Preserving A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III

After experiencing an awesome mix of machinery during the New Year Meeting at Daikoku PA last week, 2021 has already started off on a bit of a nostalgic theme for me. It seems people can’t get enough of the JDM classics.

I don’t mean the really old stuff, but the Japanese cars of my generation – the modern day heroes that have slowly but surely become extremely sought after. And along with your obvious big three – the Skyline, Supra and NSX – it’s always fun to see where enthusiasts are directing their interests and what they are doing with these cars.


When I first arrived in Japan as a high school student, my father was given a run-of-the-mill Mitsubishi Lancer sedan as a rental until his new CD Honda Accord arrived. It certainly wasn’t anything special in narrow body, entry-level spec, but it was still a Lancer, and all I could think about when riding in it were the rally cars spawned from the then current Evolution II variant.


Two years later, the Evolution III came out – the best of the first-gen Evo iterations. To this day, I still prefer the Evo III over the IV and V, which to me never really looked quite right until the VI.


For some reason though, I’ve only ever shot one Evo III – a 400hp tuned version at Garage G-Force – and that was eight years ago.

I emphasize the word ‘tuned’ here as that car was indeed a tuner car in the truest sense of the word. It boasted a high-mount turbo and the usual visual cues that ensured anyone with basic Japanese car knowledge would instantly know what they were looking at.


The CE9A Lancer Evolution III you see here is different. It was sent to Garage Yamago in Saitama Prefecture by a friend of mine in Bahrain, who has a real love for Japanese cars but is very selective about who he has work on them.


The car is stock. Well, stock-ish, and that’s exactly the reason I wanted to go and check it out. To me, it’s a perfect example of how Japanese modern day classics can be approached.

Massive power is doable on any platform, but a few simple touches to refine what was there from the factory seems like a really good approach for long-term preservation.


Plus there’s the driving part. The owner wanted to respect how the car came from Mitsubishi, as enjoying the Evo III’s unique character was his main goal.

So inside you’ll only find subtle but important additions that combine to support that main goal. Things like a lowering kit for the seats and a modified steering wheel hub that allows for a more comfortable driving position for taller people. Then there are the Defi boost and an AEM A/F gauges, there to keep an accurate tab on two important parameters, especially when driving the car in an extremely hot climate like Bahrain’s.


Outside, the original body has been treated to fresh paint and as many new parts as Mitsubishi is still able to supply.

The quest for new parts, however, is a difficult one I am told, but seeing as other manufacturers are now remaking parts for popular models, maybe Mitsubishi will also join the club and launch a heritage program of their own. It seems like a real no-brainer.


The engine, which was already in an unmolested state, has been left stock, but it’s been treated to a modern set of injectors and fuel pump, refreshed ignition wires, fresh hoses, and was give a general once-over. The stock intercooler was deemed inefficient for the climate the car will be in, so it’s been replaced with a Plazmaman high-flow unit with hard piping. A Koyo radiator does the same for the water cooling side of things.

Tying it all together is a Link ECU, custom mapped by Yamago-san with an emphasis on keeping it all reliable. The car has been dyno-tested and the engine generates a healthy 300hp. A new clutch has also been added, so it’s pretty much ready for that power to be put to the wheels and thoroughly enjoyed.


And speaking of wheels, the white-on-white look courtesy of the 15-inch OZ Racing wheels is spot on.


Once the car arrives in Bahrain the stock suspension will be removed and replaced by Australian-made Pro Comfort coilovers, joining the fresh bushes that have already been fitted. To me, this is simple yet very well-executed ‘mild’ restomod.

You’ll be happy to hear that I’ve got a shop tour of Garage Yamago coming up, one I think you guys will rather like. The fact it’s located a short 10-minute drive from JUN Auto Mechanic is no coincidence either…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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For the Mitsubishi Evo III, one can never go wrong with the OZ Crono, or the OZ Roulette.
In white, of course.

The Cronos are stockish, yet stylish. The Roulettes are the ultimate wheel for rally inspired cars.


Chronos are stock wheels

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Perfect fit indeed


They have ditched their sport saloon and even in the last model they have ditched the engine that made it legendary. I don't think our friends are interested in lunching a heritage program, damn it they are using the name for a crossover now.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah Mitsubishi motors have really lost the plot.


Great to see some early Evo coverage! Your Australian photographer was never interested

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Matt? Get on it maaaaaate!


JUN Auto you say ? Anyone remember the Synergy V8 powered BRZ ? That car was nothing but incredible.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

How can I forget.

Too bad they dropped the project. Was too hard to make it a true street car


Absolutely perfect in its simplicity. I miss cars like these.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah I know what you mean, just have to hunt them out now as the new stuff is just, well, too new!


Simple but Complex


Now this is exactly how I love my JDM cars. By the way, either I missed it in the article, but was the exhaust stock? Cause it looks aftermarket.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah not stock, but unknown origin


Goddamn that is hella clean

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Really looked new


This model got me into the jdm scene many many moons ago

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Middle nineties, i.e. the best of the JDM golden years


What are these... Pro Comfort coil overs you speak of?


Dino Dalle Carbonare

Not heard of them either



Nice car though.

Anyway I can't believe that G Force Evo III article was 8 years ago. it felt really recent when i read it. And i check SH a couple times a day so i did not miss that article. Time flies.


Most Evo 3's came with 15" OZ as stock, which they also look like in the images. are you sure they were 16" as per the article?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

You are tight, they are 15s


I've read this web for more than 10 yrs... and still waiting to see an evo 4 get featured here ...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Don't think I've ever shot an Evo 4. Ever. Couple of 5's back in the day like the JUN lemon or the Bozz Speed demo car. But that's it


Always been more of a Subaru guy but always loved the Evo 3.
Would love to see some Ver 3 - 6 STI coverage of similarly stock examples being restored.
90's to early 2000s were great times...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I might have something for you...


Mad respect for the owner. He chose to conserve and only tune what was necessary to keep the Evo going. Always preferred the Evo III's and Evo VIII's and IX's for their clean styling.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

He knows his stuff


cant wait for the shop tour!


My favourite gen of Evos. I love this car!