Found on the parking lot of a Sprouts groceries store in Atlanta, very recently…
I tried to identify what model it was… But I need the collective wisdom of this crowd. I know it’s a Mitsubishi vehicle, built under a Willys license. The steering wheel is on the right side, so it’s a Japanese model.
I know it’s a diesel, and that the dashboard looks relatively modern (with round dials). Because it has the flat front fenders with the skirt at the front and Jeep embossed on the hood, I know it’s not one of the original CJ3B-J4 of the Korean war (they have flat fenders with no skirt and Willys embossed on the hood).
My bet would be on a J23 or maybe a J24 – probably from the mid seventies.
But the real question remains: how did a Japanese military Jeep from the seventies ended up on a groceries mission in suburban Georgia?
I have no idea, except someone did a personal import and went through all the bureaucratic red tape for “permission” to drive it on our sacred roads… I want one though! Cool to drive around on a warm spring/summer day with the top off.
how did a Japanese military Jeep from the seventies ended up on a groceries mission in suburban Georgia?
Because the owner who lives in Atlanta bought it from one of the numerous importers of 25+ year old exempt Japanese cars, and they needed groceries like the rest of us?
Here’s one of several for sale:
Not that simple, and it varies by state. And the deeper your pockets, the simpler it becomes.
When the 25-year import restriction was enacted (sometime in the mid-1980s, iirc) a 25 year old model would have been from 1960-ish, and not likely suitable for daily driving use.
Fast-forward 40 years and we’ve reached a point in the evolution of the automobile where many 25 year old vehicles are perfectly suitable for daily use. This was clearly not foreseen by the original authors of the legislation, perhaps rightfully so.
But now that 25 year old cars are viable, so too has the business of importing them has become, and those sorts of businesses have sprung up all over the US. Mostly for cars ex-Japan, it seems, but also from Europe to a lesser extent.
So if an individual has a fancy for a mid-70s Japanese Jeep, there are plenty of folks to facilitate the purchase and export from Japan, and import into the US. We live in interesting times.
The rise of the internet has likely done just as much for the import business if not more than the drivability aspects of 25year old cars now vs back in the days of yore. Although it’s debatable as to how “drivable” any vintage pre 1990s Jeep really is :-).
Our Canadian friends are only burdened with a 15year restriction as opposed to our 25year one, making their options even better.
Fair point, Jim, and one I had not considered.
Another point that wasn’t discussed is how individual states are free to decide what vehicles not originally destined for the US may or may not be registered in their state. I’ve recently read how Maine has disallowed registering “kei” vehicles, and it appears other states are still deciding what to do.
Maine refuses to register Kei cars, nor other RHD vehicles such as Mitsubishi Delica vans. That’s sound policy on a public-safety basis, but of course it’s got enthusiasts howling who think that’s the kind of car they want to daily-drive.
not necessarily better…!
Here in Indiana many rural mail carriers use modern right hand drive Jeeps. Are those not allowed in Maine either?
I mentioned the need for thoughtful regs to permit rural mail carriers to select the safest possible vehicle (=RHD) for their job when I was providing guidance to Maine on the Kei issue, but it’s really a separate matter, because the RHD Jeeps (and Subarus, when they were available) offered in the US are manufacturer-certified as complying with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and states may not ban the registration or usage of vehicles so certified—no matter which side the steering wheel is on.
I wonder if someone will bring a Kia KM450 over. That’s the Korean version of the Kaiser-Jeep M715.
I’, wondering how the interior of a 1977 Model year Mitsubishi Jeep is so clean, een the floor of the rear compartment .