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Autotrader Find: 1991 Mitsubishi Delica Syncro

Today’s Autotrader Find is a special one: It’s a 1991 Mitsubishi Delica van, imported from Japan and boasting all-wheel drive, a surprisingly nice interior and exterior condition, and the bizarre styling these Delica vans are known for. It also has the steering wheel on the wrong side, which will make it a great choice for your rural mail route.

Offered by East Coast Auto Group in Jacksonville, Florida, this Delica is currently listed for $15,995, which seems like a fairly reasonable price given its condition. While the van has covered 139,000 miles, the exterior is straight and clean, and the interior doesn’t look much different than it did when it left the factory in the early 1990s — right down to the swiveling second-row captain’s chairs and the interior curtains.

This one also has a "Crystal Lite Roof," which sounds like a beer company sponsoring an outdoor sports bar, but really it just means there are glass panels on the roof, right above the side windows, like on an old Volkswagen Bus.

But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, here, because you might be wondering: What, exactly, is a Mitsubishi Delica? Well, our Chris O’Neill had a great article about them a few months back — but the basic situation is they’re sort of a Japanese adventure van; something like an all-wheel-drive Chevy Astro with raised ground clearance for exploring. They’re weird, they’re slow, and you have to put up with right-hand drive if you own one — but they can take you places most vans absolutely can’t.

Not surprisingly, this Delica seems to be the only one on Autotrader, but it’s certainly not the only one in the U.S. Given the 25-year U.S. import rules, these are just starting to trickle in for adventurous travelers who want something a little … different. Find a Mitsubishi van for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. It’s funny that, for a time in the ’80s, Toyota, Nissan & Mitsubishi were offering these nearly identical cab-over vans, although only the Toyota and Nissan versions made it to the U.S.  It was an attempt to compete when the Caravan / Voyager exploded onto the market in ’84.  The creatively-named Toyota Van, aka HiAce, was a pretty common sight at the time.  I only ever knew one family who had the Nissan.  I think the obvious issues with front crash safety limited their success in the U.S. and they never really put a big dent in Chrysler’s minivan sales.

  2. (Not a paid placement, but) More where this came from, here: japaneseclassics.com. In fact, Doug, can you please go visit these guys and do a story on them? And doh! Right there in Philly, there are these guys: delicausa.com #delicadougcar

    • Doug has already bought 2+ cars from them over the years so far… so he’s not unaware of their presence. 

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a multitude of magazine publications and websites, including here at Autotrader — where he launched the Oversteer enthusiast blog — along with Jalopnik, GQ, and The Week. His YouTube channel has hundreds of published videos and has racked up hundreds of millions of views. Today, Doug lives in San Diego, California, with his 1997 Land Rover Defender 90 NAS, 2005 Ford GT, and 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon.

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