Junkyard Gem: 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

Junkyard Gem: 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

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Americans had been buying Mitsubishi-made pickups (badged as

Plymouth Arrow

s and

Dodge Ram 50

s) for the better part of a decade when the Americanized version of

the Pajero SUV

appeared in American

Mitsubishi

showrooms. Naturally, there was

a Dodge-badged version

as well (known as the

Raider

), but finally Americans could buy a bouncy, off-road-capable SUV with big Mitsubishi badges all over it. The first-generation (1985-1991)

Monteros

have become quite rare, but I found this high-mile example in a Denver yard a few weeks back.

Junked 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

You won’t often see a late-1980s/early-1990s Mitsubishi with more than 200,000 miles on the clock, but Monteros held their value longer than Mighty Maxes and Mirages.

Junked 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

I couldn’t find any meaningful rust on this one, but the interior looked pretty tired.

Junked 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

Under the hood we find the ubiquitous 3.0-liter

6G72

V6 engine, which found its way into everything including Chrysler

minivans

,

Mitsubishi Diamante

luxury sedans and even 1990s

Hyundai Sonatas

. Mitsubishi got its money’s worth out of this engine, which stayed in production from 1986 through 2011 (in China).

Junked 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

Most of the early

Raiders and Monteros I’ve found in junkyards

had manual transmissions, but this one shows the direction American SUV buyers were headed in 1990: two pedals, no shifting. It still lacks the dozen cupholders of later US-market trucks, of course.

Junked 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

The Montero name went on Pajeros sold in North and South America, while UK-market trucks got Shogun badging.

Junked 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

This beefy grab bar for the front-seat passenger suggests the kind of rugged driving environments not much like the highway commutes now used by SUVs in North America.

Just the vehicle for contemplating the ocean… or racing.

Mitsubishi: Suddenly, the obvious choice.

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June 23, 2019 at 02:02PM

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