Badge Engineering: 1987 Mitsubishi Mighty Max – Sold?
August 2, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
When we talk about badge engineering, it almost always has to do with a Chrysler product. This is not to say Ford and GM didn’t also look overseas to plug holes in their lineups, but it seems like the various brands under the Chrysler masthead raided the Mitsubishi lineup handily to fill gaps with everything from sports cars to small pickup trucks. Today, we have a case of the latter with this nicely preserved 1987 Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickup originally listed in July 2021 on Craigslist in Charleston, South Carolina, which was otherwise known as a Dodge Ram 50 and is offered up for $3,500. Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide confirms this private seller has his truck priced fairly given how few are likely left in this condition, with the “High Retail” pegged at $2,150.
The light-duty truck market has been making a rebound lately in the U.S., with models like the Ford Ranger coming back to life after being killed off in favor of larger full-size models that also came with a full-size price tag. It’s one of the few times in recent memory when consumers actually voiced enough displeasure with this trend, which also saw light-duty models from Mazda, Nissan, and other manufacturers all disappear from domestic lineups, that automakers actually began planning to revisit the topic with new models. Still, we’re a long way from what used to be the norm, when the Mighty Max and its corporate twin the Ram 50 were hauling everything from small machines to gardening supplies, and usually being pushed to their mechanical limits in terms of load capacity and limited maintenance. And if that didn’t kill them, rust usually did.
This Mighty Max has seemingly kept all of those demons at bay, emerging years later with decent paint and wheel wells that aren’t pockmarked by rust holes. The truck has clearly been maintained to a high level as well, with the seller claiming the low-output four-cylinder will still happily chug along at 75 miles per hour on the interstate. The Mighty Max everyone wants is the four-wheel-drive model, which often came with sharp aluminum wheels, meaty tires, a brush guard, and even a roll bar in the bed depending on how much the first owner chose to spend out of the OEM parts catalog, but there’s something to be said for keeping the smaller two-wheel-drive model in one’s fleet of collector vehicles. It will never be worth much, but you’ll surely get a lot more use out of it than your typical hobby car. With the seller claiming not a drop of oil to be found or any sign of smoke emitting from the engine, this 200,000-mile example appears to be living a charmed life. Good luck with the purchase if you bring this compact pickup home!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Up for sale is my 1987 Mitsubishi Mighty Max. This extremely solid driver gets tons of attention. fully rebuilt and resealed engine and transmission. tons of new parts runs amazing! An extremely clean interior for the year. It’s a 5 speed and it’s fun to drive and extremely reliable. 2.0 engine. Everything works. a/c has had a belt put back on but it worked before the rebuild. extremely well running and maintained not a drop of oil anywhere and doesn’t smoke or have any funny noises. I drive it every day. pulls 75+ on the highway smooth as hell. text me with any more questions or pics.“
Do you have a Mitsubishi Mighty Max story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!