Japan's Mitsubishi Motors reportedly produced some 200,000 Jeeps from 1953-1998, most of them based at least partly on the CJ-3B (see Jeeps in Japan.) They have made their way to some surprising corners of the world.
Marine 1st Lt. Jonathan George sent these photos of a Mitsubishi CJ3B-J4C on display with a number of vehicles used by Republic of Korea forces during the Korean war. (It seems unlikely this Jeep was actually used in the 1950-53 conflict.) Jonathan says, "While on a tour of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, I stumbled across this display. The Jeep looked to be fairly complete, but was in pretty poor shape from sitting outside for all these years. The display sign is pretty interesting too."
The sign reads: "Now a warrior is resting here after performing its duty. This warrior carried out transportation of military forces and execution of military operations in the fields and mountains for the defending R.O.K. against Communist invasion."
See also an interior photo (50K JPEG). The interior won't be there much longer if they don't fix that roof. Looks like at least somebody's given the Jeep a new coat of camo paint since the fifties. Thanks to Jonathan for sending the photos.
There's a bit of a mystery surrounding this 1958 Mitsu CJ-3B, which was also featured in an Old Iron magazine column by Jim Allen (see CJ-3B Magazine Articles). It was advertised for sale online in 2005 with the claim that it was a prototype produced in the U.S. for Mitsubishi. But by 1958, the Japanese had already been building the Jeeps under licence for five years, so this one is more likely a sample sent from Japan to Toledo. Apparently kept at the Toledo Jeep plant for a number of years and then donated to a local cemetery, it wound up in a private collection.
The frame number (70K JPEG) is 58CJ3BM12550M, which confirms that it's a 1958 model. The Willys name is stamped on one side of the hood, and Mitsubishi on the other. The grille has both the Willys name and Mitsubishi logo, which also appears on the rear axle (70 K JPEG).
A catalogue of historical vehicle photos on the website of the Directorate of Transportation, Air Support Command of the Royal Thai Air Force, includes a number of Jeeps. This bone-stock early-50's Willys CJ-3B appears to have been maintained in good shape. A Willys CJ-6 (70K JPEG) is more unusual with its front winch and locking hubs, half doors, split-pane ventilating windshield, and rear fenderwell seats.
This photo of a Mitsubishi J20 is dated 1970, although the date may not be reliable. The Jeep has a siren, flashing light on the roof, and a logo with crossed pistols, suggesting perhaps a Military Police unit.
Other high hood Jeep photos on the site include a Mitsubishi J4C dated 1959 and Mitsubishi J3R dated 1974 (70K JPEG's).
Not long after the orange one was shipped to Toledo, this '59 was headed for Spain. It was apparently first registered in the city of Bilbao in 1959, and had three owners before Willie Cabrero bought it in 2005 in a village near Madrid. He says, "The Jeep is generally good, needs some work on brakes, electrical system, transmission... otherwise the diesel engine runs well and the chassis is also in good condition. I would like to do an original restoration but it is very difficult find information in English or Spanish on these Jeeps. The chassis number reads 59CJ3BM16245."
Meanwhile, Luis Enes says his Mitsubishi J25L was sold in Portugal in 1978, which suggests that Mitsubishi continued trying to make some inroads in the European market even as EBRO Jeeps were being built next door in Spain. However, this Jeep has a 24-volt system, so it's also likely it was originally intended for military service.
a front view photo (40K JPEG) of Luis' Jeep.
This picture comes from a web album called Burma Jeeps, with photos showing a variety of flatfenders seen in that country in 2006.
The fog lamp on this one reminds me of a Volvo I had back in the 1970's. But the great feature is the dual horns positioned in the grille for maximum volume.
Late model Intercooler Turbo: Ivan in New Zealand wrote, "I recently acquired a 1996 Mitsubishi Jeep 2.7 Turbo Diesel, model J55 with a 4DR5 engine. Have taken it on 4x4 club outings, and there is hardly another vehicle that can get out of situations that this Jeep can! Maybe only the Landcruiser competes! I was told that only 300 units were produced in 1996. I have great difficulties obtaining information on maintenance, re-building, and any other info relevant to the car. In fact, I can not even find an owner's handbook and repair manual."
See also the interior and a
front view photo (100K JPEG's).
Thanks to all the photographers. -- Derek Redmond
See more Mitsubishi Jeeps on The CJ3B Page.
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