CC Capsule: 1989 Dodge Raider (Mitsubishi Montero/Pajero)

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(first posted 9/1/2016)      Dodge Raider; now that’s a name that doesn’t typically pop into ones head, unless there’s a red one sitting out in front of your house. Then it’s rather hard to ignore, as these tall, boxy, old-school SUVs have considerable charms. Apparently to its owner too, as this one is obviously a well-cared for example. It’s the kind of car you just really want to be able to say you own, if someone asks you. Dodge Raider; Hmmm…

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Of course it’s not a real Dodge, but one imported for Dodge, by Mitsubishi. And otherwise known as a Mitsubishi Pajero, Mitsubishi Montero, or Colt Shogun. I’d take the Shogun, myself, which makes a great combination with Colt. As in Colt Show Gun. Or not.

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The Raider was only sold from 1987 through 1989, if Wikipedia is to be believed.

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Most of these were sold here with Mitsu’s Silent-Shaft 2.6 L four, but beginning in 1988, the SOHC 3.0 V6 was also available. But I’m pretty sure there would be a V6 badge on this one if it had it.

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These had a great driving position; one sat up high like on a throne, with the world all so visible at one’s feet.

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Of course, with that short wheelbase, the ride could be a bit choppy. The long wheelbase version mostly cured that, and was a roomy family hauler, but it’s these shortys that are now in demand. easy to see why.

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These first arrived in 1982, the same year as the somewhat similar Isuzu Trooper II and the Chevy Blazer S10. The compact SUV field was about to experience explosive growth, with the further addition of the Bronco II (March 1983) and the Jeep Cherokee (fall 1983). The domestics were the big volume sellers, but the Japanese had a loyal following too, due in large measure to their excellent quality and solid construction. Over the long haul, these and the Trooper II have proven that. And for what it’s worth, this isn’t the only Raider still on the streets in Eugene, but it was the one that showed up in front of the house, wanting to be shot. Bang!