Made In Japan: 1982 Mitsubishi Willys Jeep

In 1953, Mitsubishi Motors of Japan agreed with Willys Corp. to build Jeep models on their home turf. Over the next 45 years, the partnership would produce more than 30 different Jeep configurations that numbered close to 200,000 copies. This 1982 J-37 edition, a wagon, has right-hand drive and migrated to the U.S. with a sailor in 2018. It now resides in Homosassa, Florida, and is in particularly good condition with under 26,000 miles. The Japanese Jeep is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $5,600 and perhaps meeting the reserve is just around the corner. An interesting tip brought to us by T.J.!

The variety of these offered Jeeps was extensive, including short, medium, and long-wheels models in addition to wagons and hardtops. They relied upon gasoline and diesel-powered 4-cylinder engines. Apparently, the production of the Mitsubishi Jeeps in Japan didn’t stop due to a lack of demand, but more because they couldn’t meet ever-increasing environmental and safety standards. Jeeps like the seller’s version wear branding from both parent companies.

Under the hood here is a 2.6-liter Mitsubishi Astron G54B gasoline inline-4, delivering power to all four wheels. It comes with manually locking front hubs and the Jeep was fully serviced upon entering the U.S. four years ago. Because the Jeep was built for Asian consumption, the odometer reading is in kilometers i.e., 42,000, which equates to about 26,000 miles by U.S. standards.

Though the Jeep is in great mechanical condition, the body has some small rust issues that developed after the paint color was changed from two-tone to the single tan you see now. There is some sort of undercoating that was applied in Japan that has helped preserve the undercarriage. The interior has been redone with aftermarket materials and the paint on the dashboard appears to be flaking. A prior owner added a stereo system, but it has since been removed but comes with the wagon. The only things that may need attention sooner than later are one of the windows which is stuck closed, and the A/C which could stand a recharge.

If you were looking for a Jeep-like vehicle to take to events and gatherings of other off-road vehicles, this one would be quite unusual and likely the only example to turn up in the crowd. You could be to only kid on your block to own one!


  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Man, I have owned Jeeps my whole life and never knew. Thanks T.J. and Russ! Very interesting.

    Like 10
  2. That Guy

    I became aware of the Mitsubishi Jeep as a toy car collector. I’ve had several Tomica models of Mitsubishi Jeeps but have never delved into the history of the real vehicle. I think I assumed it was a Jeep-like vehicle that was being called a “Jeep” by the toy company but didn’t actually carry that name. Now I know they actually are legitimately called Jeeps. I’ve learned my new thing for the day.

    Like 7
  3. RMac

    Now that is cool and unusual find
    Definitely would get attention at a keep rally!!!

    Like 1
  4. RMac

    Jeep rally not keep stupid spell check

    Like 8
    • Denba12 Member


    • little_shoes Member


    • little_shoes Member


    • Ten50boy

      Sunny I wash drinking the some thing. Spill Czech gets me Avery chime

      Like 7
  5. Rw

    I have posted before Jeep stands for Japanese Engineering Eventually Prevails.

  6. Rw


  7. Chris Londish Member

    The 2.6 litre engine was a powerful if not thirsty unit, although I’m surprised this was still being made by Mitsubishi as I thought the Pajero had already been released Mitsubishi’s own 4wd

  8. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    A little know fact about foreign manufactured Willys station wagons . . .

    When Kaiser closed their Brazilian plant in 1967, Ford bought the entire factory and continued to make the Willys wagon thru 1977!

    So Ford made Jeeps from 1943 to 1977!

    Like 2
  9. Glenn Schwass

    That is really spiffy. I never knew they made them. Looks like a 60’s jeep with 70’s interior. I like the steering wheel.

  10. Gary

    Nice car, with the larger horsepower ( I assume) modern motor it should move along pretty well. Never knew Jeep licensed the rights out to them. All Ma Mopars little cars/trucks in the 70’s and 80’s were rebadged Mitsubishis so the collaboration has gone on longer than I thought.

    Like 1
  11. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:May 24, 2022 , 1:55PM
    Current bid:
    US $11,100.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 29 bids ]

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