I Bought Mitsubishi’s JDM Evo Minivan and Drove It 2,800 Miles Home. It Only Went a Little Wrong

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By Car Brand Experts

Exploring the Adventure of Buying a Mitsubishi Evo Minivan: A 2,800-Mile Journey

Driving and Discoveries of a Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a rare and powerful vehicle like the 1996 Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT, commonly known as the “Evo minivan,” then you’re in for an exciting journey. This remarkable vehicle boasts a turbo 2.0-liter 4G63 engine, a five-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive, and a versatile three-row seating configuration.

Acquiring the Dream

After a decade of anticipation, the moment arrived for one enthusiast to make the purchase. Landing in Charlotte, NC, the buyer picked up the Chariot from Hoogie’s Imports, a testament to excellent customer service. Despite its 97,000 miles and some imperfections, like missing dealer-option curtains, the allure of this unique vehicle was undeniable.

The Journey Begins

Setting off on a 2,800-mile trek from Charlotte to Portland, OR, the adventure unfolded with both delights and challenges. With the manual transmission optimized for Japanese roads, the high rpm and lack of cruise control proved to be initial hurdles. An oddity with the gas gauge hinted at potential issues, setting the stage for a memorable journey ahead.

Overcoming Obstacles

Navigating through states and terrains, including Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas, the Chariot excelled in performance and comfort. However, a mysterious scraping sound near journey’s end raised concerns. A thorough inspection revealed worn brake pads and glazed rotors, necessitating urgent repairs.

Finding Solutions

Fortunately, a stroke of luck prevailed as commonality with the Eclipse GSX led to accessible brake parts. Swift action in a friend’s garage resolved the brake issues, unveiling additional maintenance needs like servicing the transfer case due to a minor leak.


The thrill of owning and driving a legendary vehicle like the Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT is an experience like no other. Despite minor setbacks along the journey, the passion for this unique automobile prevailed, showcasing the resilience and joy of automotive enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What makes the Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT special?

The Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT stands out due to its rare combination of a turbocharged engine, manual transmission, and all-wheel-drive setup, making it a coveted choice for automotive enthusiasts seeking performance and versatility.

2. How challenging was the 2,800-mile journey back home with the Mitsubishi Chariot?

The journey presented various challenges, such as high RPM due to gearing, lack of cruise control, and unexpected mechanical issues like worn brake components. Despite these hurdles, the adventure of owning and driving this unique vehicle was a rewarding experience.

3. Where can enthusiasts find rare vehicles like the Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT?

Rare vehicles like the Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT can be found through specialty importers, online marketplaces, and enthusiast communities dedicated to unique and iconic automotive models from around the world.# Heading: Exploring the Adventure of Acquiring a 1996 Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT

Unveiling a Unique Discovery at Hangar 13 Racing

The journey of acquiring a 1996 Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT was not just about driving a new car; it was about embarking on an adventure filled with unexpected experiences. While at Hangar 13 Racing, the author stumbled upon a rare sight of a drum brake inside a rear rotor, showcasing the intricacies of automotive engineering.

A Road Trip Full of Surprises

Setting off on the road trip with the newly acquired Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT was not without its challenges. The delays and struggles to find accommodation in Green River, UT, added an element of unpredictability to the journey. However, as the road stretched through Utah, Idaho, and Oregon, the trip became a blend of long-distance driving and scenic views along the Columbia River Gorge, creating memories to cherish.

A Dream Fulfilled, But More to Come

For the author, owning the Resort Runner GT marked the fulfillment of a decade-long dream. Despite encountering minor service issues like a rusted catalytic converter, the excitement of further enhancements and maintenance tasks lies ahead. This ownership symbolizes a special connection with the car, hinting at a future filled with more adventures and discoveries.


The acquisition of the 1996 Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT signified more than just obtaining a vehicle; it marked the commencement of a saga of exploration and dedication to automotive craftsmanship. With every challenge faced during the road trip and every milestone achieved, the bond between the author and the car grew stronger, promising more adventures in the future.


Q: What was the unique discovery made at Hangar 13 Racing?

A: The author found a drum brake inside a rear rotor, a rare sight that showcased the intricate details of automotive engineering.

Q: What challenges did the author face during the road trip?

A: Delays, struggles to find accommodation, and a rusted catalytic converter were among the challenges encountered during the road trip through Utah, Idaho, and Oregon.

Q: What does owning the 1996 Mitsubishi Chariot Resort Runner GT mean to the author?

A: Owning the Resort Runner GT signifies the fulfillment of a long-standing dream for the author, hinting at a future filled with more adventures and enhancements.

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