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. It is a shop you may remember from the MTV show Pimp My Ride, which was only ostensibly about rides, and not at all about 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 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.