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Mitsubishi Delica … It’s The New VW Van

Mitsubishi Delica

Here’s something cool for the “Whatsis” category.

The old Volkswagon Westfalia vans have always been popular and they still are. But they’re all 30 years old and it’s harder and harder to find one in decent condition.

Well there’s a new successor to the throne. And even VW diehards are saying “that’s pretty cool”. My buddy’s been looking for a Westy for a couple months. But now it looks like he’s gonna buy a Delica.

Japan Comes To The Rescue

Mitsubishi Delicas are popping up all over the place. They’re being imported from Japan and they’re all around 1990-1992 models.

The Delica is right hand drive so it takes a little getting used to unless you’re used to driving in London. They’re 4WD, diesel, and you can get about 500-600 km out of a 60 liter fill-up (about 24 mpg). And keep in mind that because it’s diesel, you can also convert these bad boys over to run on vegetable oil.

Because they’re from Japan where people don’t do a lot of driving, they all have relatively low mileage for their age. We looked at a few this weekend and they were all in excellent condition with no rust.

It supposedly takes about 2 to 3 weeks to get parts from Japan, but they’re very popular in Australia, and you can get parts in 1 to 2 days from down under. Parts availability should increase in North America as they become more popular here.

Right now they’re selling for between $8000 and $12000. They’re easily worth more, but I think the fact that they’re right hand drive is what’s keeping the price down.

You’re gonna see a lot more of these little go-anywhere surfing cruisers around in the next couple years.

Denouement
 

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6 Comments

  1. Such unique vans, great article!

  2. Cool! I’ve yet to see one of those. I always thought it looked like fun to drive something in which your actually sitting over the front wheels. Toyota used to have a of similar style……I don’t think it was 4wd, though.

  3. The photo looks really familiar – I am sure we used to get these in the UK too.

    I got a little confused at your mention of it being right hand drive so it takes a little getting used to unless you’re used to driving in Europe – do you mean the wheel is on the right, or it is on the left?

    Japan drives on the left of course, as does Australia and the UK & Ireland. The rest of Europe drives on the right. That’s where I got confused in your article!

    - Martin Reed

  4. Hi George,

    They’re pretty unique. I’ve never seen anything quite like them before.

    Anthony,

    Yeah, Toyota makes a little wagon like this. I’m pretty sure it’s not 4WD. They never caught on with the VW crowd as much as it looks like the Delica will though.

    Martin,

    Thanks, I updated it to “London” (it was late last night). The steering wheel is on the right side of the vehicle (from the perspective of sitting inside it).

    Coincidentally I was looking on Craigs List last night to see how much these were going for in London … not even one listed.

  5. [...] Just think about how many of these collapsable commuters you could fit in the back of a van. [...]

  6. I just saw one of these in Canada. Can they be imported to the US? And how?


 

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