This Humble Mitsubishi Van Is Your Next Adventure Vehicle

Tired of the Defender stealing all the old off-roader attention?

At first glance, the humble Mitsubishi Delica Star doesn’t look like much of an off-roader—or even a good platform to base one off. But add a few focused modifications and you’ll be surprised how quickly this pint-sized work van transforms into a serious overland adventure vehicle. Such a Delica is up for auction over on Bring a Trailer right now, and as of this writing, is going for $8,000. Barring any wildcard bids at the end, this imported dirt slinger could prove to be one hell of a deal.

The modest 2.5-liter turbodiesel inline-four is hooked up to a five-speed manual transmission sending power to all for wheels. That doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary for a vehicle in the off-road community—but when you consider it has a mid-engine layout, the Mitsubishi reveals itself to have unique advantages. With the engine amidships, the front and rear overhangs are noticeably stubby, affording favorable approach and departure angles you might not get in your typical front-engine layout. The architecture also gives the Mitsubishi a fantastic center of gravity.

Using the Delica’s balanced layout as a blank canvas, the current seller went to town, adding all the necessary adventure add-ons to make use of the Japanese van’s hidden talents. Up top, there’s a Smittybilt platform tent sitting on Thule roof bars. Underneath, the current owner added a handful of brush bars, Pro Comp shock at all four corners along with 15-inch wheels wrapped in knobby BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02 rubber.

If you’re even remotely fatigued by all the Defenders, FJs and Broncos stealing the headlines as the used car off-road standard, this 1993 Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon Turbodiesel 4×4 should be a breath of fresh air. In stock trim, you’d be forgiven for not looking twice a Delica‚—but as this one sits now, how are you not tempted to pull the trigger and make this your next adventure vehicle?

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