Phil Coconis
by Phil Coconis
bodacious beaters em and road going derelicts em lone raider

Cue up Rossini’s William Tell Overture, folks, ‘cause the Lone Raider RIDES AGAIN!!

I enjoyed Murilee’s Junkyard Find’s feature last week, on this very example of Mitsubishi/Chrysler joint venture off-roadness. One of the things it motivated me to do was to check out the model that’s been seen tooling around my Eastern Sierra hangout.

Initially, I assumed it was a Montero, due to the well-documented scarcity of the Dodge version. Finding it parked close to my coffee stop allowed for a closer inspection, which revealed what you see right here in this entry of Bodacious Beaters.

Trimmed out in the color scheme of the famous NFL team—and definitely not the high-line optioned-out modelthis example looks to be straight, functional and original. Looks like it gets pressed into tow duty once in a while, even! Not sure why the owner has left the remaining lower body side molding adhesive behind—all the original pieces having gone the way of all similar cladding on vehicles from this period. That the metallic silver paint is still in decent shape is practically a miracle, as the Oxidation Gods are typically hard on such finishes.

Couldn’t get a read on the odometer, but overall, I’d say the mileage was probably on the low side. More than likely, it gets used only for around town driving (its popular around here to have a vehicle just for this purpose).

I doubt these short wheelbase boonie-bashers make for very comfortable long-distance transportation; but haven’t personally experienced touring in one. Comments?

All things considered, if the maintenance is kept up with, and barring any other catastrophic event, this Raider should be ridin’ for some time to come. HI-HO SILVER! AWAAYYY!

Expertly collected and commented by Phil Coconis, this is one of many BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts, an assemblage of the still driveable near-dead.

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

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2 of 8 comments
  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Dec 10, 2012

    basically a Mitsubishi Pajero/Shogun whatever outside of the US extremely common like the cockroach like all diamond stars of that age, ate valve stems and put out blue smoke

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Dec 11, 2012

    I don't think this is a beater/near dead at all, it looks perfectly serviceable, and it's obviously been maintained over all those years.

  • MaintenanceCosts Imagine that... the OEM that doesn't make absurd false claims about "Full Self-Driving" and that doesn't release beta software onto public streets gets better treatment from the regulator.
  • MaintenanceCosts Yes, yes, balance, quick turn-in, working the gears, blah, blah.I'm sorry, none of it is convincing. A 3-series needs two more cylinders than this so that it doesn't sound like a Jetta on $199/month special.
  • MaintenanceCosts Is Stellantis capable of making a product for the American market without embarrassing levels of over-the-top fake machismo?
  • Philip This raises two questions for me:[list=1][*]What happens to all of the chargepoint that we have installed at our homes? Do those all have to be replaced?[/*][*]What happens to all of the billions of dollars from the federal government being spent on non-tesla ports at wal-marts and pilot service centers? [/*][/list=1]
  • FreedMike I didn't know the 318 was made in anything but that ugly hatchback style.