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Mitsubishi J-52 Jacksonville, NC **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: International, Other 4x4s, Unusual • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: Was $9500 **SOLD**

This is an interesting jeep.  I am not familiar with the J-52, though I haven’t researched the early history of Mitsubishi.  The seller of this has been doing research of his own on this jeep for several years, as a post on the Willys M Jeeps forums as early as 2006 notes his search efforts.  The photos of this jeep are worth reviewing as it is a combination of some unusual features.  A quick search did reveal the J-53/54.  Finally, I found this table that shows the J-52 had the KE47 engine.

“Before I can get into the specifics of this little jeep, I feel I need to explain a little about it because there is very little information about the Mitsubishi J52 on the internet, and there are no photographs I can find depicting the body style like the one you see here. I found this one at a little jeep lot on Okinawa around 2006.  The dealer said it had come with a shipment of used jeeps from Tokyo.  I bought it and restored it there on the island, and the Government shipped it to the US as part of my household goods when my family and I returned from overseas.  I have had it since then and it has enjoyed local acclaim, appearing in several parades and winning “Best All Around” at a local car show.  All guys — and all little kids — absolutely love it!

It is my OPINION that this was one of the original Mitsubishi/Willys collaboration after WWII.  It’s a very early model J52, serial number “J52-00261”, and from this I believe the production number to be #261, or that this jeep was number 261 off the production line.  Because there are radio mount holes and radio table holes in the right rear fender, and because of the rifle mount racks present on the windshield frame, I believe this jeep to have been actually used and maintained by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces after the US stopped occupation in the early 1950’s.  It is also my opinion that they continued to use this jeep until 1973, when it was sold to the civilian market.  I believe this for two reasons:  first, the title says it’s a 1973 model; second, I can’t find a photograph of a 1973 Mitsubishi J52 that looks like this one.  (I also can’t prove a bit of this!)

This jeep was fully restored in 2006, everything was taken off the vehicle and repaired/restored/repainted; however, we did not take the tub off the frame.  I wish we had, because the channels are beginning to rust, and there are a few rust spots beginning to show around the door seams on the tub.  There is also some rust on the inner windshield frame where water collected underneath the glass and rusted it from the inside.  Other than those, there are a few very small bubbles beginning to appear, which I can point out to a serious bidder.  There is no rust on the floor pans or in the bed, the footpads are solid, the frame is undercoated and protected.  This is a solid jeep.

The engine is a Mitsubishi KE-47 gasoline powered four-cyliner.  It runs like a top and purrs like a kitten.  There are no oil leaks, compression is great.  Manual choke.  Transmission shifts great, three-speed with reverse.  Four-wheel drive and high/low transfer cases all work.  All lights work, although it has recently developed a dislike of high-beam headlights – sometimes they won’t come on and lows will have to do.  Front blackout lights work!  Fender-mounted blackout light is not connected.  Vacuum-powered wipers.

Canvas top was made on Okinawa by Mr. Shima, who used the old torn-up one as a pattern.  Seat pads are cordura and were made by Mr. Scott of Texas.

This jeep has been either carported or garaged since it’s been in the States.  Being in the military means moving a lot and sometimes it has had to do its “military share” by spending some time in the elements, but we have taken care of this jeep and it has meant a lot to our family.  We are headed back to Okinawa for another three years, and I think it’s time to send it on its way to another owner who will value and care for it.  If that’s you, you’re getting a good one and you can count on truthful answers to any questions you might have.”


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