We were dismayed last week to learn of the recent fate of Mitsubishi’s Pajero factory. In a turn that was almost near-perfect in its poetic tragedy, the once hallowed birthplace of the mighty Paris-Dakar champions was sold off to a toilet paper manufacturer. That comes after a string of other sadnesses, like the shuttering of its UK arm and the auctioning off of its entire heritage collection there, the ending of Mitsubishi Owners Day because its headquarters are effectively becoming a Nissan satellite office, and the fact that the most exciting Mitsubishi concept in years was actually a Hyundai. However, there are signs that not all hope is lost. There have been hints that the company wants to revive some of its former glory and it has restarted activities under the Ralliart brand. It’s going to be a long road, but:
Can Mitsubishi Motors be saved?
The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Who’s your favorite race car driver?“.
As expected, many of the greats were nominated this week, all hailing from a diverse range of motorsports. RainMeister offered excellent choices with Bob Sharp and Mark Donohue. Sammy B‘s list of Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney was great, too. Negishi no Keibajo’s pick of Paul Newman, always a class act, f31roger‘s of Keiichi Tsuchiya, Nigel‘s of Carlos Sainz, Ian G.‘s of Colin McRae, and Johnny‘s of Michèle Mouton were all excellent choices as well.
To be honest dankan‘s beautifully written ode to Noriyuki Haga probably should have won, but as others pointed out Haga was a motorcycle racer, not a race car driver. That’s our fault for framing the question poorly. So to be fair to those who put forth race car drivers, this week’s winner is Kevin H. Peter Cunningham is a legend, but Kevin’s story about Dale Earnhardt Jr. is just great:
I have two:
Peter Cunningham made me have pride in my own DC2. Yes my Integra was nothing like his but seeing him do what he and his team did on the track is what truly ignited my passion for Japanese cars. I grew up in Charlotte, N.C. aka NASCAR country in the 80s and 90s. Most people looked to V8, RWD, domestics for the ideal sports car. Yeah there were the guys in Cali and NJ (Englishtown) making big HP fwd Hondas, but straight line racing didn’t do it for me. Watching Peter Cunningham drive was like listening to a symphony performing a masterpiece. That was the first time I appreciated the apex, late braking, left foot braking, chassis control, etc… in car that looked like my own!
The second driver has little to do with his driving but more with just him as a person, Dale Earnhardt Jr. I meet Junior at a bar in downtown Charlotte years ago. I was with a group of friends that identified him. One of his posse overheard us and made a rude statement to my friend. Dale overheard his friend, took him to the side, asked him to leave, and paid for my group’s drinks. He hung out with us and invited us to his house, but we did not take him up on the offer. He sat next to me and we talked about cars and growing up around the area. Years later, while I was still living in Charlotte, I saw him driving his Vette. We caught eyes, I was driving my Corona Wagon, and he gave me a thumbs up. My head exploded, I was approved!
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!