Written by Caitlin.
Model: 1990 Silver SWB Mitsubishi Pajero
Special features: Vintage Interior. Manual 4WD features including manual diff Lock, steel bull bar and BF Goodridge mud tyres. Classic Pajero styling with side stripe and original paint job.
Crudities: Unfortunately this car needed a lot of work. Including sanding rust underneath the axis due to the previous owner using the car for beach rides, repair of the left torsion arm, replacing the gear stick bearing, replacing the tail lights, replacing the air-conditioning unit and a general clean. The car hadn’t been in use for some time!
How I got it & Provenance of the car: I actually purchased this car from New South Wales and had it towed to Victoria without ever inspecting it. I was looking for this particular model as I love the Mitsubishi Pajero. The particular model is my favourite due to the strong build of the car which makes is suitable for rough 4WDing and it’s easy to repair due to the prevalence of Pajero parts at wreckers. I’m also a fan of appearance of the car being small, but powerful. I previously had a 1996 Mitsubshi Pajero JTOP (Soft Top Jeep like cover) that made it up an almost vertical track in Rubicon, Victoria. I was the only car that made it up and I will never forget the moment I
had to get all my passengers out because the car was about to flip – thankfully it didn’t! I’m looking forward to taking my newest project for a spin – although the car is an older model and most of the 4WD features need to be manually activated! That is – you have to get out and put the car into diff lock – there is no automatic button for this which is seen in most modern 4WD’s today.
Why I love it: I love the car because it’s tiny but tough! It’s been a great project so far with some frustrating mechanic moments along the way, but I’ve finally managed to get it going. The age of the car has been a real test of my patience mechanically as it’s been difficult to repair due to this fact – but I’m glad I stuck with it and got it on the road instead of giving up. Mitsubishi Pajero’s have a unique interior – especially the older models – including on the dashboard an active “map” of the condition of the car’s axis and four wheels.
This is specific to 4WDing and gives the driver an indication of what part of the car is working the hardest, what part of the car is damaged and if there is any wheels off the ground, etc. It’s a neat 4WD feature that’s in all Pajeros -including this one which is an incredibly old model. The Pajero also has a particular “rev” sound, similar to a “monster truck” due to the type of engine used. They are prone to over-heating – so don’t be surprised if down the track you see the car with a new snorkel attached!
What I have done to it: I’ve done so many repairs to this car, which is why it hasn’t been in action until now. I worked with a mechanic in Clayton who was very helpful, Rosebud Automotive, would highly recommend, who assisted in trying to find specialist parts at wreckers to importing them from overseas. Due to the age of the car, finding small parts such as the particular gear bearing was a difficult task. Nevertheless patience paid off and the car is finally ready for the road.
How other people could procure something similar: The Mitsubishi Pajero model is a common car model – you can see the 2018 model driving around today. Finding older models is proving to be more difficult – with most older cars sold on second hand trading websites such as Trading Post and Gumtree.
I found my car on Gumtree, which is a common platform for people to sell Pajero’s. Most Pajero’s you find on there are in a state of disrepair and go for a cheap price – so if you have a mechanical background and are interested in a 4WD project – they are a great car to start off with!