Meet The Saviours Of Mitsubishi’s Last WRC Era
Behind Closed Doors…

Mäkinen. Burns. Gronholm. Delecour. Panizzi. Galli. Rovanperä.

They’re all names to have graced the rear side window of a Mitsubishi World Rally Car at one point or another, and all names that will undoubtedly go down as legends of the sport. How then did Mitsubishi as four times World Rally Champions vanish from the world’s stages with barely a whimper? What happens to these state-of-the-art, cutting-edge motorsport machines when their time is seemingly up?

The 2004 and 2005 Lancer WRCs aren’t cars I think of very often, not even when ‘Mitsubishi’ and ‘rallying’ are mentioned in the same sentence. For me, Mitsubishi’s rallying history comprises of one car in particular – the Lancer Evolution WRC. It’s hardly surprising considering the third, fourth, fifth and sixth Evolutions were all World Rally Championship winners.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2

However, it was Mitsubishi’s over reliance on the ageing Group A-based car which saw them fall behind the competition. By the time they introduced the Lancer WRC for its first full season in 2002 they were already struggling to tread water. They had pinned their hopes that the ‘Step2′ car, the successor to the Lancer WRC, introduced during the middle of the 2002 season would turn things around. But while it had a promising start in Finland, it soon proved to be well off the pace.

At the end of 2002, Mitsubishi announced that they would suspend their WRC campaign for 2003 in order to return with a competitive car the following year. Enter the Lancer WRC04…

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-6

It’s probably one of the best recognised Lancer rally cars, as it’s typically described as ‘the one with the weird spoiler placement’. There is a reason for that, and there’s some fascinating little anecdotes about both the spoiler and the rest of the car, which I’ll bring you in a separate story on this, Gigi Galli’s Rally Japan Lancer WRC05.

There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding this era of Mitsubishi’s WRC history, and it might be one of the most misunderstood cars in rallying history. While it certainly had its demons during 2004, it was essentially a brand new, ground-up World Rally Car. There were over 6,000 changes when compared to the previous Step2, and it’s estimated that nearly 95% of the car was completely bespoke.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-5

Internally, 2004 was seen as a further year of development for the new World Rally Cars and as such, the performance of the cars varied between events. With Mitsubishi opting out of championship events in Japan, Great Britain, Italy, France and Australia, they were never going to be contenders.

However, in 2005, the next iteration of the Lancer WRC, the WRC05, scored a podium at the first round in Monte Carlo, much more consistent finishes and a second place at the last round of the championship in Australia.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-154

Things were finally turning a corner for the team, but on December 14th 2005, Mitsubishi announced that they would again suspend their participation in the WRC in order to revitalise their business. They had hoped to return to the WRC in 2008, but as we all know now, that never happened.

After 16 years in the WRC, Mitsubishi was out.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-3

While Mitsubishi Motorsports Europe (MMSP) ran cars at a number of events in 2006 and 2007, it did so as privateer entries and without the support of the factory.

In 2009, MMSP was bought out by MML Sports who took over the ownership and running of the entire operation as a privateer outfit, offering the original cars for hire or purchase with full support from MML.

Lancer WRC FOS 2017 PMcG-3

One of MML’s customers was Tristan Bailey, a British rally competitor who enjoyed considerable success in the UK behind the wheel of KX53 BFV, a 2004 specification ex-works Lancer WRC. When MML eventually decided it was time for them move on from these cars, Tristan was concerned that the remaining cars and parts would be split up and would vanish all over the world, which would make it impossible for him to continue driving his car.

So, he did the reasonable thing and bought everything Lancer WRC-related from MML in order to keep the program alive.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-149

This is MMR Rallysport, who single-handedly saved an entire era of Mitsubishi’s WRC history,

The Ultimate Job Lot

What’s perhaps most amusing about all of this, is that Tristan started his rallying life in a Subaru, following on from an Impreza road car he had when younger. “It was blue with gold wheels. I was basically Colin McRae,” he joked.

Competing in the formidable Group N class, he ultimately got tired of being beaten by Lancer Evolutions on the English stages, so figured he might as well jump ship. The rest is history, and he’s never looked back.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-1

With Tristan’s wife Laura working alongside him, it took two years to move everything into their current workshop. As you can imagine, its location is a well-guarded secret. If you can’t imagine, you’ll surely have figured out why by the end of this story. If you don’t figure it out, well, maybe this isn’t the website for you.

Let’s just say that it’s in Europe, somewhere.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-152

While their original plan of saving these cars and parts would allow them to compete even more, the reality of the situation is that with so much more to take care of (they have customer cars based all around requiring support, and other cars in the process of being restored to exact works specification) it has meant that competitive driving has taken a back seat for the time being.

Regardless, the lack of seat time hasn’t had a single iota of impact on either Tristan’s or Laura’s passion for the cars which surround them.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-137

Their enthusiasm is utterly infectious. I’d only just walked through the door and they were both detailing the history of each of the chassis’ on the workshop floor in incredible detail. I could barely keep up with the amount of knowledge, and was just praying that some of it would stick.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-151

After a few minutes, I’m I became acutely aware that the workshop floor is only about one third of the premises. It is impressive, with custom rigs for testing components such as steering racks, gearboxes and differentials along with carts which contain the required parts and tools for servicing items likes clutches and brakes.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-167

Looking at anodised jack stands, there are two types, one heavy duty type for the workshop, and a lighter type for service at events. Anodised. Jack stands.

It was at this precise moment that I realised I wasn’t looking around a normal workshop, but getting the ultimate sneak peak behind the scenes of a works World Rally team, something I don’t think many people outside of the teams have ever had the pleasure of.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-52

“You’re the first person to ever see any of this here,” Tristan told me afterwards. Which is why I’m now more stumped than ever that when I asked what was behind the white curtains, they pulled them open and let me bring a camera inside.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-44

It’s dark in here, and very tight. Not because the area is small, but because every inch is occupied with some part or another from the Lancer WRC era. While it has taken two years just to move everything (the wheels alone took two truck loads) it’s going to take another little while to organise and unpack things.

“We know where everything is, it’s just sometimes a little difficult to get to,” the voice behind me said as I stared in disbelief at what I was seeing. Those are complete tarmac specification front suspension assemblies poking out of that box. In the foreground, is a stack of doors wearing light scars. “When the cars were damaged, they would just put on a new part and store the old ones.”

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-12

There are countless numbers of used and new Enkei and OZ Racing magnesium wheels, with and without tyres for loose and tarmac surfaces. How incredible is the natural patina of a used WRC wheel?

There are Ralliart branded and colour co-ordinated flight cases containing dampers, differentials, gearboxes, engines and other parts.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-22

This is a genuine WRC specification 4G63, which normally resides in one of said cases. It’s ready to be installed and run, as it would have been at the time during an event.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-24

There are hundreds upon hundreds of springs hiding behind a wheel rack, with different colours representing different lengths and rates.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-29

This is a cage full of differentials.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-30

On closer inspection, this one appears to be a plastic prototype, complete with engineer’s notes still on it.

Along with having the parts themselves, there are moulds present for everything which requires a master to be remade. For everything else, there’s CAD and technical drawings. On a car where almost everything is completely unique to the car, every single item required an original part number.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-51

Need for Speed‘s Vehicle Director, Bryn Alban, was working at Ralliart UK/MMSP during this era and was able to decode the part numbers for me. So, something like WR04-XX-YYY-Z would break down as simply as this:

  • WR – World Rally Car
  • 04 – Year
  • XX – Area on the car i.e. engine, interior etc.
  • YYY – An incremental number unique for that part
  • Z – A suffix to denote either a revision number or another detail i.e. ‘M’ for mould as seen above
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-41

These are anodised brake disc shields, used when the car was running in-gear on stands at service or in the workshop to warm driveline fluids. I’m sure something cheaper and simpler could have sufficed for this job, but it illustrates that how there were no corners cut. Everything was done to be the best it could possibly be.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-171

Before we ventured upstairs, I had to try and capture the upright racking containing yet more wheels, tyres and what appeared to be exclusively spare front and rear doors. The scale of this operation, and that of a WRC team of the era is just utterly immense.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-147
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-66

Upstairs is where calm and organisation return, and you get a much better idea of what MMR are in the process of doing. There are rows and rows of shelving with carefully organised boxing for various small, but still incredibly important parts.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-72

Take these for example, completely bespoke gearbox mounts for the 2004 car.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-61

Eight-piston Brembo front brakes for the cars’ tarmac setups. These would normally clamp 370mm (15-inch) discs.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-143

While the vast majority of parts are not compatible with your Evo road car (the base for the Mitsubishi WRC cars from 2004 onwards was the Lancer Cedia) there are a couple of pieces which will fit, and predominantly on the engine side as the car still runs a 4G63.

How does an Inconel intake manifold sound? When heated, Inconel produces a natural barrier to heat which even the best heat wraps or coatings can’t match. It’s also lightweight, and is a single piece.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-145

Or perhaps you might prefer a WRC-specification exhaust manifold? I’m sure both would suffice.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-94

As the outfit now responsible for practically all of these generations of Lancer WRC cars, you can appreciate that any part you can probably think of is on these shelves.

Some of the most important parts are often the smallest. The likes of these rubber o-rings or custom-specification bolts allow much bigger and more expensive parts to function correctly. Without these little things, the cars will not work.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-121

I want you, just for a moment, to appreciate the intricacies of this pedal assembly. Each part has been carefully designed, machined, tested, improved, re-designed, re-machined and re-tested before before being put together as one small part of the overall machine.

Each little piece has its own unique Lancer WRC part number, and isn’t something that was just pulled off the shelf from a hardware store.

It’s mind-boggling how much time, money and passion went into this whole project.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-79

Let me talk you through some more highlights, such as these HID projector lenses which are inserted into the carbon headlight surrounds. The inner ‘lamps’ on the ’04-onwards cars are just stickers.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-98

A personal favourite, and something I’m happy that Tristan shared my enthusiasm for, were these snow shovels, made exclusively for the Swedish rally.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-109

This is the fire extinguisher from Tommi Mäkinen’s earlier Evo WRC. While it’s probably past its best-by date, it’s still a pretty cool thing to have on your shelf.

When you think of parts, you would normally think of maintenance, but it goes much further past this. There are individual pre-fabricated metal pieces which are used in the construction of the shells to ensure they meet standards.

Whether it’s a small corner piece, or an entire side and rear-quarter panel, MMR are the only company in the world now which has these or the ability to reproduce. On the walls hung pre-bent roll-cage sections ready to be assembled.

Of course, every one of these parts has its own part number, too. To ensure the cars are all exact, MMR also have ownership of the original WRC chassis jig. There’s nothing required from outside the company to rebuild a car to precise, exact, 100% the same specifications of the original cars. Nothing.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-124

Even in the rare occurrence where Mitsubishi Motors Genuine Parts are used, these are also onsite. The only parts I found were these indicator stalks, window winding mechanisms and rear lamps.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-129

This is an aluminium bonnet for the Lancer WRC. Note: not carbon.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-135

A pre-prepared WRC specification 4G63 engine block with pistons and rods pre-installed.

Another unexpected discovery was that there were custom and padded carry-bags made for everything. From body parts, to fuel cells, to front lamp pods. I think I’m only now starting to really and truly appreciate the logistics of a what a WRC team is comprised of.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-169

What was intended as a quick visit was now entering its fifth hour, and I was still finding fascinating parts and details all around the workshop.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-158

This is a very expensive Ricardo sequential gearbox, which has had its sides cut open and some clear perspex installed. This was so the engineers could observe the splatter pattern of the gear oil.

While some might think this to be ridiculous or even a waste of money, I see it as a team that was willing to do anything to build the best car they possibly could. Not once during this visit did I think to myself ‘that’s a bit ordinary’.

I really don’t think there are enough superlatives or hyperbolic statements to emphasise the significance of this visit.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-153

This is something that is never meant to be seen by you or I. It’s a privilege reserved for the rare few who have the honour of designing and working on these incredible machines.

Even today, if I was to walk into M-Sport or Prodrive and ask to see their setup from this era (not even today’s cars), I know for sure that I would be laughed out the door.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-166

What Tristan and Laura are doing with MMR Rallysport is so special. They’re preserving not just the history, but the very existence of these wonderful and fascinating cars. That they were so kind to open their doors and invite a relative stranger inside, just so they can share their passion with a global audience, tells you everything about them.

It seems to be a recurring theme, that anyone involved with the cars at any stage seems to become smitten with them. From the ex-Ralliart technicians and staff at MML, to people still helping with the cars today. The intellectual and technological information and experience these people have retained and continue to share with MMR is absolutely invaluable to ensuring the cars continue to run today, and it’s something MMR are hugely appreciative of.

As a prime example, the chassis jig is only used by the original shell builder from Ralliart, and what he doesn’t know about these isn’t worth knowing.

2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-173

I can’t wait to show you Galli’s car and to tell you its story. If you’ve made it this far, I guess I can also tell you that I’m going to try and document the rebuild of one of the cars and to show you why these are so incredibly under-appreciated by the rallying community.

That 0.5s per kilometre was found in them in the season after Mitsubishi had bailed out, just shows how much potential these cars really had and how the plug was almost certainly pulled a year too early.

And yes, that’s a collection of bum pads belonging to Hervé Panizzi, Tommi Mäkinen and Gigi Galli. You can’t have one, but aren’t they just fantastic?

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-7
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-25
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-46
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-54
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-63
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-64
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-65
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-67
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-68
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-77
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-104
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-105
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-110
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-116
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-119
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-126
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-131
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-150
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-155
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-168
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-170
2020 MMR Rallysport for Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-172


Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

I have very fond memories of my time at Ralliart during that time. I was fresh faced with my eyes wide open, amazed to be in the middle of the whole organisation, something I had dreamt of since a very early age.

Designing one-off parts and creating the engineering drawings for some of the critical components for these cars was a privilege and an experience that taught me so much. There are so many stories to tell and so many experiences to share from being pranked by the mechanics to joining the team on tests and having passenger rides with the likes of Lassi Lampi through the forests of mid-Wales. Amazing days and I for one am glad to see that the heritage and history lives on!


Thanks for your insight on this, Bryn. It was very much appreciated.


Let me go and pick my jaw off my desk...
But this is seriously awe inspiring- and i'm on the other side of a screen


This is one of the best articles I've read/seen in a very long time. Amazing. Thanks Paddy.


Agreed, it's just amazing..


Thanks for reading, mate. It was a very special story to be able to create.


BEST article in years! O how I miss my Evo. I NEED to get it ready for the streets.


Best story, ever.
I was a kid when Tommy Makkinen was driving those glorious Red Lancer Evolution...
Football player? Fireman? Astronaut? I wanted to be a WRC driver so badly...


Same, although I was very much a McRae fan, rallying also taught me early in life that it's okay to like your guy's rivals as well. Such respect for Mäkinen, Sainz, Burns et al. as well.


Message to Paddy and Mark: please stop getting better at this photography thingy with each and every picture you take. Thank you!


I wish Mark would just let me catch up, TBH.

(He also helped me out with how to approach this, so I'm very grateful we have him around)


I've been photographing cars for the best part of 15 years now, so I don't give compliments just for the sake of it. You two are aliens in my book.


Absolutely blown away! What a collection of things to own, i could stare at and read about these photos all day. I would love to spend time looking through the mountains of parts. Looking forward to the cars story, always wondered about the strange positioning of the spoilers!


Article of the year. Thanks so much for documenting this Paddy and thank you Tristan for allowing us to see it.


You should have put a NSFW disclaimer in the headline. What a wet dream this is for anyone who ever laid hands on a rally car on amateur level, in a backyard. Now excuse me, I need to drool over these anodised jackstands a few minutes more. Ah did I mention you are a truly brilliant photographer?


This is why Speedhunters is and continues to be the best outlet of automotive content on the interwebs. What an insight. As a rally nut, this is the type of content I appreciate. Not jealous at all, Paddy.


Wow... that was an EPIC journey.

Thank you Tristan, Laura, and Paddy for sharing!


Thanks so much Paddy and MMR! I’ve wanted an inside look for 25 years and this is the first I’ve gotten. Super impressed and proud of MMR.


WRC and DTM were the eras that really piqued my interests in auto racing. The technologies developed, which then trickled down into production cars, were invaluable. Just incredible.


As a teenager I used to watch these being tested around the proving ground at MIRA, and they used to drive past my house on the way back to Rugby. From the late Group A Evo VI right through to these beauties. This is stunning, I'm really pleased and amazed MMR have taken this on! Mind. Blown.


Best thing I have read in a long time. Fantastic story, incredible dedication and excellent article.

So good to see a forgotten program of modern rally being preserved.


Brilliant article.


Amazing article and a VERY amazing operation. So I'm 16 and would really like to start racing in stage rally on a regional level, but I don't know very many of the specifics, can anybody who's in the Motorsport give me some tips about it? Like how to find a Co-Driver or wether or not I should start out by getting some experience in rally cross. Any important tips are helpful.


All I can say is wow....... can't wait for galli feature

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

I am still very confused about this car, because I know during the San Remo Rally in 2001, Mitsubishi introduced the Lancer Evo 7. But it seems in 2002, they changed it to the Lancer WRC? Did Mitsubishi use the Evo 7 as a stop-gap measure before the Lancer WRC came about?


The Evo VII was the first Lancer WRC, which debuted during the San Remo Rally in 2001. The one introduced in 2002 is the “Step 2”.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

So the Step 2 became based on the regular Lancer instead? I wonder why they didn't soldier on with the Evo...


No, the Step 2 is still based on the Evo. As the article says, they suspended racing for the 2003 season to focus on the 2004 car which is the one based on the Lancer, and that would be the Step 3 ;)

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Ah... gotcha. Still strange though, that Mitsubishi decided to give WRC04 the regular Lancer's looks instead of Evo.


Real rally car = Total rarity
real battle-damaged rally car parts = Absurdly priceless.


"There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's Mastercard."


This has to be one of the best articles ever. If not the best one. I just can’t stop nerding out about all that sacred stuff, love it!


Imagine just auctioning 10% of this inventory.....

The Rote Engineer

This is the thing, selling off part of the inventory does not really have much value. So many of the parts are bespoke that they end up reaching painfully low values. Look at the sales of parts from F1 teams, Manor selling off Ferrari F1 parts for a fraction of their worth, despite having the prancing horse on the side.
The value comes from having everything, EVERYTHING in one place. It is just incredible.


eye-bursting numbers


Thanks for sharing this with us...


This is the sort of article that regularly brings me back to this site. Great writing about the tech involved, the details, the story behind it all, coupled with detailed AAA photos, of niches of motorsport and car culture. Not semi-cultish adoration of people or cultures that you learn nothing off but the personal opinion of the writer, if you catch my drift.

More of this here is always welcome.


Great write up and great pictures as always. These WRC Lancers will always be legendary and they left a legacy that not too many will accomplish. Still, on today's standards, these would be very fast cars, and certainly, winners. The dedication is uncanned.


Im 67 retired own a 2006 sti wrc enthusiast. Miss the old days. Reside in ct. Fantastic shop. Best wishes


I'll have to say hi!


I know the feeling of going into somewhere with energy, it makes my stomach do flips and its a really cool thing to be in. You (as in the general you), generally, tend to take your best photos when your excited and passionate about something I have found. The sheer number of content you could pull out of this place would not fit on this page. Love the article, #keepcarculturealive #keeptunerculturealive .



Wow!! I am not one to usually be lost for words. What I wouldn't give for a supermarket sweep for parts for my car in there! Seriously though - this article just made my day. I was always a Mitsubishi fan and to have such an insight to the guys that saved these cars, I feel honoured just reading about them. I really look forward to seeing what becomes of them in years to come.
Any spares lying around that can find a home on a '94 Evo 2, let me know... ;)


Off the bat, awesome awesome article.

Not something any normal commoner can do. So, Applaud the chap's efforts.

I'll say this though; its a real shame. I think using this platform from the get go doomed the whole project; its too big.

As a Ralliart whore, i am extremely saddened to c the whole thing disappear. I hope some day, they can make a come back.


Such a fantastic article! I subscribe completely to the notion that there's just 'something' about those cars and that era that grabs you and won't let go.
I had the great pleasure to share a few minutes alone with Tommi Mäkinen at the end of Rally Australia in 2018, just after Jarri-Matti Latvala and TGR's wins, respectively. Being quite star-struck by this accidental meeting, I forgot I was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word 'Tommi' and a picture of the '99 season winning Evolution. As we were parting company, he shook my hand, pointed to my shirt, smiled and said 'Ah, still one of my favourites!' I don't know how long it took me to move from that spot afterwards!




Also I'm not into rallying since I was a boy ("it was the Walter Röhrl & Michelle Mouton Era") this is one of the most wonderful articles motorsport-wise I've ever read. It gives me sheer excitement and goosebumps on a "Steve McQueen Le Mans level". Thank you for sharing this!


Amazing article!

This was a trip down memory lane for me. I really miss this era. Amazing to see someone has all of it.


This is awesome. Thank you.


Definitely one of the most spectacular articles ever! Awesome!!!


Absolutely brilliant feature - rally nerd heaven! I'm not a Mitsubishist but for what it's worth, I always thought that those last couple of WRC cars were amongst their best looking.

The Rote Engineer

Amazing article Mr McGrath, the best I have read on SH for years. Thank you.

It is a great demonstration to those that don't understand where all the money goes in top level motorsport. The level of detail and the number of parts to make a competitive vehicle is insane.


Matthew Everingham

Awesome feature (and find), Paddy! Happy Birthday!

If you feel like liberating any of those parts, Project Nine would be happy to refitted with some genuine WRC goodness!


Having all that must be extreme. Specially to those who are really into rally cars. and WRC is life. And sure the owner is so rich denomination of money wouldn't be enough to count his money. But! wouldn't it be great if he drives it and show all those new era cars we are so famed of to run for their money. ^_^


No idea if it's one of the cars in the images above but there was an evo WRC shell on facebook marketplace back in December last year.


That's based on an Evo 8, so not one of the original shells. Good replica, though and they seem to have got their hands on some of the genuine parts.


As the previous owner of 8 Evos, 3 of them TME's, this is just mind blowing. I've never given a second thought as to where Ex-WRC cars end up. If I had, i'd have just assumed that they went to Mitsubishi's museum or something. To have this kind of machinery and heritage in private hands is incredible. I know at the time when they made the switch to the Cedia platform, Makinen was still winning in the older Group A car and he wasn't happy about the switch to WRC spec and the division eventually led to him leaving for Subaru. With 0.5s/km pulled out of the car by a non-works team without Makinen at the wheel, it seems a shame now that they couldn't have held it together for another while until they worked the bugs out.

Brilliant article and pictures as ever Paddy, keep them coming.

Mark Joseph I. Argoso

This reminds me of why I loved the fictional Group B designs in Gran Turismo Sport: they provide a good "what if" look into what would have happened had the WRC not fallen on such hard times and managed to come up with an over 2-liter class that runs side-by-side with the 1.6L cars. Particularly both Subaru and Mitsubishi. Those models in-game look like something they'd design had there been a "Sedan" (or just a 2L-2.4L) class to WRC in the 2010s. Just imagine: double what the current WRC cars make in horsepower, but heavier and more robust to keep them honest. What a dream that would be...

In any case, I'm happy that Mitsubishi even had rally pedigree at all. Who else can boast WRC titles AND the most number of Dakar Rally wins, elevating the Pajero into one of the greatest SUV nameplates on the planet? This feature is nothing less than amazing and enlightening. Thank you.


couple of technical mistakes, Those are not anodized jack stands, it's painted steel you can see the rust. Anodizing is only for aluminum, and anodized aluminum jackstands are not uncommon, you can get them at Harbor Frieght.

Also that's not an Inconel intake manifold, looks aluminum or maybe magnesium. The exhaust manifold is probably Inconel, it's the best for heat resistance and light weight. Inconel like stainless also has low heat transfer, you don't want that on the intake but you do want it for the exhaust