Junkyard Find: 1989 Mitsubishi Montero

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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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 03, 2021

    In 1990s Russia it was popular among lower tier "New Russians". Right Slavuta?

  • 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.

  • 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.
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