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Old 09-03-2016, 07:11 PM   #1
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Sportsmobile alternative: Mitsubishi Delica

https://adventure-journal.com/2014/0...bishis-delica/

I encountered one of these near Edmonton, and they are VERY cool. Didn't have the built-ins my SMB has, of course, but it gets way better mileage and can turn around in a bike lane. And it cost as much as some people's sound systems.

Another decent deal is the Toyota Hiace. Too bad we in the US have to wait 25 years. Rather cool vehicles.
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:55 PM   #2
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They did sell the Hi-Ace here. In 4x4 even. I had one for a while. So did a couple friends (one of theirs was 4x4).

It was nice having a small compact van that would still fit my biking and boating gear. Driving it was less than fun. A little terrifying at times, since it topped out at 64, maybe 50 up hills. And hard braking felt like it would endo.
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Old 09-03-2016, 10:10 PM   #3
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Here are a few that I saw when I was in Australia in 2014.....









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Old 09-04-2016, 01:14 AM   #4
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Here's a super sweet Delica in NZ:
FWIW I think Delicas are freakin' cool. But I also think they (and other minivan platforms) are a bit small. The video kind of shows it.

And I have personal experience too. I started to convert a 2003 Astro AWD: 4" lift, wheels, tires, platform bed with storage underneath.

My next step was going to be a complete 5.7 V8 4x4 drivetrain out of a '98 Suburban. It's close to a bolt-in conversion.

The thing is, even as a single, travel light, less is more kind of guy with no kids or pets, the Astro gets cramped. When my girlfriend is with me it gets even more so.

So I recently picked up a low-mile 7.3 RB. That's a story for a whole nother post, but just my 2 cents' worth, it's a lot more realistic for an overland rig...
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Old 09-04-2016, 01:20 AM   #5
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Tried to post a pic of my Astro btw, but it doesn't seem to work from Google Drive.

Why can't we just copy and paste a pic into the body of a message?
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:43 AM   #6
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I keep asking about the Jucy conversions, and where they're done. I think they are a very nice design. Yeah, small, I agree, but it's all about the compromises. The VW synchro is my epitome of the ultimate van design off the shelf, but I too would find it hard to deal with the speed issue, and I'd probably hate the smallness of it now.

I keep trying to convince some of my tent camper buddies to go hard side, and these might make a viable transition for 'em since some just won't do even vehicles as large (or expensive) as SMBs.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:59 AM   #7
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FWIW - The Hi-Ace and Delica are just about the same space in side as a newer EB Transit-Connect, but the T-C has a flat floor up front, so the front seats could be integrated in the living space. If true off-road 4x4 isn't needed, a T-C might be a better starting platform. Roughly 50% more power, better ride, more usable space, infinitely more reliable, and for snow and ice, will be superior to a RWD cabover van.
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Old 09-04-2016, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelheadJones View Post
Tried to post a pic of my Astro btw, but it doesn't seem to work from Google Drive.

Why can't we just copy and paste a pic into the body of a message?
The easy way (for me anyway....) is to upload the pic to your gallery, which is now in the sportsmobile photos tab at the top of the page. Once that's done, just copy and paste the BB code under the pic in your gallery to your post......simple!
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Old 09-04-2016, 02:55 PM   #9
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Thanks boywonder, that was helpful. Presenting Minnie...

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Old 09-04-2016, 04:40 PM   #10
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Garage
Man that's a great looker.
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Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
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