The newest addition to the ever expanding Need More Cars garage is a 1992 Mitsubishi Mighty Max. Why a Mighty Max, you ask? Let me take you back a couple of weeks. My wife and I were sitting on the couch watching I can’t remember what (probably the Mariners losing or some real housewife losing her calm because Brenda gave her a look when she claimed she had no work done to her face), when my wife showed me her phone. On it was a for-sale ad from a neighborhood Facebook page, showing a picture of a silver Mighty Max with an advertised price of $500. I was interested. Running cars valued at $500 or less make for good 24 Hours of LeMons candidates.
My wife messaged the owner, asking if she would take $300 for the truck and I set up a time to go check it out. The owner and I arranged a meeting on a Saturday morning at a local high school. She had owned the truck for about two years. She purchased the truck because it reminded her of the trucks her grandfather owned on his farm in Japan, but realized that she couldn’t maintain it and rarely drove it.
A test drive revealed the truck to be in fine working order, with a strong engine, healthy clutch and it tracked straight on the road. I was prepared to offer her the $300, when she explained that she just wanted it gone and she would take $200 in exchange for the Mitsubishi. Before she could reconsider, I handed her $200 in cash and drove away in my 1992 Mitsubishi Mighty Max.
The Mitsubishi’s odometer reads 188,900. It is equipped with a 4G64 2.4 liter straight four engine, producing 116 hp. Its redline is a mystery as there is no tachometer. It has a smooth shifting 5-speed transmission, front disc/rear drum brakes and optional power steering. As a bonus, it came with a tool box mounted behind the cab. The bench seat is covered with blue vinyl. The floor is covered with two NOS floor mats. Thus far, operation reveals that everything on this truck works.
In just over one week of ownership, I’ve driven our daughter to her friend’s house in the country, approximately 30 miles each way, and made two trips to Home Depot to haul lava rocks, planting soil and bark. These trips have convinced me that this truck must be the best running $200 vehicle in the country. It has yet to consume a full tank of fuel, but after filling up for the first time, it has traveled over 60 miles and the fuel gage has only slightly moved left from full. I am curious to see what kind of miles per gallon the Mighty Max will achieve.
Immediate needs include an oil change and tune up, and new front turn signal enclosures, as the existing ones are damages. New tires are on the to-do list as well, though 195/75R14 means there are few from which to choose. We’ll also come up with a plan for our LeMons theme and modifications. Mitsubishi’s 4G63 engine from the ’90s Eclipse looks promising. It’s a turbocharged 2 liter twin cam engine that, while not indestructible, is known for being fairly sturdy. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy exercising the Mighty Max running errands.