Trek-Ready Mitsubishi Pajero - Our Shed

By: Glenn Torrens - Words & Photo

mitsubishi pajero 8 With my regular tow-rig Toyota out of rego for a while, the Pajero did the job of towing my Bug a couple of times mitsubishi pajero 8

After months of mechanical mayhem, Glenn Torrens is confident of his Mitsubishi Pajero being a cheerful camping companion

The secluded valley looked to be a terrific place to set up camp for a day or two. A sunny, grassy plain was edged with a stand of gum trees that gave some protection from the gentle breeze that, by early afternoon, was tussling the treetops and dappling the shadows over the ground below.

My 1989 Mitsubishi Pajero V6 4WD wagon, splashed with mud, was nosed into the trees. Nearby were the basics needed for a relaxing weekend in the bush: a tent, a table and chairs and a 20-litre water drum perched on a stand. Two beach towels fluttered in the breeze from a rope strung between two trees and a billy was hung over a campfire’s ring of rocks.

Ahh, the serenity!


There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes equipment and preparation with a TV show’s or movie’s production. It’s a bit more complicated than just ‘lights, camera, action’! 

This happy little camping scene was exactly what I’d planned for my retro Pajero when I bought it in late 2021, to resurrect and enjoy as a weekend camping rig.

But, here, things were not what they seemed!


With my regular tow-rig Toyota out of rego for a while, the Pajero did the job of towing my Bug a couple of times

My Pajero was wearing a dodgy Western Australia rego plate on its tailgate and everything in view was set up behind security gates, on private property in a semi-rural outer suburb of Sydney.

Disrupting the apparent peace of the place were about 25 people – camera operators, sound recordists, hair and make-up artists, wardrobe people, a drone pilot, lighting experts, a stunt/action/safety bloke and a handful of actors – all working on an episode of long-running TV drama, Home and Away.


Not only was I having fuel injection problems, my Pajero’ws water pump failed, killing the engine 400km from home. That day, I wanted to set fire to the thing…

In addition to the tent and the fakey gas-fuelled campfire, various track-mounted and hand-held cameras, microphones and power cords, specialist lighting equipment and reflectors, a large diesel generator and a restaurant-grade kitchen/catering truck – and of course, all those people - my Pajero was parked as a prop to the plot.


Oh yeah, and this happened, too: The idler arm died, resulting in wonky steering and braking. Thankfully the fix was easy using a new part supplied by the seller when I’d bought this Paj

I think the episode my Pajero featured in has been broadcast by the time you read this and while on-set, I didn’t annoy the crew with questions (you don’t do that!). However during the busy – but fun – 12-hour working day, I witnessed several scripted scenes being expertly set up, rehearsed and recorded by this well-organised team of pro TV soapie people.

The storylines included two people hugging beside a happy campfire, a hole being dug in the sandy soil (is it a shallow grave? Ohh! Spooky!) and an ambulance and police car being driven past the trees, arriving with lights ’n sirens blazing.

Good dramatic stuff!


Going bush with your mates and enjoying a beer and a barbie and it’s all make believe

Driving to the Home and Away appointment on that mid-winter Monday was my Pajero’s second outing in less than a week. Five days before, my Pajero had towed my little brown VW Bug to Sydney Dragway for a few runs down the quarter mile on a Wednesday ‘test ’n tune’ night.

So, nearly 800km in six days in my Pajero. No problem! Sure, that’s what we’d expect of any good-condition older Pajero any day of the week (after all, touring and towing are two things Mitsubishi designed it for!) but this old Pajero was a fingers-crossed bargain buy that had sat around doing nothing for years… and since I put it back on the road, it has given me plenty of problems!


A few issues ago I wrote about recurring fuel line/fuel injector blockages but there have been other dramas, too: Last Easter, a few months after I put the Pajero back on the road, its water pump failed, stopping the engine and requiring me to hire a trailer to tow it 400km home.

After all this drama, I wouldn’t have been surprised if, next, my Pajero’s wheels went wobbly like a circus clown car, or it disappeared in a puff of pink smoke, or the front fell off.


It’s been a bastard of a thing but now, my old Pajero’s apparent reliability after all the frustration is a huge relief.


From Unique Cars #477, April 2023


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