THE Mitsubishi D5 Delica is the fifth generation of a vehicle series which first appeared in the 1960s as a cab-over ute in Japan. The model name reputedly derived from ‘Delivery Car’. Australia knew it first as the Chrysler L300 Express and, from 1980, the Starwagon.
Primarily a commercial, multipurpose van, it also became an eight-seat people-mover, as per Volkswagen’s venerable Kombi and Transporter buses.
The first 4WD version used early Pajero underpinnings and was introduced in Japan in 1982, arriving in Australia a year later with a five-speed manual transmission and a 1.8-litre engine. Some people still swear by them as a 4WD camper van.
The last of the Mitsubishi Express machines here was a commercial van, introduced in 2003 and pulled from the Australian market in 2013 due to a one-star ANCAP crash rating.
The fifth-gen Delica, introduced in 2007 and designed as an eightseat people-mover, continues to be built and sold in Japan.