Mitsubishi Jeep CJ3-B J38 1975 classic car

A US classic car dealer is selling a classic Jeep - made by Mitsubishi. The oldie in top condition is remarkably affordable.

Helping die-hard fans of the Jeep brand to get instant stress pimples is relatively easy: you only have to mention that you own a Suzuki Jeep. Or a Mitsubishi Jeep. This usually leads to a lengthy instruction in a frosty tone, and it is not for nothing that the manufacturer itself uses the slogan "Only a Jeep is a Jeep".

A real Mitsubishi Jeep

However, if you know a little bit about the subject, you can counter that perfectly. Because thanks to the production licenses eagerly granted by Willys Jeep in the 1950s for the then square CJ 3B to the Indian manufacturer Mahindra , among others, other brands were actually allowed to build their own Jeeps. Just like Mitsubishi.

In 1953, when Willys Motors introduced the CJ-3B, the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi received a license to produce the model for the Japanese market. The background was also to be able to stand up to the then emerging competitors Nissan Patrol and Toyota BJ (later the Land Cruiser). In the early years, Mitsubishi still produced the licensed Jeep as left-hand drive, the models that followed later were then converted to a right-hand drive layout.

For a whopping 45 years in a row, Mitsubishi built the CJ-3B in ever new variants, in total there were over 30 versions with different wheelbases, bodies and different engines. Production of the CJ-3B at Mitsubishi only ended in 1998, by then the Japanese carmaker had built around 200,000 copies of the burly off-road vehicle. Some of them even found their way to Europe and the USA via winding paths, while the vast majority of these four-wheel drive classics were used in the Asia-Pacific region and some are still driving today.

Two-tone paint and red interior

The model reported here is a Mitsubishi Jeep J38, built between 1970 and 1983. The J38 offered by Duncan Classics in Christiansburg, Virginia is a 1975 Model. The J38 were models with a fixed steel body and long wheelbase in a characteristic two-tone paintwork and were available in a three- or six-seater variant.

The asking price of 29,000 dollars, the equivalent of around 26,200 euros, can definitely be considered a snap given the remarkably good condition of the 47-year-old classic car if you think about the prices for Willys Jeep in a similar condition. A few little things like the retrofitted steering damper, the cheap CD radio and the retrofitted rev counter should be removed again by originality fetishists, but overall the impression of the classic is pretty good.

Actually a bargain

This applies both to the condition of the interior (the red furniture is actually standard) and the apparently rust-free and hole-free condition of the body and frame - even if underbody protection was obviously used diligently there. The technology is also shown in the pictures with intact, fresh-looking cuffs, rubber parts and lines in good condition.

Another advantage: Mitsubishi has installed fairly robust Japan technology in the cars, in the example described here, for example, the 4G53 Astron petrol engine with overhead camshaft, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with a robust 110 hp.

You can ignore a few carelessly routed cables, hoses installed later or the somewhat listlessly stapled door panels in a car of this age, these will be small cosmetic corrections for the new owner. Anyone who has fallen in love with this sweetheart right away: Duncan Classics is a day's journey from several overseas ports on the US East Coast and such a Mitsubishi jeep fits easily into a container.


Drive a vintage jeep that no one else has so quickly: With the Mitsubishi jeep this is possible in Europe. Although Mitsubishi has produced almost 200,000 copies of the license building in various variants in 45 years, the vast majority stayed in the Asia-Pacific region. In the very rarest of cases, a real Mitsubishi jeep has strayed to Europe. The author of these lines can only remember a single specimen whose path he once crossed. And that was a "snotty" short and open CJ-3B replica, not such a gorgeous two-tone family car as this example.


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