Michigan got blasted with a lot of snow last weekend, which shows how the weather can wreak havoc on roads – even ones that are used to getting blasted by the cold white stuff. Whoever buys this 1988 Mitsubishi Pajero Paris-Dakar Special on Bring a Trailer, though, will never have to worry about weather conditions ever again.
Mitsubishi decided to pull out of the Dakar Rally and all cross-country rallies back in 2009. It was a real shame, as the automaker had 12 wins to its name in what has to be the most grueling race on the planet, and this Pajero harks back to the good old days.The example on the auction site only has 36,000 miles on it and was recently imported from Japan, so it’s the real deal. There’s not a lot of information available though, but with things like air conditioning and a radio, we think you have everything you need for a Dakar special.Power for this Pajero comes from a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four diesel that is matched to a five-speed manual transmission. Because it is a true 4×4 and not a modern day, tarmac-biased crossover, it’s fitted with a four-wheel-drive transfer case that is operated via a lever, which should make a satisfying clunk when shifted into four-low.In addition to having the right powertrain to conquer all types of terrain, the SUV also looks the part, as the RalliArt front grille guard, an OEM front skid plate and roof rack, rally-inspired taillights, roof spoiler, built-in tow hook and rugged mudflaps give the Pajero a genuine Dakar feel.The same theme continues in the cabin that houses adjustable Recaro Seats, a RalliArt steering wheel and factory auxiliary gauges. More interestingly, there’s a commemorative plaque on the passenger’s side of the dashboard that outlines Mitsubishi’s results at the Paris-Dakar rally between 1983 and 1988.For a 30-year-old SUV, this Pajero looks pristine. Even the undercarriage looks new. At the time of writing, the current bid is $10,750. We don’t expect the SUV to sell at the price, because it would be an absolute steal. We’re huge fans of the Jeep Wrangler JL, but at $30,445, the SUV isn’t exactly cheap. Now, we might be comparing apples to oranges here, but they’re both supposed to excel at off-roading and, while it certainly is old, this special edition will give you the same, if not better, 4×4 skills for a fraction of the Jeep’s price.