CC Capsule: 1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max – Nagoya Homeboy

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Bloomington is the Eugene of the midwest and is a fitting place for me to have spotted a truck likely sold on the West coast.  One simply doesn’t see Mitsubishi trucks of this vintage in this part of the country, and with most Toyota and Nissan trucks of this vintage disintegrated, this somewhat rust free, brand X competitor deserved a few shots.

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This being a pick-up, there’s not much in the way of unique technology to sink your teeth into, but Mitsubishi was one of the few who offered a turbodiesel option for the US, and it was more highly regarded than its gasoline powered counterparts and reportedly quite  tolerant of increased boost, with 2.3 liters serving up a whopping 80-86 horsepower and 125-134 lb/ft of torque.  I would imagine a truck so-equipped would carry some badging to boast such a fact, so this truck probably has the ubiquitous Astron 2.6 or, perhaps, a Sirius 2.0.

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Mostly it’s the styling which appeals to me.  All the compact pickups of the ’80s looked good, and the Mitsubishi, with its forward canted grille and that cool logo, aged well and had somewhat of a sporty flair.


The dual sealed beams look a little forcefully integrated when you consider the older design, with its quad round units, which we never got over here.  Still, Mitsubishi was determined to bring its full lineup over here, and a hasty updating was due.

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This steering wheel, with its round horn buttons and beveled hub, doesn’t help hide the fact that Mitsubishi had to try hard to drag this interior, with its softy defined contours, into the ’80s.  Such gimmicky touches just help to remind me that to get the true Mitsubishi experience, a turbocharged 2.6 from the Starion is necessary, and since so many of Mitsubishi’s rear-drive coupes have had their engines swapped with the Eclipse’s 4G63, there have got to be more than a few lying around.  Now that would be a fun project.

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