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Autotrader Find: 1994 Mitsubishi Delica L400 Space Gear


Today’s Autotrader find is certainly an oddball.  A 1994 Mitsubishi Delica, this vehicle was never sold new in the United States but is now eligible for private import given that it’s 25 years old.

Until the early 1980s, it was legal to privately import a non-US-market vehicle from a foreign country and register it for everyday use in the United States.  US automakers didn’t like this, though, so they pushed for legislation that outlawed the practice, which tightened their control over our market.  Built into that law, though, was a stipulation that these non-US-spec foreign market vehicles could still be imported and registered here in the States after they turn 25 years old. Hence the reason vehicles like this 1994 Mitsubishi Delica are now being imported to the US for sale as what is known as ‘grey market’ imports.

As for the Delica itself, the L400 is the follow-up to the popular L300, which was in fact sold in the United States for a very short period as the Mitsubishi Van.  The boxy L300 was sold from 1986 through 1994, so virtually all of them are now eligible for US import.  The L400 went on sale for the 1994 model year, meaning that early examples are just now becoming legal for US import.  As the Mitsubishi Delica L400 was sold all the way through 2007, this 1994 model represents just the tip of the iceberg.

Speaking of this one, in particular, it’s a four-wheel-drive Japanese-market model (so – right-hand drive) with just over 107,000 miles on the odometer. Low-mileage is common for Japanese market imports given that it’s significantly more expensive to operate a vehicle in Japan than it is here in the US, so vehicles there aren’t driven as much.  While the listing calls this one a 1993 model, the Delica L400 was first released for the 1994 model year; we’re assuming this is a 1994 model-year Delica that rolled off the assembly line in 1993. The exterior comes wearing a factory brush guard, auxiliary fog lights, mud-terrain tires, a snorkel, and a tow hitch.  Interior photos show a tall greenhouse that lets in lots of light, multicolor upholstery, and room for up to eight.  Perhaps the coolest thing about this van is that it comes with the Mitusbishi Delica’s famous ‘Crystal Lite’ roof option, which consists of four sunroofs with power retractable shades.  It also comes with shades for the windows, making this thing ideal for use as a camper van. The listing claims a 6-cylinder turbodiesel, but the underhood photos coupled with the exterior stickers tell us that it’s actually a 2.8-liter inline four-cylinder turbodiesel.

If you’re interested, this ultra-cool JDM Mitsubishi Delica van is offered by an independent dealership in Kutztown, PA, with an asking price of $13,750. Find a Mitsubishi for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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