Junkyard Gem: 2003 Mitsubishi Diamante LS

One of the last U.S.-market Mitsubishi luxury sedans

  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
While Chrysler started selling Dodge- and Plymouth-badged Mitsubishis in the United States starting with the 1971 model year, Americans couldn't buy new cars with the Mitsubishi name until 1983. Thirty-five years later, Mitsubishi is down to just four models on these shores, all of which cater to the lower end of the market. However, from 1992 through 2004, Mitsubishi tackled the luxury market with its Diamante big sedan. Here's a very rare second-to-last-model-year Diamante, spotted in a Denver-area wrecking yard.

I have documented plenty of Mitsubishis during my junkyard explorations, but these late Diamantes have been tough to find (though I have spotted a Diamante wagon). Sales of this car weren't great given that Mitsubishi's name didn't exactly resonate with luxury shoppers. Not when there was a Lexus ES around that did the same thing with a proper premium badge and brand.

Second-generation Diamantes sold outside of Japan were built in Australia.

Mitsubishi got its money's worth with the 6G7 series of V6 engines, starting with the 1986 Galant and continuing in trucks to the present day. Endless Chryslers of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s also received 6G72 power. This car has the DOHC 3.5-liter 6G74 version, rated at 205 horsepower.

The interior is pretty nice, in its turn-of-the-21st-century manner, and the fact that this car has an ignition key means that it's probably an insurance total or a dealership trade-in.

The nose shows evidence of a fender-bender, and that's enough to doom a forgotten luxury car like this. Next stop: The Crusher.

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