Junkyard Find: Mitsubishi Minicab Dump Truck

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Sometimes I wonder how it’s even possible for some vehicles to slip through all the steps that should stop them from washing ashore on Crusher Island. Something as useful as a kei-sized dump truck, for example.

12″ wheels, gasoline engine, fits in tight spots yet carries a respectable load. The Mitsubishi Minicab is ungodly rare in North America, so it’s likely that all of the parts on this one will get melted down for scrap.

I’m tempted to get the electric hydraulic pump and ram from the bed for some as-yet-undreamed-up project, but I’ve already got 19 weird junkyard projects in line before this one.






Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Felis Concolor Felis Concolor on May 28, 2011

    jkl;adsiowrga;jlvlahpwe;hdASB$#!+$#!+$#!+$#!+$#!+. . . those are 4x100s. The search for affordable 12" wheels for my Haflinger continues.

  • Ozarkman Ozarkman on Jun 03, 2015

    My 1999 Mitsubishi Minicab has become my main driver and workhorse on my land in north Arkansas. Here it is legal to drive it anywhere on roads at 55 mph or less, except on Interstates and controlled-access highways. Technically I'm supposed to display an orange triangle (like a farm implement), but the little sucker can do 70, so I have no trouble keeping up with traffic on any road that's legally available to me. Its high-compression, 3-cylinder engine is fuel injected with 4 valves per cylinder. It displaces 40 cubic inches and cranks out 48 hp. The truck has a dual-range, 4-wheel drive, 5-speed transmission, radio, heater and A/C. It is as capable an off-road vehicle as anything in the ATV/UTV category, but offers WAY more in versatility, weather protection and creature comfort. I have off-road tires on 12-inch rims as well as highway tires on 15-inch alloy rims. It is a great little truck and consistently gets 40+ miles per gallon with the highway tires.

  • Lorenzo All the efforts made over decades to reduce/eliminate NVH in ICE cars, and now they're putting noise and vibration into electric cars. It reminds me of efforts to make veggie burgers taste like meat. Vegetarians don't want the taste of meat, and meat eaters will want meat, not veggie burgers.
  • Jalop1991 A true golf cart.Sure, it's a penalty box inside. But you're not in it for more than a few minutes at a time during commutes and in between charging stops.Ergo, it's the perfect...golf cart.
  • Zipper69 I'm sure it will sell just fine at all trim levels.I'd only note that IMHO the dashboard is a bit of a busy mess.
  • MaintenanceCosts Why do you have to accept two fewer cylinders in your gas engine to get an electric motor? (This question also applies to the CX-90.)
  • Zipper69 Do they have unique technology that might interest another manufacturer?
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