Mitsubishi Mizushima

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Mitsubishi Mizushima

The Mitsubishi Mizushima is the first of a series of three-wheeled cargo carriers made in Japan by Mitsubishi between 1946 and 1962.[1] It was a mechanically simple and rugged vehicle, with a 400 kg carrying capacity, and was equipped with a folding canvas covering and a windshield to protect the occupants.[2] Along with the Silver Pigeon scooter it represented the company's first contributions to the Japanese post-war personal transport boom.[3]


A Mitsubishi Leo, photographed at Fukuyama Motor and Clock Museum.

Later models would be introduced offering greater load-bearing abilities and a wider variety of bodystyles.[2] The 1948–50 TM3D model was built with a hardtop passenger cabin in response to customer demands, while the Mizushima's successor, the TM18 Mitsubishi Go pickup introduced in 1955,[4] could carry up to two tons in its cargo bed. The 1959 Mitsubishi Leo, heavily influenced by the Mizushima, was a transition between the company's first post-war vehicles and the Mitsubishi Minica, which represented the company's future in the 1960s. The Leo used a 309 cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine, the ME20, producing 12.5 hp at 4,500 rpm. Payload was 300 kg (660 lb), top speed 65 km/h (40 mph)[5]

Almost four decades later, Olivier Boulay would borrow heavily from the Leo for styling cues for his first prototypes when he became Mitsubishi Motors' design chief in 2001.[6]

During the Mizushima's life approximately 90,000 were produced, before it was replaced by the Mitsubishi Minicab in 1962.[2]


  1. ^ "1941–1950 Reconstruction, Recovery and Hope" Archived 2007-08-19 at the Wayback Machine, Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website
  2. ^ a b c Mizushima Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website
  3. ^ "Rebuilding the Nation" Archived 2007-08-23 at the Wayback Machine, Mitsubishi Motors History, Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website
  4. ^ 1940–1959 Archived 2012-01-30 at the Wayback Machine, Mitsubishi Motors Web Museum
  5. ^ 360cc: Light Commercial Truck 1950-1975 (360cc 軽商用貨物自動車 1950-1975). Tokyo: Yaesu Publishing. 2009. pp. 10–11, 83. ISBN 978-4-86144-139-4.
  6. ^ "Mitsubishi Gets a Makeover", Chester Dawson, BusinessWeek, November 5, 2001