1989 Mitsubishi Dekotora
Without a doubt Japan has the most interesting styles when it comes to modifying vehicles, and trucks are no exception! The term “Dekotora” it’s whats used to describe this particular style and literally translates “Art Truck”. What better term to use for this style? Much like customizing a passenger vehicle to ones individual tastes, the same applies to trucks. The sky is the limit, and to be frank, this particular 1989 Mitsubishi Canter is fairly mild. When it comes to fun and interesting vehicles they are typically not very useful, however this is not the case with this truck. This is the four door model, which in and of itself is difficult to find, and will comfortably transport five people. The bed sides also fold down for easy loading, turning the rear into a flat bed if needed. We have used this truck over the past five years for a variety of purposes including hauling parts, marketing, and shows. It gets droves of attention everywhere it goes. It is likely the only REAL Dekotora in the United States, and will be sure to catch peoples attention, while being completely functional as a truck. Of course the modifications are what makes this truck so interesting and unique. The front bumper has been replaced by a Jet Inoue stainless steel “Super Great” style bumper and includes a 6″ extension giving the front of the truck a lower and more pronounced look. The side extensions for the bumper have a total of 6 bullet style marker lights, which light up green as well. The side view mirrors have been extended forward, with one off stainless steel extensions and a set of aftermarket mirrors. There is also a Jet Inoue stainless steel sun shade over the top of the cab that has both green LED marker lights and a florescent section at the top. It’s hard to miss the marque below the windshield but in case you did, it also lights up. Up top, another marque which translates to “strong Japan” is also lighted and has green LEDs surrounding it as well. Down the side are a set of simple side bumpers and of course, more LED lighting. The entire cab was removed from the frame when this truck was built and the frame was painted in the traditional Dekotora red. There are also LED lights underneath the bed which light up red to show off the frame at night. The rear of the truck features a set of Jet Inoue tail lights and a custom step to make entry into the bed comfortable. It’s looks absolutely killer at night, especially going down the road. The paint is absolutely fantastic for a work truck and the cab has a bass boat look in the sun.
What’s a Dekotora without a completely custom interior? Finished in traditional Dekotora style the interior of this truck has been reworked using a traditional pattern crushed velvet and then covered in plastic to keep it in good condition, after all this was actually used as a work truck in Japan (and by us). The front and rear seats have all been recovered along with the door inserts and headliner. A chandelier room light has also been added and gets tons of compliments. The switches you see pictured are for all of the lighting controls and you are able to turn on only certain lights if you so choose. We have also added an additional seal between the front seats and the engine compartment to keep the cabin comfortable and free of any engine heat.
Mechanically we have maintained this truck well. Powered by 4 cylinder diesel engine it’s not going to win any races, but it’s perfect for around town and short runs. The 5 speed manual transmission shifts properly and has no issues. The brakes work excellent and it stops quicker than you would expect. The exhaust has also been modified in typical Dekotora fashion with a “Splitmani” which basically takes the front runner of the manifold and runs it separate from the other three. This creates a truly unique sound rarely heard outside of Japan. We have also installed 6 brand new Toyo tires and a new water pump. There are also 2 brand new batteries installed as this is a 24V system. This truck is ready to provide years of fun and smiles.