Mitsubishi Lancers Rallying in Rio


We are seriously behind in showing Mitsubishi love so here’s a double dose of commercials for you.

Japan is such a small country that it was often fashionable for automakers to ship their cars overseas and drive them across exotic continents, starting with Toyota and Nissan sending cars to compete in Australia’s Mobilgas Rally in the 50s.

Mitsubishi had tremendous success rallying their Lancers in Africa in the 70s, but curiously, this 1978 ad makes no mention of it at all. Instead, they show the cars on a South American expedition that ends up in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The signs on the cars seem to indicate this was a promotional tour to demonstrate the car’s mettle and not an actual race, though precious little information can be found about this trip.

The second commercial in the video is for the Mitsubishi-sponsored Mirage Bowl, which was an annual US college football game held at the Tokyo Dome from 1977 to 1986.

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10 Responses to Mitsubishi Lancers Rallying in Rio

  1. nlpnt said:

    Makes me wonder why Chrysler picked the Avenger/Cricket over the Lancer for production in Brazil.

  2. If its a Mirage, did it actually happen?

  3. Jeremy Reeves said:

    Its odd that in the first commercial, there is actually no video of the cars driving, only still shots. A promotional video demonstrating the car’s mettle, with no actual video?

    Cool cars, though.
    Jeremy

  4. slickwrick said:

    thats is cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Slappy said:

    Dammit, they cut it short….anyway bitchin car.

  6. GEN2TWINCAM said:

    Checking my copies of “Rally Cars” & “Rally” (two huge, awsome books by Reinhard Klein), I found some interesting information to add to the JNC Lancer rally article.

    Driver Andrew Cowan (4th ’75 Safari, 4th ’77 Safari, 1st Ivory Coast) noted that the Lancer GSR 1600 was his favorite rally car. He wrote:
    “The Lancer GSR 1600 was a brilliantly balanced car, with good power, perfect gear ratios and enormous strength which was ideal for conditions in Africa and Australia. In certain conditions we could thrash cars like the BDA-engined Escort and it was the GSR 1600 which gave me most of my success and was just a joy to drive.”

    Cowan still owns the car that he used in the 1976 Safari, which he says is now perfectly restored!

  7. Ben said:

    GET2TWINCAM: Thanks, that’s awesome, I would love to see the restored car!

  8. GEN2TWINCAM said:

    To borrow from Toyota, You asked for it, you got it :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mitsubishi_Lancer_1600_GSR_(Safari_Rally_1976).jpg

  9. coupez600 said:

    @GEN2TWINCAM:Was that big spot-light controlled from the steering shaft, or manually? Either way that thing is Baaad!