CC Outtake: Mitsubishi Delica Et Cetera In Maxima – A Long Model Name A Long Way From Home


This what you’re looking at is the left (passenger) side of a 1994-’96—take a deep breath, now—Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear Chamonix Super Select 4WD. The nine additional words after that (pity this one hasn’t got the Crystal Lite Roof or there’d be twelve) aren’t actually part of the model name, they’re just, y’know, serving suggestions.


If you’re not an All Outdoor Player, you might not know that “Chamonix” is the winter-prep package: easy-to-clean carpeting and upgraded upholstery, twin batteries, limited-slip differential(s?), that sort of thing.

If you’re not Canadian, you might not know that vehicles more than 15 years old can be imported to Canada regardless of (non)compliance with Canadian national vehicle emissions regulations and safety standards. Used vehicles from Japan are common especially in BC with its relative proximity to Japan. The Mitsubishi Delica and various flavours of Toyota Land Cruiser are among the most frequently seen here.

Now, what’s that in the gauge pod perched atop the dash to the left of the column shifter?



Why, it’s an attitude indicator—the van’s, not the driver’s—presumably to tell you when you’ve rolled the van. I guess it goes with the territory when you’re an All Outdoor Player.



Check out the extremely configurable seating configuration abaft of the front row; this is what’s meant by “Space Gear”:





Gratuitous glamour shots of the MDSGCSS4WD. That pole sprouting from the left extent of the front bumper bar has a little light on top. It’s to show the driver where is the left front corner of the vehicle; Japanese parking spaces have scanty room for error or anything else.




At the rear there’s a positionable mirror to let the driver see what’s goin’ on back there, though I can’t quite work out how it’s meant to be used.



The 15-year rule just means the car gets into Canada, though; it still has to pass whatever inspection the buyer’s province may impose, and sometimes there are problems. Japan drives on (so their headlamps are for) the left side of the road, and buyers sometimes get caught between unscrupulous dealers and slack inspectors. And if there’s nothing such as a US- or European-spec right-traffic headlamp for whatever crazy Japanese thing you’ve bought, well…erm…y’see, the thing is…uh…hey, look! It’s a Japan-market Toyota van that’s had ’93-’97 Chrysler Concorde ‘headlamps’ hacked, glued (yes), and door-edge-chrome-trimmed into the originals:




No such monkeyshines are called for on a Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear Chamonix Super Select 4WD; they sold them in Continental Europe, so right-traffic headlamps can be purchased and swapped in. And one of the few nice things about Canada being an English/French a French/English bilingual country is that it moots the question of whether it’s pronounced “CHAM-uh-nicks” or “shah-moh-NEE”. As for seeing to overtake on a 2-lane highway or coping with drive-thru windows and border guard shacks clear all the way across the car from the right-hand steering wheel, you’re on your own in either language.