This Old Mitsubishi Kept Up With $50,000 Rigs Up and Down Baja
March 3, '21 Feature Photo: A Montero enjoying sunset.
The second-generation Mitsubishi Montero is one of the greatest SUVs of the ’90s. But I only bought this one because I needed a non-manual car to drive after mulching my left hand in a crash, but it quickly became one of my favorite vehicles and it’s taken me on many adventures since.
For a hot second I worried about putting my own vehicles in two consecutive Feature Photos, but then I remembered, it’s my dang website! You’ll look at my Montero and you’ll like it… I hope!
March 3, 2021 Car Bibles Feature Photo Details
- Car(s): 1998 Mitsubishi Montero
- Location: Baja, more specifically, somewhere near El Rosario
- Photog: It me
- Camera: Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
You’re going to be hearing a lot more about this truck, everything I’ve done to it, and how I’ve got it setup as the ultimate low-cost lightweight overlander. But this is just a Feature Photo post so I’ll limit my pontificating specifically to the picture above. That image was taken near some spectacular cliffs on the western coast of the Baja peninsula, not terribly far south of Ensenada, just a little ways down a dirt track from the crossroads at El Rosario. Folks familiar with the area will know that as the location of Mamá Espinoza’s, a classic grub stop with spectacular food and, like every other eatery in Baja, a whole lot of off-road racing stickers decorating the walls.
Mama herself (Anita Espinoza) passed away a few years ago but was very popular in the desert racing and adventure community for her hospitality. Some cursory research suggests the restaurant was the first checkpoint when folks started racing the peninsula back in the 1960s. I can’t say I’ve ever driven by the joint without stopping, myself!
Anyway the trip I got this photo on was hosted by Dometic, a company that makes high-end appliances for RVs and overland vehicles (also really fancy portable toilets). We were down there field testing 12-volt refrigerators and portable battery packs while the company reps shot a commercial. They brought a drone pilot who was kind enough to capture a video for me which I clipped above. Do GIFs work on our new site here? Looks like… yes!
What a scene, right? Mine was the cheapest rig in the entourage, as usual, but I didn’t have too much trouble keeping up with brand new heavily kitted-out Toyotas. Well, OK, I did but only because I wanted to drive slowly and soak up the Baja breeze through my big ol’ windows. That was also the trip I got to meet Loki, a dog with two million Instagram followers and a Toyota sponsorship. He rolled around in a fresh 4Runner with, like, every accessory ever conceived bolted to it. I’d post a picture of him too but I’m a little worried he might come after me for royalties.
I can’t wait to get back down to Baja one way or another. Racing is fun, and the peninsula is a great place to do it, but as far as I’m concerned it’s an even better place to take a much more relaxing pace.