Back in 2010 Mitsubishi went around Japan looking for the most loyal members of the triple diamond clan. They sent journalist Hirohisa Kaneko across the country looking for individuals who had owned their Mitsubishis for either 10 years or 100,000km to share their stories. What he found was everything from a guy with two matching 1970s Debonairs to an elderly gent who’s had his Galant GTO GSR for 41 years.
The record holder in terms of mileage is a boarding school teacher with a 1988 Pajero (Montero) that’s clocked over 970,000km (602,730 miles). The school is located in a remote mountain region and he uses the SUV to drive students as far two hours home on weekends.
Age-wise, the champion is a retired mail carrier who’s the original owner of a 1967 Minica 360. Even Kaneko was surprised to learn that the license plate, faded from age, was actually green (like the numbers) underneath and the white “background” was painted on top. Though his family doesn’t understand why he’s kept it all these years, the owner says he’s going to keep it till the bitter end.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s a farmer who put only 20,000km on his Minicab kei truck over 30 years of ownership. For a heartstring tug there’s the son who inherited his father’s 1976 Galant Sigma. There’s even a dude who owns what appears to be three Debonairs, a 3000GT, and two Hyundai-built Mitsubishi limousines, a Proudia and a Dignity.
Our favorite car is the bright orange Galant GTO MR whose owner used to rally it his younger days. Check out Mitsubishi’s 10 years/100,000km site here. Sadly, it’s all in Japanese but whether you’re the 31-year owner of a 1971 Delica van or a rally freak with a 622,000km Lancer 1600GSR, it’s a story that shows one of the lesser loved marques still has its fans.
They should do that too here in the states, i would probably be one of the die hard mitsu candidates.
way to go dax!
sadly there’s really no substantial oldschool mitsu following here in the states
blame goes all the way back to the late 60’s
and the fateful partnership between mitsu & chrysler
for both sides it seemed a win/win situation:
chrysler got its compact cars without lifting a finger
and mitsu got instant dealership networks
unfortunately (in hindsight) is this disabled mitsu from establishing its own brand
from the getgo
mitsu execs made this same (shortsightid) error in other export markets
where the cars were badged as colts rather than mitsubishi
sadly true. in fact people often ask me “what type of car is that?!” and i just tell them “COLT” and leave it at that
they had good momentum back in the 80’s and early 90’s with the starions,VR4s and evos but somehow lost steam after. I hope they would bring those turbo colts they have in Europe.
That gen1 Pajero is tits. If I wasn’t in my gen1 Trooper I would certainly be driving a gen1 Monty. I love those old flying bricks!
It can be hard to find Mitsubishi stories for JNC but we’d love to publish more and get the word out. If you guys come across any cool ones, please send them our way.
When I first started my apprenticeship with a Mitsubishi dealer in 1990 I dreamt of having my own Mitsubishi garage but now at 41 I have my own Mitsubishi independent garage and restore older Colts.
My dream now is to start a Mitsubishi Mueseam in the UK and save rare cars from extinction.
That would be awesome Chris!!
These Minicap Kei trucks are hughly popular in Pakistan starting from 1976 to this day.
Wish they were legal in California
My first car was a 1979 Chrysler Sigma SE (aka Mitsubishi Galant Sigma, like the Japanese 1976 one in this story above). I’ve owned it since 1998 and my current Sigma is a one owner 1978 model with factory leather seats, air conditioning and reclinable rear seats!
I also run a website dedicated to these early model Galants: http://www.galant-sigma.com
Way to go on the Pajero I have one here that I normally service that has well over 400,000 mies on it. Sure it is on it’s second engine, the interior is pretty much gone and it has gone over the side of a embankment and been dented to hell. But besides the remote oil cooler high pressure line leaking some it is soldering on. Hope to see the owner of that Pajero get a million out of it. (Miles, KM he is not that far off!). Best of luck with it.
I think many JNC owners would own their pride and joy for long
periods or at least will do.
I know it’s not a Mitsu’ but I’ve had my SA22 Rx7 for 23 years so far
and will never sell it. The engine is nearly 20 years old too and it’s still
going but could use a freshen up though.
…ahh the memories.
“Lesser loved”, I completely disagree. The love owners have for their Mitsus is just as strong. There is a very good following of vintage Mitsu in the states, just overshadowed by the other makes’ popularity in numbers.
I’ve owned my Mitsubishi for over 30 years, and have a variety of more vintage Mitsubishis. Selling them is something I’ve never considered. And I know quite a few people with great collections as well.
If you want to see some vintage Mitsubishi lovers, check out http://MitsubishiHero.com