Japanese Survivor: 1979 Plymouth Arrow Pickup

The Arrow was a Mitsubishi-built compact pickup that was sold by Plymouth dealers between 1979-81. In Japan, the truck was known initially as the Mitsubishi Forte and is still in production today, although the name and designs have changed several times. This example from ’79 is an Arrow Sport Pickup which came with a bright paint job and body stripes. Said to run great, the truck can be found in Puyallup, Washington State, and is available here on craigslist for $3,900. Thanks for the tip, Matt H.!

Arrows sold in the U.S. came equipped with either a 2.0-liter I-4 engine that produced 93 hp or a 2.6-liter version good for 105. We don’t know which one is in the seller’s truck, but since it has a 5-speed manual transmission, we’d be inclined to think of the bigger motor. As was the case with trucks like these, the Arrow had recirculating ball steering and front disc brakes, rear-wheel drive, and a front suspension with coil springs. Four-wheel-drive wasn’t available the first two years of U.S. sales.

At 77,000 miles, we understand the seller’s truck is completely original and looks like what you might expect after more than 40 years of service. The orange paint on the Sport is worn and faded, along with some minor dings and surface rust, with no mention if corrosion is a problem. The interior, while it could use a good cleaning, looks good, especially the bucket seats which look nice enough to have been redone. If you’ve been seeking a good-running little truck and looks aren’t important, $3,900 might get you a decent buy.


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  1. Gary Raymond Member

    As the current and original owner of an ‘80 Arrow Sport pickup, I’m gonna go with the 2.6 engine. While not known as a hot motor, to this day I still remember the salesman at North Seattle Chrysler/Plymouth taking me for a test drive, smokin the tires as he drove out of the lot onto highway 99 (okay, I was easily impressed). Mine came with the ‘brush guard’ and roll bar, replaced the crappy original carb with a Weber and it still runs just fine. The speedometer cable broke at 239,000 miles…gobbles down a quart of oil per tank of gas, but what the hell….

    Like 16
    • Chunk

      My dad had a ’76 or ’77 Plymouth Arrow car with the 2.6 and a stickshift and it felt right quick to a little kid. Ran like a top, too, and always started even on the absolute coldest Massachusetts winter mornings.

      Like 6
  2. Howard A Member

    Our own Scotty G.has the Dodge version of this truck, the D50 in his arsenal. I’ve seen pics, and it’s a lot nicer than this. Scotty doesn’t drive poorly presented vehicles.These were great trucks, and filled a niche until Detroit filled the void with our own. People bought these mostly because they were available at the local Dodge/Plymouth dealer and lived in denial that they were really Japanese. Don’t laugh, it was the 70’s and many Americans wouldn’t set foot in a Toyota dealer, but this was okay. It’s an nice find, I thought of a small pickup like this, but lack of space inside, and the usual Asian bugaboos, poor heat, crummy seats, awful ride, and who knows about parts, kept me from buying one and am much happier with a vintage full size pickup.

    Like 3
  3. Troy

    Again with this is what you buy your 16 year old kid that just got their license because they actually have to focus on driving instead of all the technology crap in cars today.

    Like 7
  4. Maestro1

    I have one. I love it, it’s 41 years old, 0-60 in three months, it’s a member of the family . I’ll be buried in it.

    Like 12
  5. chrlsful

    my kinda ride – sm, affordable, utilitarian. A lill too hi on initial (bya grand) so pass’er. If not:
    buy, ck for safety, DD, gather info, cont DD as rehab. till nxt 1 catches my eye. The trick is to keep on rd as going (fun planning/doing) along. In some cases that requires a separate head or block. It can still B done tho (ask me how).

    Way more fun 1973/88 with the ’50s/60s Italian.
    ;- )

    Like 1
  6. angliagt angliagt Member

    I tried to buy a new Arrow pickup in White,with Gold-
    striping (the Black/Gold Dodges seemed to be everywhere),
    but the salesman never got back to me to see if he could find
    one.Bought a new Toyota SR5 Longbed instead.

  7. Gary

    Brought to you by the same nice people who made the WWII Zero, Mitsubishi. Many a pilot of my Dads age will tell you how well made they were. These were no different. Mitsu seemed to have their act together in those days, today, not so much. I wish you could still buy something like this today, even at my old and feeble age. 2 doors, a five speed, a 2 litre engine and a decent sized truck bed. Maybe some air conditioning, that is about it. No need for a stupid info flat screen, no high end stereo, crank windows. Okay, maybe a simple digital stereo with Bluetooth so I can listen to my doowop music when I am going to the dump, but that is it. Never see it again. The crooked abused CAFE laws, and idiot Americans who buy 10 million pound useless four door pickups for half the cost of a decent house on ten year loans. Never mind that they are rusty before they are paid for.

    Like 5
  8. angliagt angliagt Member

    Unfortunatly,you can’t buy a new vehicle in the US
    without a screen in the dash for the Federally mandated
    back up camera.
    I don’t plan on ever buying a car with one.

    Like 1

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