Mitsubishi Monday: 3rd gen Pajero / Montero / Shogun
MTech's 1/43 recreation of the last all - new Pajero / Montero / Shogun
Monday motivation: The Pajero is dead and gone as we know it, the plant that built the SUV will shutter down in 2023, and the surrounding village which thrived on the plant is dumbstruck. 2020 has to be the best year yet. BEST.
The Pajero (also known as Montero in US for a very interesting reason / Shogun in the UK, reason unknown) was a remarkable SUV in its heydays, and the maker spent millions of dollars chasing rally raid success in hugely modded versions. In the process, the world saw the obscure yet insane Pajero Evolution, and Mitsubishi ended up being the most successful manufacturer in the Dakar. It won the car title outright from 2001 - 2007 (the most dominant win coming in 2002, where 1 - 8th overall and 10th were all Mitsubishis and except for the two L200 prototypes, were all Pajeros), and has a total tally of 11 wins. Like the Pajero though, Mitsubishi's Dakar adventures faded since the rally moved to South America, the last noteworthy participation being privately entered prototypes (former works cars) finishing 6th, 9th and 10th in 2010.
Remember, this is not a die cast model, but a Multi - Material miniature model.
This particular model is a 1/43 replica of the 3rd gen Pajero 3 door SWB, which debuted in 1999 (and incidentally was the last all - new Pajero), made by Epoch under its 1/43 moniker, M - Tech. For those who are not familiar, M - Tech is a 1/43 JDM (legit usable lol) die cast brand with some remarkable models under its belt. Unfortunately the brand appears to be defunct at the moment, with no new models on sale as such. This particular second hand purchase was made in 2000, and the original buyer took great care of it. Only the box shows some mild wear and tear, quite justifiable given its 20 year lifespan. The model itself is in pristine "showroom" condition (some Sri Lankan automotive sales jargon for you). For those who are interested in domestic Japanese 1/43 (or 1/32) brands, a Google search on M-Tech and Diapet may very well be worthwhile. Diapet is still functional and makes some dope heavy vehicle models.
Front grille one of the few places I wish MTech did better.
This particular model has a personal importance as well. It was a miniature model of this 3rd gen Pajero, on a promotional brochure, that firmly reignited my love for die cast back in 2003. Sadly the promotional OEM model is nowhere to be found (even a photo seems very hard to come by), and the next best options are the Autoart 1/43 model and this. The Autoart version features the domestic Exceed trim in both SWB and LWB variants (LWB version is much, much harder to come by). This M - Tech features the General market 3 door LHD version (possibly GLS trim). They still command significant value in used form, well over the 15 dollars (approx.) I had to dish out for this mint example.
The detailing is very good, and the wheel - tire setup is absolutely spot on. Lights could have been clear at the back as well, but the painted separate lights do no harm altogether. The only minor worry is the front grille, which could have been executed better, slightly below par for the otherwise perfect execution. The door mirrors have reflective surfaces, highlighting that this is not something purely intended for children (this belongs to the more upmarket line of M-Tech products). The original sales brochure found in the box (yes, the original brochure) has a lot of Japanese that I cannot decipher, but I can understand the YOM (2000) and the suggested retail price (3000 yen back then).
Cannot really explain how much I love those wheels. Has to be one of the finest executions of a 1/43 wheel.
It is honestly sad to see the Pajero name die, with a replacement absolutely unlikely unless Nissan lends the Patrol platform (or the ute itself).
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great, safe week ahead!