A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £16,333
A UK-registered car from new with just 35,000 miles Well known to the Lancer Register, this superb example is a regular on the Lancer club scene Good ownership and service history. Recent full service and health check The Evolution VI is considered by many as the high-point of the Evo range The Evolution series was first launched in Japan in 1992 with the Lancer GSR Evolution. Built to allow Mitsubishi to compete in the World Rally Championship, the first Evo pioneered the formula that all subsequent cars would follow - a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, four-wheel drive, and purposeful looks. It seems strange in hindsight that it took Mitsubishi so long to capitalise on the success of its Evo rally car with a road-going model for sale in Europe. Having dominated the World Rally Championship (WRC) between 1996 and 1999 with four title wins on the trot for Tommi Makinen, the Evo was still not triumphant in the showroom, being easily outsold by the Subaru WRX. It wasn't until the launch of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI, more commonly referred to as the Evo VI GSR, that the Japanese firm entered the consciousness of a wider spectrum of rally enthusiasts. Initially, an outlet of Ralliart, Mitsubishi's rally preparation arm, sold the Evo VI from early 1998 when a small number of 'standard' GSR models, and lightweight RS and RSII models were sold from the Dudley dealership. It wasn't until May 1999 that Mitsubishi officially launched the car in the UK with the development of ‘Ralliart UK’, a new company offering closer ties with the UK importer that saw the opening of a small number of Ralliart dealers. Even cars sold through Ralliart UK were still subject to Single Vehicle Approval (SVA), which was carried out on behalf of customers. With a price tag of £30,995 when it officially went on sale in the UK, the Evo VI proved a performance bargain with a claimed 276hp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. Now fitted with a new ECU, a bigger intercooler, oil cooler and radiator, permanent four-wheel drive with Active Yaw Control that gave physics-defying handling, and a practical four-door body, the Evo immediately gave Subaru a bloody nose. It also helped that the Evo VI could crack 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds and head on to 150mph rather than the 112mph limited top speed of many Japanese imported models. The Evo VI's candle burned brightly for a mere two years before being replaced in March 2001 by the Evo VII. For many, the Evo VI remains the pinnacle of Mitsubishi Evo design for its style, aggression and usability. The car presented here is a 1999 Evo Vl GSR which has been registered in the UK since new in 1999. Today, due to there being so few genuine and low mileage examples out there, this particular car is well known - and highly regarded - by the Lancer owners’ community, often receiving high praise on the popular Lancer Register website. It has covered just 34,800 miles over almost 20 years, which is wholly commensurate with its condition and is supported by old MoT certificates. The car’s original owner was a Mr Jonathan Smith who, as a Ralliart Team mechanic, knew these Evo cars well and rated them very highly. Due to so few Evo Vl models coming into the UK via Ralliart at this time, and all being snapped up, plus rumours that it might be the last ever incarnation of the model, Jonathan was keen to secure a car and ordered his through a reputable dealership friend. He travelled to Rotterdam to collect it, where a line of shiny new Evo Vls was waiting, including the Ralliart UK cars. It was personally imported into the UK and subsequently SVA’d by the original owner from new in 1999 (hence it doesn't have the Ralliart rear bumper-mounted fog light or Ralliart branded dials. However, it was delimited and converted to MPH from new). He also ensured it received a protective oil treatment layer to its underside. Jonathan owned the car for over ten years but used it sparingly as he was often away with the rally team, and during his ownership, it was always garaged, whilst being maintained and serviced by himself (who better?). When he retired, the Evo was sold it to its second owner, an equally avid enthusiast of the model and a member of MLR. He continued the dutiful ownership, using it only occasionally in dry weather and maintaining it to the highest standards, entrusting it to a Mitsubishi main dealer for servicing and the rear arm recall issue. His diligence even extended to always properly warming up and cooling down the car each time it was driven and only using high-grade petrol! Furthermore, to maintain the car's excellent overall condition, he used Mitsubishi specialists ‘MG Auto Motorsport Ltd.' of Ripley to thorougly clean, inspect and re-seal (with the prop shaft removed first) the underside of the car (invoice in history file). MG Auto Motorsport really know Evos and are experts in scrutinising and sealing the underneaths of these cars in the right way, with the right products (see photos). They were very impressed with just how good the car was, commenting that the underside was extremely solid and 'in great order', a testament to its careful and infrequent use. The car’s third owner was the well-known and respected car enthusiast Richard Beel of ‘Appreciating Classics’. Richard is known for owning and offering best-of-breed cars, mostly all in original specification with genuine low mileage. This Evo Vl was his own car and he considered it a very fine example, ensuring it had a major service in 2013, including belts (at 29,763 miles). Richard only sold it in 2015 when a lower mileage example became available! The fourth owner (prior to our vendor), was also keen to preserve the car’s health and condition, ensuring it was always garaged and treating it to a full AYC flush carried out (including the bath) in 2015. Our vendor too, continued this tradition, entrusting the car, once again, to MG Auto Motorsport Ltd. who recently carried out a full service (including belts), a thorough health check (costing £1,250) and a fresh MoT. The car is now absolutely ready to go and be enjoyed. It drives and performs particularly well, as well as you might expect from such a cosseted example. This special car – with its conscientious ownership history and superb original condition – would make a shrewd purchase given the market growth for rare rally-derived modern-classics. Not to be missed!
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