[Japanese Moderns] Japanese Off-Road : The Pajero

-First, i'd just like to thanks everybody who's looking at my blog. Views number has been constantly increasing over the past two months, and that is really motivating. Also, according to my statistics, longer/most document posts are the most popular... I'll try to keep it this way. For now, let's enter our subject of the day : the Mitsubishi Pajero (also known as Montero in the Americas, and Shogun in the UK). Being introduced in 1982, the Pajero is certainly one of the most well-known japanese off-roaders. Its name come from a special variety of cat called Leopardus pajeros.

Real Pajero.

The current Pajero is in its 4th generation. Please note that the following article will be focused on the third generation (1999-2006), obviously because of the fact that i only have castings from this era. Multiple variations of the Pajero has been produced over the years (Pajero Mini, Pajero Junior, Pajero Sport etc.), but only one of them will be covered (certainly the most interesting one though!).

Talkin' Pajero
Original 83 Pajero.

The first steps of the Pajero come back to 1973, with the first prototype showed at the Tokyo Motor Show. It was initially a three-door, short wheelbase off-road truck.... and it failed. It was seen as a commercial vehicle, but it was clearly not the purpose of the car. Success started with the introduction of the long-wheelbase 5 doors model in 1984. Even more, a luxuous model (easily recognizable with its two-tone paint) has been introduced in 1987, to confirm the Pajero's success. Lots of engines were offered, from diesel to 3L V6. The Pajero has also been reproduced as the Dodge Raider and the Hyundai Galloper in multiple countries.

Third generation Pajero.

Second generation has been introduced in 1991 and lasted until 1999. It was a popular one, not for the car in itself but mainly because of the notority gained in the Rally Paris-Dakar event. The first Pajero entered the rally in 1983, and started to win in 1985. Up to this day, it remains the most titled truck in this event (although it is being challenged by the VW Touareg nowadays). The third generation lasted from 99 to 2006, but facing declining sales (especially in the US) and increasing competition from classic (Toyota Land Cruiser) or new players (Volkswagen), it has been retired from the american market. The fourth generation is more of a luxuous high-end SUV, but still very capable out of the roads.

Talking diecats, i must say that we NEED MORE Pajero diecasts. Of course, a lot has been produced by Tomica, but they're unavailable here, and quite expensive on eBay. I just bought the 4th generation Tomica, but it didin't arrived yet. I'll probably do a new small post to cover it (along with a few additions to older posts). So let's aboard the regular third generation three-door Pajero. Recently reproduced by Welly, as mentioned in this post, the Pajero has been found in the Easter Eggs series, and is quite well done. Proportions are pretty well reproduced, and the silver color (classic color for a Pajero) fits it well. Wheels are just perfect too... i must admit that it is one of my favorite. Only thing i dislike : there's no interior doors cover, and that makes it look strange. Still, a pretty nice effort by Welly!

Evaluation : Welly Mitsubishi Pajero
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 7/10
  • Color : 8/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  8/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 8/10
  • Total : 40/50

The same car has been reproduced by Majorette, but in its Paris-Dakar version, referenced as number 292. At first glance, Majorette did a perfect job on the decals. But with a second look... it looks a bit plastic. Not quite a fan of those wheels too, they look cheap and too much generic. And what's wrong with the rear of the car, they forgot it? Besides that, tampos are a great add *on the front*, and the overall proportions are well reproduced. At least, the decals are officials, and reproduces well the 2001 Paris-Dakar edition. I quite like the casting.... but it could have been better. I must give a thumb up for the opening hood though.

Evaluation : Majorette Mitsubishi Pajero Rally
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 5/10
  • Color : 9/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  7/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 7/10
  • Total : 39/50

For the special edition part of this article, we need to talk of the Pajero Evolution. Initially introduced as a sport model on the second generation, the Pajero Evo was also a concept introduced in 2003, used to show new Mitsubishi's style. Equipped with a double turbo V6 delivering 450 hp, it was quite a beast. The car is the actual Paris-Dakar Mitsubishi Pajero, in a red racing livery. This concept has been reproduced by an obscure diecast brand called Boley.... Boley only made 9 repertoried cars in 1/64 scale, and they're quite cheap to buy (around only 1$). It is an awesomely detailed car for the price, with interior, mirrors, nice wheels and real glass lights. I must say that the proportions are pretty nice done, and for one time, the car is really 1/64!  The color doesn't represent the real deal though.... and i must say that the car looks really fragile. Still a nice piece to have, they'll surely become rare in the future!

Evaluation : Boley Mitsubishi Pajero Evo
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 9/10
  • Color : 8/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  5/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 8/10
  • Total : 39/50

Enjoy the pics, don't forget to comment!


  1. please do mention the scale of each model. Since all models are not 1/64 scale

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