By on February 24, 2013

To open this entry, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you for your interest and comments! One of the reasons for my less-than-tight-on-the-bottle approach with this column is to encourage participation and expression.

It seems to be working!

While I did notice that some of the comments seemed to suggest a combination of low visitor traffic and lack of good new material (on the writer’s own sites), as well as evidence of some fairly tightly focused OCD, I don’t seem to be personally experiencing those issues while proceeding with the compilation of my “BODACIOUS BEATERS: and road-going derelicts” column. This week’s entry is no exception to that, and certainly is a “special” one, indeed!

Some years ago, I owned a Plymouth Arrow Pickup. It was a 1980 model, with the balance-shafted 2.6L engine, 5-speed trans, and a slight body lift kit installed. It was one of the sweetest mini-trucks I’ve ever owned—all the Toyota Hi-Lux units I’ve had before or since notwithstanding! I really liked the styling, the chassis was pretty rugged, the engine was smooth (if not just a bit underpowered), and it was easy to work on (even the needed functionality mod’s made on carburetor, distributor, and exhaust system were fairly intuitive).

To see one of these models in convertible guise is like the getting icing on the proverbial cake!

Granted, the truck-utility factor is compromised somewhat, but really, who could argue with the cool-factor?!

I’m not sure when the convertible conversion was done on this particular example (likely from model year 1981), but the quality is well beyond anything resembling a hack job, for sure! I did a little research (as you know, that’s not the main focus of this column), but couldn’t find any reference to any convertible-ized D50 / Arrow Pickups—either as production or one-off units.

The paint appears to be original, and overall, the little mini is in as good a shape as is the paint. It’s not in “show” condition, mind you; and when I shot these photos, it had a light coating of sawdust on the exterior. The Rolling Stones icon may or may not be appropriate, depending on personal tastes—but kudo’s to the owner for letting his “Freak Flag Fly”!

Of course, all of these ingredients combine to make it truly a special “BODACIOUS BEATER”!

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

8 Comments on “BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: SPECIAL ARROW...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    I have a neighbor who would really like this Mitsu convertilbized pickup.

    The last surviving Mighty Max pickups in this part of the world are pretty beat up and rusted.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    There was convertible kit you could buy and I’m pretty sure this is it.

    airbagit.com/v/techzone/raticalsoft.pdf

  • avatar
    strafer

    Me and my Arrow…

  • avatar
    fredtal

    My first new truck was a Mitsubishi Ram, bare bones stripper. I eventually put a better stereo and some shipskin seat covers to make it more comfortable. Never had a single problem with it until 60500 miles when the timing belt broke. I should of replaced it at 60,000 per maintance schedule. Fortuantly they designed it to not crash the valves, so a replacement belt was all that was required. I sold it soon after for a Chevy truck with AC because I was moving to Texas. The Chevy gave me some problems and finally died at around 150,000 miles with a broken oil pump. For some reason I bought another Chevy that has given me some trouble. I miss that little Mitsubishi.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Convertible kits for mini pickups were all the rage in the early 90′s, when low rider mini trucks were cool, and there were several companies offering them. This one’s top does seem to fit better than many of them I saw back in the day.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I had a silver 1985 Mitsubishi Mighty Max with 4 on the floor, sliding glass rear window, and air for over 14 years. It was a great little truck and it had 200k miles when I got rid of it. It had an 8 foot bed and it was a solid truck. You don’t see too many of them anymore.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I remember these well ;

    The Dealers in So. Cal. had the rag tops added by a place in Long Beach Ca. that sadly , is long gone , they always did nice works and converted many Toyota Coupes too .

    -Nate


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: 2015 Honda CR-V Adopts CVT

    Drzhivago138 - What is this, 1998?
  • Re: Lord, I Was Born A Ramblin Van

    Drzhivago138 - We haven’t had a stick-shift van since 1987. At least, that’s what I presume, since much of the powertrain was shared between trucks and vans....
  • Re: 2015 Honda CR-V Adopts CVT

    rockets - When we had to replace our (pitifully) beat up Odyssey for my wife this spring and decided to downsize, the CX5 was my first choice, the CRV second, and the Forester...
  • Re: Rental Review: Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

    burgersandbeer - Why does someone have to say this in every thread that mentions awd, as if awd and snow tires are mutually exclusive?
  • Re: Rental Review: Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

    speedlaw - I live in the tony suburbs north of NYC. The status truck is the Q7, or X5. A few towns East, Porsche and Range Rover/Land Rover win the school run car show...
  • Re: 2015 Toyota Yaris Has “European Flavor”, We’re Afraid To Ask…

    rockets - Mazda? BMW? Subaru? Who isn’t Toyota working with? Hope Mazda is going with 6spd trannies in the new...
  • Re: 2015 Acura NSX Spied At The Burgerkingring

    speedlaw - The NSX is the Duke Nukem of cars.
  • Re: Rental Review: Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

    burgersandbeer - Also aside from the useless back seat, a mediocre automatic and worse manual, and coarse engine? How does it compare to the segment on price? I think...
  • Re: 2015 Honda CR-V Adopts CVT

    HerrKaLeun - I applaud Honda for staying away from turbos and 8 speed. At this point CVT from Honda probably is more reliable than an unproven 8 or 9 AT. And above 5 or 6 gears,...
  • Re: 2015 Honda CR-V Adopts CVT

    petezeiss - “It goes to show that in addition to the reviews, you have to test drive the vehicles yourself” That’s the First Commandment of car buying. Reviews...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India