Junkyard Find: 1989 Mitsubishi Montero

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1989 mitsubishi montero

While Mitsubishi sold Montero-badged Pajeros in North America from the 1985 through 2006 model years, the boxy first-generation version (and its Dodge Raider twin— no, not the Mitsubishi Raider) is the one most of us recognize as the true Montero. Since I live in Montero-loving Colorado, I find plenty of these trucks in junkyards and have the privilege of choosing only the nicest ones to share as Junkyard Finds. Here’s a low-mile ’89 that now resides in a car graveyard just north of downtown Denver.

Not a speck of rust on the body, the interior remains unshredded, and the odometer shows that it averaged just over 3,700 miles of driving for each of its 32 years.

The manual transmission would have made this old truck a tough sell, granted, but you’d think some local Montero hoarder would have added it to their fleet when it became available. I suspect that every first-gen Montero fanatic living on the Front Range already owns 19 of these trucks.

With a Thule ski rack up top and a windshield plastered with Colorado State Parks passes, this truck showed all those Subarus a thing or two about utility.

The newest of those CSP passes expired in 2013, though, so I suspect the once-reliable Astron 2.6-liter four-banger might have crapped out that year and the ol’ Mitsu spent eight years awaiting repairs that never happened.

Someone pried open the super-cool dash-top gauge cluster but then left the inclinometer behind. I’ve already got several of these things in my hoard of parts for future junkyard boomboxes, so I didn’t buy this one. The Montero altimeter, on the other hand…

With air conditioning and this very nice (for 1989) cassette deck, this truck was fairly luxurious for its time.

Next stop: The Crusher!

Mitsubishi sold these trucks all over the world (they were especially popular in the Middle East), but nearly all the best Montero TV ads were released in Japan.

The four-door Montero turned house cats into mountain lions.

Just the thing for driving from San Francisco to Utah.

The South Korean version was known as the Hyundai Galloper, and its television commercials were gratifyingly heroic.

Go ahead, beat on your Galloper! It won’t care.

For links to more than 2,100 additional Junkyard Finds, please visit The Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.

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  • The duke The duke on Aug 04, 2021

    Corey, I know you said no two door SUVs, no Nissan VQ V6, and no soft tops. But I'm going to recommend something with all three anyway - the Murano Cross Cabriolet. They can be had with less than 50,000 miles at or below your price range. When was the last time you saw one? The are just so off the wall crazy it would be a great impractical second car. I know you like off beat odd-ball vehicles and they don't get more off-beat or oddball than this. But unlike a Maserati GranSport these are cheap to maintain.

  • Jaime rodriguez Jaime rodriguez on Aug 29, 2022

    am loking mitsubishi montero 1990 hazard 4 way switch par number mb330277

  • Ajla "2010-2019 Borrego"The Borrego only had model years 2009 - 2011 in the United States. The Borrego/Mohave did exist in international markets beyond them but the NHTSA of the United States would not be handling a recall on those. It's annoying that apparently the manufacturer, the federal regulator, and automotive press didn't notice this.
  • SilverCoupe The last Accord I test drove was in 1978, but I ended up buying a VW Scirocco instead. The Accords have put on quite a bit of weight since, then, but then again, so have I!
  • Merc190 I would like to show the stylists this new model side by side to a 93 Accord SE in black and point out how the older model looked better in every single detail.
  • Sobhuza Trooper Too many folks need that /sarc/ tag. In my opinion, that tag is the equivalent of a television laugh track. If you need the laugh track to know that last line was supposed to be funny, you're pretty hopeless.
  • Canam23 A fine car, but I still preferred the Mazda 6, very pretty and zoom zoom!