Rare Rides: The 1995 Mitsubishi Pajero, Montero's Forbidden Sibling

rare rides the 1995 mitsubishi pajero monteros forbidden sibling

Rare Rides has touched on the first generation Pajero (Montero to North Americans) once before via the Raider, a captive import Dodge dealers could shift while the company had zero small SUV action of its own. Today’s Pajero is a second-generation version – the three-door never sold on our shores. Surprisingly, it even maintains the same color scheme as the Raider.

The first generation Pajero entered production for the 1983 model year, originally in three-door guise. The five-door version joined it shortly thereafter and quickly became the volume model of Montero in North America. By the end of the Eighties though, the old box was due for a do-over. Mitsubishi debuted its new Pajero to the Japanese market early in 1991, then sold off the old tooling to South Korea. Suddenly, Hyundai had a new family SUV to sell! Said newly created Galloper remained in production through 2004.

Available in its second form in three- and five-door guises, the new Pajero was a big step forward over the prior version. Considerably reworked, almost everything was new for ’91. Larger and available with more power underhood, the Pajero proved very popular and branched out in its production. While the model’s second generation was produced in Japan between 1991 and 1999, it was produced in four other locations as well. The Philippines made some from 1993 through 2008, Columbia had their own production from 1994 to 2012, and it was produced under license in Iran from 2005 to 2007 by a company called Bahman Group. But nothing compares to China’s love for the gen two Pajero. Beginning in 1997, the Pajero was transformed into Chinese SUVs via a joint venture between Mitsubishi and various Chinese institutions. It was sold as 12 different vehicles in the Chinese market, and remained in production through December 2019, as the Changfeng Liebao Q6. Now that’s some product longevity.

Engines in use outside China (they had their own versions) included inline-fours of 2.4 and 2.6 liters in displacement, and V6 engines in 3.0- and 3.5-liters. There were also diesel mills with four cylinders, sized at 2.5 liters and 2.8 liters. Transmissions were of four or five speeds if automatic, or five speeds if manual.

Stateside, Mitsubishi imported the Montero as a five-door affair only, unsatisfied with the first generation three-door’s slow sales. Diesel engines and manual transmissions were no longer available in North America, and the only power underhood was a V6. Mitsubishi updated the Montero over the years, and gradually added gingerbread, power, and luxury items to bring it in line with competition like the Isuzu Trooper and more expensive Toyota Land Cruiser. The second-generation Montero lived through the 2000 model year and bowed out in the loaded Endeavor trim. The much more modern third generation took its place in 2001.

Today’s Rare Ride is a well-equipped three-door Pajero fresh from the Japanese market. Its owner was okay paying the additional taxes on a large displacement vehicle and chose the 3.5-liter V6 and an automatic. With 42,000 miles, this one sold a couple of weeks ago for $8,100.

[Images: seller]

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  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Dec 09, 2020

    Wasn't there a Raider truck briefly which was a thinly disguised reskin of a Dakota?

    • See 1 previous
    • Detlump Detlump on Dec 09, 2020

      @Scoutdude As with a number of auto names, the use of Raider may have been a trademark issue as well as a marketing/advertising decision. If a name is still held as a mark by a company, why not use it if it has a good or neutral feeling in the market? On the other hand, I doubt that we will ever see Ford Pinto again, but who knows?

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Dec 10, 2020

    Ford might use the Pinto name for a subcompact pickup since Ford is using the name Maverick for a new compact pickup that will be released next Spring.

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.