Japanese vehicle maker Mitsubishi built the L300 primarily for utilitarian purposes: haul cargos, transport people. Basically, most of us see it that same way. However, some look at it more than the workhorse that it is.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation cited some examples of small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) who see the L300 as a noble steed that will get them through thick and thin.
William Yu and his family bought a Mitsubishi L300 as a delivery vehicle for their hardware store back in the 1990s. After being with them for quite some time, Yu began to use it as a school service and personal van for the family—maximizing its initial purpose solely intended for commerce.
Through the years, Yu's L300 experienced many challenging tasks from heavy hauling of hardware goods to traversing flooded streets. Despite being the daily workhorse, the L300 powered through with the Yu’s.
However, business was not always rainbows and butterflies, as they had experienced financial strife, which forced them to sell the vehicle. Yu’s youngest son Ernest—an engineering student—felt he had the strongest connection with vehicle.
After years passed and the ordeal was all water under the bridge, Ernest decided to buy back the vehicle. Of course it needed a few repairs, but with his knowledge in cars, he was able to revive their L300, which he then named “Legend”.
Ernest is the President of the Mitsubishi L300 Enthusiast club. Apart from organizing group activities that strengthen the camaraderie among members, they also facilitate outreach programs to help the community.
During the initial implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, Ernest and Legend worked as manpower and vehicle support.
“Iba ang connection ang na feel ko with our L300. Ilang beses na siya nasubukan pero never bumigay. Kaya when I saw the opportunity to buy it back, I didn’t think twice. It is not just a family van for me but a van that is part of our family,” Ernest Yu said.
Another L300 enthusiast is Jesse Cabral. As the current Vice President of the L300 Club of the Philippines, Cabral admitted that the L300 was not his first choice but sees the L300 as a versatile vehicle that can serve many purposes.
Some six years ago, he bought the L300 for his delivery service business. Aside from that, he also used the vehicle for many outreach programs—one of which was the trip to Dingalan, Aurora to bring support to an Aeta tribe.
He also mentioned that when his delivery business got affected by the lockdown, he decided to keep the vehicle and use the vehicle to shuttle employees for companies.
“Sa buhay kailangan maging madiskarte at mabilis magadjust. Hindi ka pwedeng basta na lang magpapatalo. Sa bawat pagsubok, dapat bukas ang mga mata para sa opportunity na maari natin ma-maximize. Higit sa lahat, kailangan din natin maging mapagpasalamat sa blessings na natatangap at maging ugali na mag-share sa kapwa para tuloy-tuloy ang biyaya,” Cabral said.
It also served as bonding moments with his 85-year old father Juanito, as they both enjoy tinkering with their vehicle.
"Kahit na mapagod kami, pareho naming gusto ang ginagawa namin. May sense of fulfillment kaming mag-ama pagkatapos," Cabral told Carmudi Philippines.
The Mitsubishi L300 was first introduced some three decades ago and has recently celebrated its 200,000 production milestone. Powered by a Euro4 2.2L turbo charged intercooler diesel engine, the L300 can bring forth a maximum of 97 horsepower and 200Nm of torque.
In a 2019 fuel economy test, the Mitsubushi L300 had a consumption rating of 15.43km/L.
This month, MMPC offers the L300 at P698,000—a P106,000 discount from its original SRP.
Photo/s from Jesse Cabral, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation