We recently created a market report for the first generation Mitsubishi Montero, which was an early competitor to the Jeep Cherokee, Izuzu Trooper, and many more Body on Frame off-road-oriented vehicles.
In addition to creating the market report we also reached out to Jeff Glucker from Hooniverse who actually owns one of these vehicles. We had a few questions and got his perspective on the Montero.
Be sure to check out Jeff on Hooniverse and his numerous YouTube videos about the Montero.
Many thanks to Jeff for his input here and on the market report. Without further adieu, let’s grill Jeff on the 1st Gen Montero!
Image Credit: RL GNZLZ
BRZO: Why the interest in the First Generation Montero?
Jeff: I’ll be honest, I wanted an FJ60 or 62 originally, but I think the market on those has gone insane. Those are $6-8k trucks selling for significantly more. So I started looking around and I saw the Trooper, Montero, and Discoverys being fairly ignored by the majority. I found a few nice Monteros on CL (using BRZO, of course) and test drove two of them. The price was right. The styling is awesome. And the capability is as good or maybe even better than the FJ60, so I made the move.
BRZO: Were there other cars you were considering when making the Montero Purchase?
Jeff: I love old Range Rovers, so I was looking at RR Classics and early Discos. But the reliability and cost of parts scares me. I still check out some of the listings from time to time, but I’m happy with my Montero.
BRZO: Why did you choose the manual transmission over the automatic?
Jeff: I know the engine’s don’t make a ton of power, so I wanted to be able to be exactly in the power band when I wanted to – like merging on the highway or climbing a hill off-road. I will say, I’ve heard that the auto is actually the stronger of the two gearboxes, but I’m quite content with my manual transmission.
BRZO: Are there better years of the Montero over the other years?
Jeff: I prefer the styling of the Gen I trucks. But later models have better front brakes, stronger engines, and a few upgrades that I don’t. However, some of the bits are easily swappable. So if you know there’s something you want from a later truck, but prefer the older styling, you can make that happen. Someday, I’m going to upgrade the front hubs to accept the larger Gen II brakes, no question.
BRZO: Why do you prefer the first generation, Montero, over the other generations?
Jeff: It’s mostly the looks. This box on wheels is an iconic shape carried by a handful of other SUVs of the era. It works. It looks like a tool, an off-road tool, shaped for business. Then once you add some wheels, tires, and more, and make it your own, it becomes that much more special.
BRZO: If someone offered you to swap your Montero for another vehicle today, what would that other vehicle have to be?
Jeff: Oooh, good question. I have car ADD, so I’ve been looking at E38 BMWs and 70’s Cadillacs lately. But I’m not sure I could be swayed to get rid of the Montero just yet. In fact, my 5-yo daughter said she wants it… so I may have to hold onto it for quite a bit longer. Though a Defender 130 would probably change that, as that’s my dream truck.
BRZO: As you’ve been working on your Montero what has impressed you the most about it? What has disappointed you the most about it?
Jeff: It’s very basic under the hood. Things are accessible. And there’s TONS of knowledge about these trucks online, as they have a loyal and friendly fan base. Occasionally, certain parts are hard to find. I literally just ordered a new oil pressure gauge, and it’s being shipped from S Korea. You’re going to find a number of things you need there and in the Philippines. Otherwise the forums, Facebook fan page, and parts lots are your friends.