There are no perfect cars, but there are some that shine in their imperfections. Goofy cars, oddball cars, cars that make less and less sense the more you look at them. You know, Mitusbishis.
I have only ever driven one Mitsubishi I really fell for, an old Plymouth-branded Arrow, stripped and caged with a four-cylinder pulled out of a Colt rally car. The carbs were bigger than the block, at least as I remember it. The steering wheel took up half the cabin, the seat was houndstooth, and all the car wanted to do was make cool noises and go sideways. It was very orange. It felt so strange to be in such a treat of a car that wasn’t a Toyota, a Honda, a VW, an… anything. It was (?) a Mitsubishi, a car outside.
Mitsubishis are like that here in America. We got the Evo late, and never got cool things like the Delica, the Pajero Evo, the FTO. We got the Eclipse, which everyone seems to have some memory of, fond but flawed. Everyone was always breaking down in one, winning some stoplight drag race in one, banging their head into the liftback in one. Their days are over. Hell, all of Mitsubishi’s days may soon be over here.[referenced url="https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2020/06/mitsubishi-might-eventually-give-up-on-the-u-s/" thumb="https://www.gizmodo.com.au/content/uploads/sites/2/2020/06/23/my8nh9awn6pqvg301utv-300x169.jpg" title="Mitsubishi Might Eventually Give Up On The U.S." excerpt="Mitsubishi sales in the U.S. actually rose last year by 2.5 per cent compared to 2019, with 121,046 cars sold, the bump largely driven by Eclipse Cross sales more than doubling. Still, that’s less than the number of Chevy Malibus that sold last year. Mitsu is now beginning to think..."]
It’s fun, then, to get a look at how the rest of the world saw Mitsubishis, here with a little tour of one enthusiast’s collection in Ireland.
This is a nice video from JuiceboxForYou, which normally wastes my afternoons talking about rusty Corollas and Hondas, like most of the rest of the internet. Seeing a tour of increasingly over-the-top Evos is a treat. You get to see sky-high wings from parts companies called “buzzspeed” and ornate bumpers that would make a Need For Speed: Underground menu blush.
These cars, particularly the Mirage hatchbacks, were never welcomed into wide adoration, but were always some kind of fringe. Disposable. Used and used up. Tuned within an inch of destruction, and then taken beyond. I adore them.