Saturday, September 22, 2018

1965 Mitsubishi Minica Deluxe

How many of these can be left in the world?

The Mitsubishi Minica was a Japanese kei car. Kei cars are uniquely Japanese small cars. The size and engine capacity are limited by Japanese laws. The cost of insurance and taxes are less for a kei car than a standard car. They still build and sell kei cars in Japan. (They actually sell a lot of them.) Currently, a kei car can have a maximum 660cc engine that can produce no more than 63 horsepower.

Back when this car was built the engine could be no larger than 360ccs. In those pre-turbocharger, pre-supercharger, pre-fuel injection days, there was no need to limit the horsepower. A 1960s 360cc engine, no matter who built it, wasn't going to have much horsepower.

Mitsubishi introduced the Minica line of cars in 1962. It was based on the Mitsubishi 360 line of kei trucks. (Yes, there were kei trucks and they were held to the same standards as the cars.) The air cooled 360cc two stroke engine put out 17 horsepower. It reached 60 miles per hour in... Well, it actually never reached 60 MPH. Its top speed was 50.

But, let's face it, no one is going to buy this car for its performance. They are going to buy it for its uniqueness and, uh, style. This is one strange looking car. Rear hinged doors, tiny tail fins and huge C pillars that extend past the rear window. It's as if Mitsubishi took styling cues from every bizarre 1960s car and put them on this car.

This car is a Minica "Deluxe." Other than the grill, I don't know what the differences are between the "Standard" Minica and the "Deluxe." It appears to be in pretty good shape. The seller says it "runs and drives but does need work." He doesn't say what kind of work it needs. He has a CA title for it, but is "looking for the keys," which were lost when he moved.

The asking price is $6500.00. Let's face it, you can get a lot of decent cars for that kind of money. All of them will be bigger, safer, more comfortable and faster than a Minica. None of them, however, will be as unique. Nothing costing $6500.00 will get as much attention as this Mitsubishi Minica will.

Located in Torrance, CA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

P.S. - In the 1990s Mitsubishi made a sub-modle of the Minica called the Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce. I'm not kidding.

No comments: