We were saddened last month to learn that Mitsubishi UK was selling off its entire heritage fleet, a result of the company pulling out of the UK market altogether. Some of its cars had been part of the collection for 47 years, since Mitsubishi established a UK presence in 1974. It was a rare opportunity to acquire some of the best specimens of the triple diamond marque. The auction results are now in, and one of the cars has set a new world record for its kind.
The record breaking sale was that of the sixth production Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Mäkinen Edition. It had just 10,254 miles on the odometer and was autographed by the rally driver himself. The gavel came down at £100,100 ($139,160 USD), surpassing the previous record for a Lan Evo sale. That crown was held by a brand-new dealer-owned 2006 Evolution IX with just nine miles on the odometer, which sold on eBay in 2017 for $137,954.
While not quite as stratospheric as the record breaker, the other Evos on offer brought in impressive numbers as well. A Group N Works Evolution IX rally car that won the British Rally Championship twice in 2007-08 sold for £61,700 ($85,810 USD). One of 200 Ralliart UK-tuned FQ-360s, this one reading just 4,859 miles on the clock, rang in at £68,900 ($95,820 USD). Number 40 of 40 FQ-440s built, showing just 7,651 miles, crossed the block at £58,100 ($80,800 USD), only a tad more than the final Evo X sold in America, auctioned for $76,000 in 2015.
Mitsubishi’s flagship sports cars fetched decent amounts, though not as high as those of the iconic Evos’. A 59,050-mile 1988 Starion and a 34,147-mile 1992 3000GT VR-4 found new homes for £21,100 ($29,340 USD) and £24,500 ($34,070 USD), respectively.
While that number is a bit high for the Starion, the 3000GT is on par with the finest examples, and both of these qualify for that description. Whomever bought the 3000GT got a very fair price for a car that has the unique provenance of having been owned by Mitsubishi.
Despite the well-publicized auction, bargains could be found. The 1974 Colt Lancer 1400 sold for £15,000 ($20,860 USD). While that might seem steep for a non-rally grade 1600GSR, this particular example was the oldest registered Mitsubishi in the entire country. It was shown at Mitsubishi’s stand at the 1974 Earl’s Court Motor Show, and has been in their possession since.
If we had been able to bid, the 1974 Colt Galant would have been our pick. The top-grade 2000 GL could’ve been had for just £11,600 ($16,130). It’s an excellent price for an extremely rare model, especially with the bragging rights that go along with having been part of Mitsubishi’s collection.
The bargain is made even starker against the fact that the “1 CCC” (for Colt Car Company, Mitsubishi’s original UK brand name) license plate sold for £24,000 ($33,370 USD). In fact, all seven remaining CCC license plates (“2 CCC” through “8 CCC”) sold for prices ranging from £9,400 ($13,070 USD) to £12,800 ($17,800 USD).
Likewise, both Shoguns (Pajero/Montero) were of similarly good value. The red 100,052-mile 1987 sold for £16,000 ($22,240 USD), and the unusually spec’ed 45,962-mile two-tone 2000 model didn’t even break the 5-digit mark with its £9,600 ($13,340 USD) final price.
Even a 7:10 scale model of the 1917 Type A sold for more than a either Shogun, raking in £13,700 ($19,040 USD). We can only hope that the winner was Mitsubishi North America. Meanwhile, an 18,850-mile J27 Jeep traded hands for £20,600 ($28,630 USD). These are numbers both lower than the “1 CCC” plate.
Interestingly, the 18 or so “MMC license plates (ranging from “A7 MMC to A25 MMC”) sold for prices between £400 and £1,200 ($556 to $1,670 USD). That’s quite a bit lower than the “CCC” plates, despite the fact that “MMC” (Mitsubishi Motors Corp.) is the true acronym for the company, and in Japan some cars even wore MMC emblems. Rounding out the plates, “337 MMC” went for £3,200 ($4,450 USD) and “P1 HEV” for £4,500 ($6,260 USD).
For our money, we’d rather have the replica Galant VR-4 rally car for just £12,500 ($17,370 USD). Designed as a tribute to Pentti Airikkala’s 1989 Lombard RAC Rally car, the 95,681-mile replica is a far cleaner example than you’ll find on the streets.
In total, the auction earned a tad over £625,000 ($868,850 USD) from the 51 lots. Everything was sold without reserve. Hopefully these pieces of history have gone to good homes. For more information on the individual cars, see our article from March as well as the actual auction site.