The Space Tractor is Sold. Long Live the Space Tractor.

Space Tractor - 1989 Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon L300

Well, we did a thing: We sold our beloved 1989 Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon, AKA the Space Tractor. You may be wondering why the heck we’d do such a thing. Well, read on.

You Sold the Space Tractor? Why?

Yes, we did. But bear with us here.

For us, the Space Tractor, our 1989 Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon (L300) was a bit of an experiment. After first driving one in New Zealand, we knew we had to have one. But we weren’t sure if we’d like owning one or not. We didn’t know if vanlife, vanning, or van ownership would be for us. Over the course of nearly three years, however, we decided we loved having a van.

We found this particular van had some limitations for us. The low-roof configuration limited headspace when sleeping in it. While mechanically bulletproof, it was very slow. The body was solid but, some parts could’ve used a little TLC.

After much discussion, we decided to put it on the market.

So Where’d It Go?

It took no fewer than five days before we had a buyer. We had a ton of interest. I’d estimate we had 10 inquiries about this van in about four days. I even had people message me via Facebook Marketplace to say while they couldn’t buy it, but they simply loved the van and wished us good luck with the sale. Amazing.

This was the second-fastest car we’ve sold, and we got the full asking price. (The fastest was a modified 1998 Honda Civic Sedan that we sold in 30 minutes—no joke.)

I won’t go into detail about the buyer but know the van went to a good home on the Oregon coast.

Selling a Car In a COVID-19 World

This was a huge unknown for us. Would people be buying cars from a private party during a global pandemic? Would there be any market? Before I listed the van, I talked with a few people selling cars; it was a very mixed bag. I talked to a local importer in Washington state. He said cars were not moving, and he was having to dump inventory at much lower prices than he wanted to. Conversely, I talked with other folks who were able to sell their cars without issue. Obviously, our sale happened quickly, so some people are buying.

The van’s buyer asked if we’d deliver the vehicle. Since it was only a couple hours away, we said sure. We brought masks, sanitizer, and gloves and met the buyer at his house. We all masked up and maintained our distance. He didn’t want to drive it, so we did the deal like any other sale. However, with three masked people signing the title and counting cash, it was a different experience for certain.

What’s Next?

We are definitely going to get another van. In fact, once the Space Tractor was sold, we essentially started looking that day. This time we knew more about the exact kind of van we wanted. It had to be a high-roof van, with a manual transmission (again), and without the Crystal Lite glass roof. Would it be another Star Wagon (L300)? Maybe a newer Delica Space Gear (L400)? Perhaps something else? All we know is we will definitely be getting another van, and we’re almost 100% sure it’ll be another Mitsubishi.

I can say that no matter which vehicle we end up with, we’re stoked to have the next van iteration in our stable. Stay tuned.

8 Comments

  1. You are a expert Andy.
    The car in NZ was it a Mercedes bus or I’m wrong? Good luck whatever you 2 decide what you like.
    Have fun and you will never run out of work.
    Hermine.

  2. So glad it sold quickly. Even more glad that you got full asking. But the trifecta? It went to an enthusiast. Excellent!

    4m40 is a great powerplant too. I think you guys would be very happy with one.

  3. Where did you advertise and how much did you get for it? Im trying to offload my 1990 L300 as well.

    1. We advertised it on Facebook (Marketplace and groups), Craigist, delicaforum.com, and expeditionportal.com. We asked $13,000 and sold it with a couple accessories for a bit more.

  4. Hi Andy,
    I just sold my L400 and it was posted for 1 day! pretty crazy how fast these go. We loved our but it had its limitations with 2 adults, baby, 2 dogs and all our camping gear.
    Good luck on your search for your next van. We didn’t go with a van this time but I see a 4×4 van of some kind in my future. haha

    cheers!

  5. Congrats on your quick sale!
    May I ask why no crystalite roof next time?
    I’m only a space gear daydreamer as yet but those panoramic windows are way high on my wishlist…

    I’m in mainland Europe and most of the Delicas on offer over here are the 2WD turbo cooled diesel type. I’m having trouble finding road test opinions on 2WD as everyone (including me) is obsessed with the four wheel drive.
    Does anyone here have experience they could share? I wonder how much difference I’d notice in real world use…

    1. The Crystl Lite roof is very cool. However, it can be prone to leaking and rusting. Those aren’t things we wanted to deal with so we went with a solid roof.

      I have only driven the 4WD versions of these vans.

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