Cool Kei Car: 1965 Mitsubishi Minica Deluxe

Here’s another one in the Scotty G series of why-do-some-tall-people-like-tiny-cars corner of my cubicle here at Barn Finds. This tiny tot is a 1965 Mitsubishi Minica Deluxe and it’s located in Torrance, California. The seller has it listed here on Craigslist with an asking price of $6,500 or best offer. Thanks to Roger for submitting this tiny find!

This car will be a head-scratcher for most of you but I know that there are microcar fans among the Barn Finds family of readers. This micro-Mitsubishi is just under ten-feet long, the perfect size for a hoardable car. As if the car, in general, isn’t questionable enough for a few of you, the price will really leave you wondering what else you could buy for the same money. As always, if you have to ask the price of something, it really isn’t for you. If you want it despite the price, welcome to the microcar lovers club.

Even the most grizzled, hairy-knuckle manly-man viewers have to admit that this car is just.. well, cute. There, I said it. Those mini-tailfins, that oddly-proportioned length-to-height, those tiny wheels. The first-gen Minica was made starting in 1962, the same year I was made – maybe that’s why I like them so much. This car was for sale a few years ago for $9,500 but I’m not sure if it sold or not. Unfortunately, the seller can’t find the keys so that’s a problem. Hopefully they will find them, and at least it has a clean California title!

As a Japanese market car, it’s right-hand-drive. The interior actually looks like it’s in fantastic condition. I don’t see anything jumping out at me, other than that Chevy Suburban that just crossed the center line!! Whew, that was close. We all know that with a top speed of 50 mph on a good day, these cars weren’t meant for American freeways so don’t feel compelled to comment on what would happen in a head-on collision with an H2 at 75 mph. They were meant for crowded, slow-moving Japanese cities. But, in case you feel like commenting on that anyway, it does have appropriately-named suicide doors.

Being a kei car, it has a 360 cc two-cylinder engine. This is an air-cooled, two-stroke that pushes out a massive 317 hp, minus the 300 part, so yeah, 17 horsepower. The car weighs around 1,100 pounds and that 17 hp will still feel really, really underpowered, and it is. I usually see these cars in white but this appears to be red in places other than just the outside body, unless it has had a color change or maybe just a creative paint job at one time. I would be worried about rust around the wheel wells and rockers so get an inspection, it’ll be the best $250 that you’ve ever spent, unless you just have to have this Mini-Mitsubishi.

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Comments

  1. geomechs Member

    Wow! I don’t know where you find these, Scotty, but finding them ensures that your feature articles never get boring. You could have a lot of fun with this car, just ripping around town. Totally useless out west; can you imagine driving that down I-15 between Sweetgrass and Great Falls? Let’s see, 125 miles. 50 mph. All the color would be gone from my hair and I’d be on Social Security by the time I arrived. One blast from a good ol’ chinook wind and they’d be scraping me off the runway of the Air Force base in Minot. But this would be a hoot at a car show.

    Parts would be a nightmare. It would be advisable to invest in a digital printer. I’m sure that you would keep your local machine shop in the black.

    I’m especially fascinated with the 2-stroke engine. I met a guy with a DKW station wagon at a Show ‘N’ Shine a few years back. I still get a charge out of that 2-stroke ring.

    5
    • geomechs Member

      Mikenzie just commented that she would like it, although it would be severely limited in capacity when she made a Costco run…

      2
  2. Dave

    Isn’t this the car that Mr. Incredible drives?

    2
    • AMCFAN

      Haha Dave I was just thing the same thing

  3. Gay Car Nut

    Sweet looking car. I’ve heard of the Mitsubishi Minica. I’ve seen pics of various Minicas over the years. For some reason, they were never sold here in the USA. They’d probably be too small for freeway driving, or for long distance backroads driving. But I can see something like this being driven around the neighbourhood, to visit with friends and/or family members in town.

    3
  4. Ted

    I must really be turning into a grumpy old guy, selling a car with no keys for $6500? How do you work that with a potential buyer? Make engine noises and tire squeals during a make belief test drive?

    4
    • geomechs Member

      Well, Ted, it could be worse. Just keep a can of glass cleaner and some paper towels nearby so you can clean the inside of the windshield after the test driver finishes his make-believe drive and making engine sounds with his mouth…

      3
      • Ted

        Bahahaha……………..zing!!

  5. bigblocksrock396

    Yinnng,nnnng,nnng,nng,nng.😀

    2
  6. Mark Clinard

    bob parr’s car in the Incredibles?

    2

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