Mitsubishi can exit the UK with its head held high following the wholesale selling off of its heritage fleet and private numberplates for £627,100. The anticipated “star of the show”, the immaculate Mitsubishi Evo VI Tommi Makinen Edition familiar from our 2020 Rise and Drive video, was the top seller, going under the hammer for £100,100. That beats the previous record for an Evo by £1,100, affirming that Mitsubishi still has itself plenty of fans in Britain, despite plans to depart for good by the end of 2021.
The Evolution IX MR FQ-360 by HKS sold for a similarly impressive £68,900, reportedly making it the third highest-value Evolution sold at auction. It was closely followed by the Evo X FQ-440 MR, the 40th and final car of the special edition run and the last official Evo sold in the UK, which brought in £58,100. The Evo IX Group N Works Rally Car – a two-time championship-winner driven by Guy Wilkes – actually snuck in between the two road cars for £61,700.
All told, the four Evos accounted for 60 per cent of the £479,500 total for cars in the auction, although there were some other impressive lots, including the Starion and 3000GT, which sold for £21,100 and £24,500 respectively. Both were UK records. The awesome L200 Desert Warrior sold for £30,100, while the Mk1 Shogun – which no doubt tugged at someone's heartstrings with its plucky looks – went for sixteen grand, as did the 2015 Outlander, actually. Which makes the £9,600 paid for the Mk2 V6 Shogun SWB look like something of a bargain.
As for the older stuff, the Mk1 Colt Lancer 1.4 sold for £15k, thanks no doubt to its official status as the first Mitsubishi to be registered in the UK. The Galant GLSi rally replica, a favourite in the office, sold for £12.5k. Even the Colt Galant 2000 GLII went for a decent £11.6k. Oldest of the lot, a 7:10 scale working replica of a 1917 Mitsubishi Model A, which was the first ever vehicle produced by Mitsubishi, sold for £13,700. It’s considered to be a new world record as well.
Additionally £121,700 was generated from the private numberplates that were also sold – 1 CCC topped the pile at £24,000, if you’re wondering. Mitsubishi UK said its auction received no fewer than 1,287 bids across all 51 lots, highlighting the interest the brand’s final sale generated. Sadly that’s not going to convince it to stick around as a manufacturer; the Japanese firm’s transition into an aftersales company in Britain is already underway and should be complete before the year’s close. Collective sad face.
“These vehicles represent not only a huge part of Mitsubishi’s heritage and history in the UK, they are also very special vehicles in their own right,” said Mitsubishi Motors UK operations director, Paul Bridgen, who was the team principal of Mitsubishi’s RalliArt division when the company won its back-to-back British Rally Championships, no less. “They each have a unique story to tell and they have been cherished and cared for from the day we acquired them. I have overseen the development of some of these vehicles personally so it is difficult to say goodbye to them but the values they have achieved assures me that they will all go to enthusiastic new owners who understand the provenance and importance of these cars and who will cherish them and preserve them for future generations.”
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