One staple of the minivan, as compared to vehicles in other segments, is the wide variety of options and powertrain configurations available. Even Honda, traditionally averse to providing stand-alone options, has been forced to come up with a variety of trim levels to market its Odyssey (LX and EX simply don’t cut it). This Mitsubishi Delica is a perfect example of what I’m talking about–while often seen in very austere trim, there were many equipped like the one seen here. “Kitted-out” is a most-appropriate descriptor of this box, done up in a way that leaves even the most expensive Town and Country looking subtle by comparison.
Not much of the equipment seen is for the benefit of the driver; while the brush guard and projector beam headlights shout, “I paid for all the options,” inside this van, the swiveling seats and curtains do little for the person behind the wheel (unless they take it on a poorly maintained trail for the ultimate picnic). It’s a great way to vicariously experience childhood pleasures and very much in keeping with the goal some parents have of providing their offspring with comforts they were denied in their own youth.
What makes this imported example, shot by nifty43, stand out is the extent to which it spoils those in the rear, simply outdoing anything sold on US shores at the time. This, despite the Mitsubishi’s more utilitarian roots, high ground clearance and dual-range four-wheel drive (just how often were these taken off-road?). Compared to, say, a contemporary Voyager with a V6, it very much comes across as a toy for grown-ups, the Plymouth seeming much more purpose-built.
So it should be no wonder that these vans have a bit of a cult following in Canada, where they can be easily imported. Our featured white example looks to be an early ’90s model, and such a van can be had in good condition for about $4,000. If the sheer nerdiness of this British Columbian curio isn’t enough as is, it seems many people like to run them on waste veggie oil. As a vehicle very much conceived with the goal of keeping up with the Joneses (or the Nakamuras) with a brush guard, a turbodiesel, sunroofs and velour galore, the hyper-weirdness of this four-wheel drive cabover almost leaves it lost in translation. But ironically enough, parked here on a wide North American street, it’s as cool as ever.