9 April 2018

More than an old car #63: Mitsubishi Space Wagon


Many of you would be familiar with Mitsubishi--you see it everywhere on cars, buses and trucks. It has come to the point where it is difficult for us to imagine what an old Mitsu is like, partly because you don't see them everywhere. I was aware of this 1988 Mitsubishi Space Wagon GLX via a forum, and imagine my surprise when I saw it face-to-face when I was out for a jog! That is why I still use a phone camera--you wouldn't know what gems you could stumble across!

It all started back in 1917 with the foundation of the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, which was in turn a division of the Mitsubishi zaibatsu [founded in 1870 by Iwasaki Yataro]. The name consists of 2 parts: mitsu meaning three and hishi/later bishi meaning water caltrop/rhombus, which is reflected in the company's logo. It produced Japan's first-ever car, the Mitsubishi Model A. After the war, the parent company was ordered to be split up. Various cars were produced at that time, but Mitsubishi Motors Corporation was officially formed in 1970. It allied with Chrysler up till 1993 to boost sales in Europe and the North American market and experienced much success. Further alliances with other companies helped Mitsubishi maintain a strong market share even until today.

Fun fact: Mitsubishi has a 30-year-long association with Jackie Chan, who has used its vehicles almost exclusively throughout his career! Having watched many of his films since young, I never understood why there were so many Mitsubishis running around until today!

The Mitsubishi Chariot [or also known as the Space Wagon/Nimbus/Expo] in export markets, derived its name from the chariots used in ancient Greek and Roman empires. First produced in 1983, it filled up the market left by the previous Galant station wagon and was available in 5 different engine types. This model here was powered by a 1755cc G37B i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 163 km/h with an acceleration of 12.6 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 4295 mm long and weighed 1090 kg. 

Production of the 1st-generation Space Wagon ended in 1991 with 291, 851 made. I believe this is the only one left on our roads as others have already been scrapped. It's commendable how the owner is still willing to keep it despite the age and unreliability of older vehicles. I know it isn't much of a sight to look at, but then again I aim to raise awareness about these oldies, whether fancy or not. I hope you can be lucky enough to spot it!


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