Mighty Survivor: 1983 Mitsubishi Mighty Max

By Andrew Tanner

Wow! Vehicles like this Mighty Max are the definition of time-machine. Looking at the photos of this beautiful Mitsubishi are sure to transport you back to 1983! The graphics, roll bar, brush guard, and lights are a sure sign of the times and are a happy reminder of a time long passed by. Thanks to reader Rick for sending this our way! This Mighty Max has only covered 99,046 miles in its 35 year lifespan. That may not sound like low-mileage, but its less than 3,000 miles a year on average. This truck has clearly been well-maintained and is being sold by what sounds like the grandchildren of the original owner. Find it here on Seattle Craigslist  with a reasonable asking price of $8,000. 

Under the hood in the pristine engine bay sits a 2.6 liter Mitsubishi four cylinder. These trucks are known to be tough, and with the combination of low-mileage and good maintenance this Mighty Max is ready to hit the road. More than likely, something this uncommon in this condition will end up in the hands of an enthusiast or collector. It is four-wheel-drive, and equipped with an automatic transmission. According to the seller, “The truck runs and drives like new and has no defects or issues.”

The interior is immaculate, and all original with the exception of a newer stereo and speakers. While the new sound system may be a welcome upgrade to someone wanting to enjoy this truck on a regular basis, to a collector it could be the deal breaker. Hopefully, if the new owner were to want to it could be reverted back to original to complete the all original factory look that the rest of the truck has. The seats, dash, and door panels are all in near-mint condition and even the carpet looks nice. This Mighty Max has been loved and cared for all of its life and will likely find a new owner who allows it to continue living that lifestyle. Though it isn’t pictured, this truck is equipped with a factory moonroof. Truly, this Mitsubishi is the embodiment of 1980s mini-truck style.

Every panel on this truck is straight, and it has never been wrecked. Even the bed floor is nice! Though a much different truck, Marty McFly’s Toyota from Back To The Future comes to mind, and I very much want a truck styled like this. Recently appraised at $18,000, this Mighty Max can be yours for $8,000. Though $18,000 would be a hard sell, $8,000 should not be as these trucks were used for their intended purpose and most of them have expired or met their demise by now. Would you buy it to drive it, or buy it as a fun little cruise-in truck?

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Comments

  1. Mountainwoodie

    Thank the gods its an auto and i dont have to think about it anymore.

    8+

  2. nessy

    Ah what a neat little truck. They even offered a Turbo Diesel on this model which gave 35mpg, even with 4 wheel drive. I was always a fan of the early Mitsubishi products having owned several Starions in the past. My brother bought a new Mighty Max in 86. It was a base 2wd long bed with the 2.0 and an automatic. It was slow but boy what a tough truck. He always had it loaded with gravel, mulch or rocks as he is a landscaper. It was his first pickup truck when he started his business. A few years later, he bought a Ford 4×4 and a Chevy 4×4 but that little Mighty Max did pretty much anything his bigger pickups could do since it had the long bed. The truck is still going strong today at over 200k.

    9+

  3. DRV

    It’s the best small truck for the money that I have seen, regardless of the automatic. If I didn’t have to ship it across the country it would be mine.

    6+

  4. Mark

    Dunno about anyone else, but I **hate** seeing a door panel and door cut up for speakers.

    5+

    • Rx7turboII

      Adding aftermarket speakers to an older car like this isn’t a bad idea but it has to be done right! At least if they were going to add the speakers, they could have lowered them a little bit more and centered them on the maroon carpeted area instead of making them go right over the seam split, that’s what makes it look so tacky. Also, when I added aftermarket speakers to my 87 RX7, I found a set of original Mazda logoed door speaker grills and used those so it looks totally original but with good speakers behind it. A nice set of original Mitsubishi logo speaker grills would really make this look good now.

      0

    • Oil Slick

      Gramps was a dolt and messed up the dash. Hopefully he kept the old stereo.

      0

  5. Just setting facts straight

    It is in Tacoma. You don’t want to buy cars in Tacoma. Drugs yes, not cars.
    Mile numbers are not sitting straight. So not original.
    But it does look interesting.

    8+

  6. Rob F

    If I remember they came with speakers there, maybe square grills originally but that location.

    0

  7. Gay Car Nut

    I remember the Mitsubishi Mighty Max. I didn’t like the name at all, but the truck was awesome. I remember some being offered with a turbo diesel engine. It’s a shame that the diesel didn’t survive the 80s into the 90s. I think it would’ve made an awesome alternative for those who want something that got better fuel economy, and a rugged workhorse.

    3+

  8. Terry C.

    I can understand when people upgrade a stereo head unit in something like this. I cannot, for the life of me, understand when people cut or otherwise modify the dash to fit it and then toss the original (working or not). I actually have passed on a couple cars over the years for this very reason. Toss an original Becker (pricy if you can find a good one) worth four or five times the $150.00 Sony replacing it on a ’77 450 SL for example. Fortunately this looks like a straight single din swap so no damage to the dash. Don’t even get me going on the cut in speakers in the door panels. Hope they kept the stock deck! Nice truck!!

    0

  9. boxdin

    These are great trucks, fast, capable, handle very well even in 4wd. Not an auto fan but it saves you from replacing the shifter bushings.

    1+

  10. Miguel

    A sales manager at a Chevy dealer once told me when he worked for a Mazda dealer they would give away the trucks and gouge you on the cars. This was around 1984 – 1987.

    I bet it was the same with the Mitsubishi dealers.

    0

  11. MrBZ

    Had to make.a midnight parts run from Clarksville AR to Potaeu OK in 1979, in a brand new D-50 sport. 2.6 and a 5 speed, it cruised so easily at 95. By far the fastest mini truck of it’s time if you discount the notoriously bad mazda rotary. Dad later put 200k on one as well. Great little truck.

    0

  12. boxdin

    In 1979 my new D50 Sport and I really liked this stretch of road where I hit 95 in 3rd gear a few times. Until one day the cops were waiting for me. Got Nailed.
    What fast good handling trucks these were I loved them.

    0

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