipped cross country to live out the rest of its pampered life in southern California.

Nearby, a delegation of Lancers held court in a little old school corner. A red first-gen on SSR MkIIIs wore livery inspired by the Safari Rally 1600 GSR of 1976. Flanking it were a Plymouth Arrow swapped with Lancer Celeste badging and an intercooled turbo box-type on Advan A3As.

As we were leaving, there was even a cute little Mitsubishi Expo sitting fresh on Enkei 92s amid a sea of Evos. The world needs more compact wagons like this, especially asymmetrical ones.

We’re not quite sure what prompted the unusually diverse showing this year. Perhaps it was the occasion of the marque’s 100th anniversary that brought out the Mitsu faithful. Don’t get us wrong. We love a good Evo, but they tend to overshadow Mitsubishi’s long history of interesting cars that don’t get nearly enough recognition.

Bonus Images:

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39 Responses to EVENTS: Mitsubishi Owners Day 2017

  1. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Nice to see a bit more off road hardware. Montero’s are quiet monsters, sometimes eclipsed by Samurai’s but every bit awesome. I like that the owners don’t butcher them as much. Love the Expo’s but if I had to choose to win the lotto, I’d run to the Delica!

  2. Nigel says:

    Starion’s and conquest’s…any more D50’s ?

  3. Lupus says:

    The brown Galant VII on gold BBS looks great. I didint’ tought that this organicly lookin’ generation can be soo cool. I’ve allways like’d the presence and “mean facial expression” of the VIII gen. I’ve allways had the connotation that Galant/Legnum VIII is a hooded ninja, and his arch-rival, the Legacy 3rd Gen is a happy face’d and bald headed samurai. 😀

  4. Scotty G says:

    That Plymouth Arrow pickup is so great! It looks like it may have been repainted compared to the previous kidney photos? Not that it matters at all. I’d love to see it with the original wheels, but I like things original-spec.

    • Ben Hsu says:

      It was just a matter of the bright SoCal sun. Colors tend to look richer here than they do up north.

    • Hutch says:

      Paint is stock. Ben is right, its the bright so cal sun. I have the original wheels re-finished same color. I installed NOS cold A/C remarkably found. I also installed P/S.
      Installed a 3:55 rear end which came in these trucks in the later years. Dropped the front on two inch drop spindles and two inch lowering blocks on the rear. 16X8 0 offset Panasport wheels which are a hell of a light lighter. Tire size 205/50 fronts and 215/50 rears. Virtually rust free. It was sprayed with some kind of black stuff back east and it really preserved the truck. When California finally lifts the smog requirements maybe in 2018-19 I’ll build the engine a little. Thanks for the photos, Ben.


      • Scotty G says:

        It’s a gorgeous truck, Hutch.
        Here’s my Dodge D-50 Sport: I

        The topper is coming off asap. I think I like the Plymouth Arrow better, there’s just something cool about having a “Plymouth” pickup.

        • Hutch says:

          Thanks, Scotty. Nice truck! Look after it cause at least I just don’t see them anymore especially in nice condition.

          Here is a gent that you might be able to get some rare hard to find parts. He has NOS for just about anything 1st. Gen.

          • Scotty G says:

            Hutch, what a treasure trove! I’m a member of that site but I missed that message. I’ve been texting with the seller this morning and have already locked in a ton of great, brand new parts! Thank you so much for mentioning that link! I bought a set of OEM tail light lenses from a seller on eBay a couple of months ago and apparently it was him! Cool, it’s a smallish world.

        • Hutch says:

          Hi, Scotty. The link I provided on MightyRam50. Mike, the person selling all those parts. Have you actually bought anything from him yet? I just keep getting the runaround.

          You can contact me at the other website, also.

  5. Rayson says:

    Now, we need to forward this post to someone from Mitsubishi product planning………


    • Joe Hornberger says:

      Montero, Mighty-Max, Galant, a proper Colt, hell; even Diamante! That’s a good start…

    • Nathan Judy says:

      You may need to reach somebody at Nissan, first, since they’ve acquired Mitsubishi Motors.


    • Johnny Ready says:

      How to make Mitsubishi great again:

      Bring back the Montero (only one vehicle with that name please)
      300+ hp (do-able)
      Lose a little weight (do-able)
      Keep variation of ’01 funky body design (not doing too bad overseas)
      Nissan gives up with the Pathfinder ( my wife drives her ’13 to ball tournaments)
      Toyota turns the 4runner into an obese city girl vehicle
      Land Cruiser hits 90K
      PLACE MODELS ON YOUR DEALER’S LOTS (people say what was that? Pull u-turn)
      GET INVOLVED IN AMERICA’S GRASSROOTS (boondocks, mountains, deserts)
      Tell Car and Driver and Consumer Report to get out of the way
      I WANT MY MONTERO!!!!!!

      • Johnny Ready says:

        Sorry, that should have read, “turns 4Runner into obese, city girl vehicle” (I’m sticking with my ’01 4Runner til I find my next Montero)

        While I’m back, what happened to the 3000 GT?
        I’ve only been in one, and about the time I thought it should get a Sport Tronic and new headlights it disappeared.

  6. Wade says:

    Being the owner of the Blue/Grey L400 Delica I was impressed with how many Mitsu enthusiasts were poking around my Spacegear. A few even asked me to start it as they had not seen let alone heard a Mitsubishi Diesel. Some called it a tractor…..quite the compliment IMHO which is how it behaves in 4-Low-Lock.

    Great event and great folks at the MMNA event.

  7. Richie says:

    Man…. I’ve been wanting to take the wife’s first gen colt wagon for the last two years now. But I’m not the trailering type and it really needs a 5 speed thrown in( which is sitting in the garage?). Always next year!

  8. Joe Hornberger says:

    Absolutely fantastic article, plentiful with wonderful imagery. I’ve never personally got excited over Mitsubishi, but I do think they do not get enough “love” from car enthusiasts. Every automobile brand has its fans, show your colors!

    • Nathan says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. While I have memories of the red and white Mitsubishi of Tommi Makinen killing it in the WRC, I never was a huge fan of the brand, even though they have made some interesting cars, although the Delica always appealed to me for some reason, even though I’m not a van person. It’s events like these that keep the history alive and coverage such as this is a great reminder of the wonderful automobiles that have come out of Japan over the years. Even if though Mitsubishi may not be my favorite manufacturer, I’m glad that there are those for whom it is and that such events are closer. If I lived in the area, I gladly would have attended.

      …And with that, I’d like to give a big tip of the hat to all the staff here at JNC for their hard work. The staff behind this site are absolutely fantastic!

    • Ben Hsu says:

      Thanks, Nathan. JNC was founded to shed light on lesser appreciated cars, so comments like these really mean a lot to us!

  9. ram says:

    can you post off road stuff more they are so badass

  10. Bob says:

    That Burgundy Colt used to be from the west side of Michigan- it moved to AZ with the current owner when he did. Very cool! Any idea who owns the yellow Arrow truck? Friend has been looking for a really nice one to match his 620 and LUV for awhile.

  11. Randy says:

    Haven’t seen ANY of those around Pittsburgh in a long time… Not even the 300GT/Stealth or Montero, so these are nice to see. What’s weird, as I type this, is that I don’t recall seeing RUSTY Mitsus… They didn’t “decay;” they just sort of disappeared…

  12. Kiran says:

    Man I wish I could’ve gone but I live on another continent as I think my old cordia would intrigue a few people

  13. Cho says:

    Mitsubishi FTO GR or GTX. Love to see one .

  14. corollers says:

    Box-type? wow… thought that term was just used here in the P.I.

  15. Ricky says:

    I need to know where those guys found the bumpers and other aftermarket goodies for the first gen Montero. I’m having a hard time finding anything for mine. 88 2door v6 5spd

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