As Mitsubishi prepares to exit the British market, the UK-based heritage fleet has been put up for auction
Mitsubishi is all but giving up on the European market. It’s set to only selling a bunch of badge-engineered Renault models on the content, while here in the UK, we won’t get anything beyond autumn. After that point, UK importer The Colt Car Company Limited will become an aftersales care business.
That means there are some loose ends to tie up. One of those is the company HQ in Cirencester, which went up for sale last November for £12 million, while another is the UK heritage fleet. All 14 cars will be going under the virtual hammer from 1 April via Auto Auction.
Mitsubishi UK rightly took a lot of pride in these cars, so it’s sad to see them sold. But this also provides enthusiasts with the rare opportunity to buy some of the best cared-for Mitsis in the world – they’re exceptionally well maintained and don’t see a massive amount of use.
We suspect the ones of most interest to you lot will be the Lancer Evolutions road cars. There are three of them up for grabs – an Evo VI Tommi Makinen Edition, an Evo IX FQ360 MR and an Evo X FQ440 MR. We’ve driven the first two, and can personally attest to them being in fantastic condition. We’d have all three, given the means…
Turning the clock back a lot further, there’s a 1974 Colt Lancer, the very first UK spec Mitsubishi ever registered here, and a Colt Galant from the same year. Fans of angular 80s performance cars will no doubt be lusting after the 1988 Starion while going forward four years but jumping a lot further in technical terms is the fantastically complicated 3000GT. Yes, all the active aero bits and pieces still work.
Want to do some mud-plugging? There are three vehicles that might take your fancy. From 1983 we have the unusual Mitsubishi Jeep, produced under license from the Willys Company for the Japanese domestic market. Next, there’s a 1987 Mk1 Shogun short wheelbase, and finally a Mk2 Shogun V6 from the year 2000.
From the motorsport end of the heritage garage, there’s a Galant GTI rally replica built as a promotional vehicle following Pentti Airikkala’s RAC rally win in a Galant VR4, and the Group N Evo IX Guy Wilkes used to snag the 2007 and 2008 British Rally Championships.
Finally, we have the two most recent cars to join the fleet – a 2014 Outlander PHEV, and a 2017 L200 ‘Desert Warrior’ built for Top Gear’s Tom Ford.
Which would it be for you?