Mitsubishi UK to auction off heritage fleet of classic models

Mitsubishi Motors is selling off its heritage fleet of rare and classic cars as part of the brand’s downsizing in the UK.

The car maker’s UK arm is putting 14 models ranging from early 4x4s to championship-winning rally cars up for auction along with a selection of private number plates.

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Among the stars of the auction are likely to be a trio of Lancer Evolutions, the car made famous by the brand’s rallying success in the 1990s and early 2000s. The range includes a 2008 Evo IX FQ-360 HKS (one of just 200 examples) and a 40th anniversary edition Evo X FQ-440 MR from 2015. However, the highlight is the 2001 Evo VI Tommi Makinen edition signed by the legendary rally champion himself.

Alongside the rally-bred road cars, the auction includes a number of other significant models from Mitsubishi’s past. The first Mitsubishi ever registered in the UK - a Colt Lancer 1400 from 1974 - is joined by a 1974 Galant, which started life as the company’s first demonstrator for dealer recruitment, and a 1979 Jeep CJ-3B built under licence from the American firm Willys.

The firm’s sportscar heritage is represented by a recently refurbished Starion Turbo from 1988 and its replacement - a 1992 3000GT described as “the best, all-original, utterly healthy and usable example you are ever likely to find”.

The famous L200 pick-up makes an appearance in a slightly unfamiliar guise. The Project Swarm “Desert Warrior” was built by Mitsubishi for a feature by Top Gear journalist Tom Ford and features major bodywork and chassis upgrades along with its own drone dock and motorised mountain bike stowed in the load bed.

Along with the rally-derived Lancer Evos, the brand’s rally heritage in the UK is represented by a Mitsubishi Galant GTi rally-replica, a promotional vehicle build in the late 80s to commemorate Pentti Airikkala’s Lombard RAC Rally victory, and the Mitsubishi Evo IX which was driving to consecutive British Rally Championships by Guy Wilkes in 2007 and 2008.

All 14 cars are being sold without reserve on specialist site Auto Auction. The auction begins on 1 April and closes on 30 April, with staggered finishing times for the various lots.