NEWS: Mitsubishi unveils a hideous tribute to its first car

Mitsubishi began work on its first car, simply named the Model A, in 1917. That was 100 years ago, and so to celebrate this momentous occasion Mitsubishi Motors North America commissioned a recreation of it. Sadly, the Re-Model A, as it is called, it just plain ridiculous. 

The “Re-Model A” was built by West Coast Customs, a shop you may remember from the MTV show named Pimp My Ride, which was not at all about rides. Or pimping. Despite assurances by Mitsubishi Motors North America representatives that the team knew what they were doing, that was clearly not the case.

Eagle eyed readers might notice that, for one, it looks absolutely nothing like the original. We could list all the aberrations, but that would probably take more time than exists until the heat death of the universe. I mean, just look at this abomination.

Let’s take into account the fact that it was based on the chassis of a modern Outlander plug-in hybrid, which probably does not match up at all to the Model A, wheelbase-wise, or in any other fashion. Even so, it’s still just a shit job.

Why, for instance, are the fenders just squared off? The orignal’s — which was probably hammered over a piece of wood in a corner of a freaking shipyard — has way more curvature.

Just for reference, this is what the Model A is supposed to look like. Note details such louvers on the hood, the tall upright radiator, and headlamps. Just because you throw some round lights and a big square grille on it doesn’t mean it looks the same. A lot of cars from the era shared this general design, but this isn’t even in the same ballpark. And on top of it all, it’s slathered in a gold so garish even Donald Trump’s apartment would ask, “Don’t you think that’s a bit much?”

Perhaps the worst part is, the “original” Model A in these photos is also a replica, proving that a faithful recreation can be done. None of the true originals, manufactured between 1917 and 1921, survived. The car in Mitsubishi Motors Japan’s collection was built in 1972 on a Mitsubishi Jeep platform, based on research by automotive journalist Eizo Ikeda and automotive historian (and the man who helped curate the cars at the Toyota Automobile Museum) Heitatsu Igarashi.

This, on the other hand, looks like it was created via a game of telephone. Look, we give props to Mitsubishi Motors North America, for trying to do something to honor what is truly a momentous occasion for any automaker. We just wish it would have been something worthy of the marque’s storied history, something fitting for a centennial, something that didn’t look like an automotive Quasimodo.

Images courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors.

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35 Responses to NEWS: Mitsubishi unveils a hideous tribute to its first car

  1. Jim Simspson said:

    Sometimes just cause you can does not mean you should… why not simply show off the recreation that your Japanese parent already made it’s a serious modern recreation of your history and not a cartoon of the original…
    Kudos for the idea of wanting to do something to celebrate your history, but not for the execution, your money and effort was wasted on this, your honestly better and certainly more capable than this… your parent company has already done much better… I personally would call this an opportunity missed particularly for a company with the rich history and resources of Mitsubishi…

  2. Negishi no Keibajo said:

    Not much more I can say beyond Jim Simpson said. They could have used the budget for this to track down some legacy examples of the first to come to the US and restore it. This is just an irrelevant hot-rod and a bad one at that. Go one step further; donk it, plaster the name of the designer on the side and then drift it into a jersey barrier.

    This is one effort out of touch.

  3. Rob Vail said:

    Oh dear, it’s worse than I thought. Much worse. What a waste of money for a company that can’t afford to waste money.

  4. BlitzPig said:

    Seppuku, it’s the only answer to this.

  5. Myron Vernis said:

    I watched this build on television. All parties concerned were well intentioned but, as Jim so eloquently noted, they really missed the mark. More of a parody than an homage, it will be interesting to see what they do with it.

  6. Given the current condition of Mitsubishi I think this is a fitting representation of their current corporate condition.

  7. Keith Measures said:

    Who didnt see this coming really? The moment it was mentioned that west coast customs was heading this job you just knew it was going to come out this way

    I guess maybe its worse than i expected

  8. Alan said:

    What else would we expect from the company who has squandered its heritage and marketshare away with such astonishing efficiency?

  9. SHC said:

    Mitsubishi… you have reason to be embarrassed, West Coast Customs… you have reason to be ashamed! What a gross monstrosity!

  10. Nathan said:

    No more Evo and now the North American office does this? You’re Mitsubishi Motors. You build your own cars. Have some dignity!

    This just further shows that Mitsubishi has lost its way more than the other Japanese marques, a turd of a company with cheap plastic crap that could rival GM in poor interior quality.

    These fools should have taken the words of The Juggernaut in a well-known Internet parody into account:
    (Censored) West Coast Customs! I don’t need them to pimp my ride!

  11. ET said:

    I always thought that of the TV shows that build cars with stupid deadlines to add drama were pathetic. Who in their right mind would spend money on a car where the goofy guys putting it together were given a reason to take shortcuts? It does not make good TV, It makes the business look like fools. Just like the entertainment industry. That said, this is so pathetic I would have expected it to either be from Unique Rides or American Chopper. Even Counts Customs could do better than this mess. Maybe they can send this over to Gas Monkey and to get some of this or whatever the stupid slogan is. IOW, it looks like the builder was given two days to build this and did it in one.

  12. Ryan said:

    Willy wonkers car.

  13. Eddie said:

    Wow, talk about the best of intentions gone horribly wrong.

  14. Mike Batty said:

    Well they got the colour right at least. There ends the tribute. Always figure Mitsubishi a non player in the North American market and they do nothing to change my mind. I’m sure they built good tanks and ships over the years but as an auto company they are right up there with the likes of Fiat-Chrysler who leads the industry in not knowing where to go.

  15. MikeRL411 said:

    I watched the “build” program and was nausiated at the basic approach. Why start with a modern hybrid power train and a Ford Model A to begin? Count’s Customs is a real Joke! They are marginal at best at producing Pimp Mobiles!

  16. Negishi no Keibajo said:

    The legacy build would have been a 1969 Dodge Colt / Mitsubishi Galant. Mitsubishi’s first car in America.

  17. Brignola said:

    My suggestion; Donate it to Disney World where they can use it to parade Mickey-Mouse and friends every night. Children will love this thing

  18. RX626 said:

    “Pimp My Mitsubishi”

  19. Cesariojpn said:

    Who decided on the “Hot Rod” look?

  20. Jim Marriner said:

    Revenge for Pearl Harbor?

  21. KiKiIchiBan said:

    That is an embarrassment.

  22. Randy said:

    Well, to be fair, if they were told to recreate the car, vs. reproduce it. Probably couldn’t have a hotrod/tuner place do coachwork.

    As a rod, it’s not horrible, but as everybody else said, it’s NOT a reproduction.

    I wonder how much they spent, and could that money have put to better use by putting it toward something new in the showroom. . . Unless this is a stealth 2020 Lancer Evo…

  23. nlpnt said:

    It’s a few bumps short of looking like it was made from Lego.

  24. jivecom said:

    Mitsu I gave you the benefit of the doubt on this. By that I mean I lightly defended the idea in comments
    Thanks for making me look like a fool! I feel almost as dumb as this car looks, for thinking it might be different

  25. Negishi no Keibajo said:

    Don’t forget Mitsubishi’s return to aviation, now considered by themselves as a failed effort to be written off. I had so much hope for this plane and was rooting for it. Alas, it starting accumulating delays by years instead of months. It’s almost like they want to take it to a quiet field and bury it. Breaks my heart. There’s so little news regarding it’s progress, I don’t even know if it’s still going on for testing, right in my backyard state. I wanted the MRJ to succeed so bad…

  26. THFan said:

    Just no. You can overthink a design. Cars like this have to meet appearance first. This looks like someone put modern day spokes on a ModelA go kart. ugly af.

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