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Mitsubishi Jeeps in Japan


Mitsubishi J20

Mitsubishi J20, bird's-eye view
The Mitsubishi J20 (above), produced in the 1960s is one of over 30 different Jeep models based on the CJ-3B body style, and built in Japan under licence from Willys from 1953 through 1998.

Seven passengers in a CJ-3B looks crowded, even in this J20, which is almost a foot longer than a standard CJ-3B. This illustration of its capacity was featured in a Mitsubishi brochure.
 

J11 brochureThe Jeeps have been built with short, medium and long wheelbases, with various gasoline and diesel 4-cylinder engines, and even in versions similar to a Willys station wagon with a CJ-3B front end, like this J11 model. Like Mahindra in India, on its later models Mitsubishi added a short diagonal skirt at the front edge of the front fenders. But unlike Mahindra, the Japanese firm never adopted the CJ-5 "round-fender" body style.
 

Building the CJ3B-J4Mitsubishi Motors announced on 4 June 1998 that it would stop production of Jeep models, 45 years after their commercial debut in Japan. The Tokyo-based automaker would make its last Jeep in August, said a company spokesman, explaining the decision was made because the vehicles don't meet new environmental and safety standards. Mitsubishi sold about 200,000 Jeeps in Japan -- many to the government -- since it was first granted a licence to make them in 1953.
 

The CJ3B-J3

J3 brochure

The original Mitsubishi CJ3B-J3 was built from 1953 into the 1970's, alongside the CJ3B-J4 Military Jeeps used by both the Japanese Army and the U.S. Army.

See also another colorful CJ3B-J3 Brochure scanned by Makoto Hirakawa.


 
CJ3B-J3 data plateHurricane engine numbers on early Mitsubishi Jeeps have a 4J prefix, suggesting that they used engines supplied by Willys. Later Mitsubishi Hurricane engines have numbers prefixed by JH4.

Other Variations

In the mid-1950s Mitsubishi began building versions with medium and long wheelbases In the late 1950s, diesel versions and right-hand drive versions were added to the line.

See a Mitsubishi J32 fire engine on the CJ-3B Fire Engines Around the World page.

Slightly larger engines were added in the 1970's -- the J54 and military J54A used a 2.7L diesel engine, the J56 had a 2.4L gasoline engine, and the J57 a 2.6L. There were also medium and long-wheelbase models available with all of these engines. From the mid-1980's until Jeep production was ended in 1998, only diesel engines were available in the J50 series.

Like the Mahindras which are still built in India, the Mitsubishi Jeeps had a lot of appeal to people wanting a new vehicle with the no-nonsense look of a flat-fender Jeep. The catalogue photo below shows some of the range available in the 1970's. See a larger copy (330K JPEG).

Mitsubishi Catalog

Thanks to Mori Ochi and to Makoto Hirakawa for providing information for this page. -- Derek Redmond

On the web in Japan, see Makoto's Japanese Jeeper's Home Page.

James Danko has English Mitsubishi factory service manuals for sale.


See more Mitsubishi Jeeps on CJ3B.info.

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Last updated 1 May 2010 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
http://cj3b.info/World/Japan2.html
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond