The De-Evolution Of A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo I

I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a bleeding heart, but in a parallel universe you would probably find me opening the doors to my farm to all the stray and injured animals of the world. Truth be told, all animals make me melt, but let’s be sensible and make it dog exclusive. Which is why, in this universe, a big part of me wants to rescue this decaying Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution I GSR.

Of course this is pure fantasy, so, inspired by Dino and Ron’s stories on abandoned/unloved cars in Japan, I thought the very least I could do to honour this Evo’s legacy would be to bring you a look around before it returns to the ground.


So, what is it exactly? It’s probably not quite the World Rally Championship-dominating Evo that you might recognise from those heady days of Group A, but this is indeed a Lancer Evolution – the very first to carry the badge and the predecessor to a lineage that won four WRC drivers’ titles.


Like Subaru, who had been championing their Legacy RS, Mitsubishi had been making wins in their Galant VR-4, but soon realised that a lighter, smaller car was required to tackle the WRC’s challenging special stages.


This wasn’t the first Lancer to carry the GSR badge. Back in the day, Mitsubishi took three consecutive wins in Australia’s Southern Cross Rally with their Lancer 1600 GSR. That car was championed by Andrew Cowan, who incidentally went on to establish Ralliart Europe, the company responsible for building all of the works Mitsubishi WRC rally cars right up to 2005.


When the Evo I hit the rally stages in 1993 it was competitive (as the Galant had been previously), but it wasn’t until Mitsubishi upped the power and tweaked the aero design of the front splitter and rear wing of the Evo III that they finally took a victory.


But underneath the decaying, moss-covered exterior of this Evo I is the same 4G63T engine, 5-speed manual and AWD system found in later models. That spells huge potential.


Only 5,000 of these where built for homologation purposes, which is probably why this one is still having its parking paid for and not heading to the wreckers yard just yet.

I’m interested to know what you see here? Is it a piece of automotive history worth preserving, or a forgotten relic not worth the effort?

Toby Thyer
Instagram _tobinsta_



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I dont know if its worth saving in the historical context but if its not rotten it could be a fun toy that doesn't matter if it gets bumped


I found this 1970 plymouth sitting outside in Texas, When I first looked at it something clicked. I had to rescue this GTX. I was lucky, I got it and got it back out on the road, driving it across the country. So. I understand how you feel. I'd rescue his one if I could, even if it's just to clean it up and protect it from the elements. I believe that all these cars should be rescued and at the very least keep them preserved so that they're around for a long time. I look at project rough and something clicks. So, I hope this one gets rescued.




This post is about 10 years too early. Must have been a beautiful day though.


Nice Article Toby!




I see potential.
That could be great, untidy, thrashed hard fun. Which could develop and be brought back over time.
I see heartache, anguish, misery as you try to achieve that.
I see the smile when it hooks as you hit the apex of that corner on that bit of road.


All worth it


Guess its bittersweet to see that this car appears to be have driven and used for what its meant for. Not just a decaying unused piece of metal


Definitely has a history that’s for sure


if u finding those door panel, can try look at Malaysia, we have the plenty of them


Well seeing that its in almost better condition than my one and im restoring mine i have to believe that this is worth saving otherwise mine is sure as hell not worth saving.


Call Chip Foose from Overhaulin'.
In 1 week it will do 0-60 mph in 3 seconds and will win show awards


if it's not worth saving then it's eligible for organ(s) donation but sure it must be used for a purpose not left to be devoured by mother nature


I dont know if its worth saving in the historical context but if its not rotten it could be a fun toy that doesn't matter if it gets bumped




Someone please save it :(


There was never an engine produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries called the 4G63T. This is a common misconception as to there being a 2.0L SOHC 8v version, a 2.0L DOHC 16v version, and of course the 2.0L DOHC 16v turbo. The turbo version on engine blocks are stamped 4G63. Now, there was a 4G62T and a G63T. The former was a Japanese market 1.8L SOHC 8v turbocharged version of the Sirius engine and the latter was the rally engine designed by RalliArt for the World Rally Championship. Please do better...


Yes, the blocks are stamped 4G63 and not "4G63T", but it is an accepted way to identify factory turbocharged 4G63 engines, even within the several Mitsubishi techs i know (used to own an Evo), the owners/fans community, parts dealers, etc. They don't feel the need to be pedantic.

Regarding G63T, someone probably forgot to write a "4", because the engine identification of the rally cars, is/was still 4G63.


I have a 2002 model ,I love her alot she's the best car I've had hard to get parts this one is unique I wish it 2as mine ..


She's a beauty worth restoration.


Sad to see that Mitsubishi doesn't make cars like this anymore and something like this Lancer Evo I that's rotting away will become a collectors item
I miss the heyday when Mitsubishi used to make some of the best cars during my childhood but now in this era there are just a lot of better cars out there especially since the past decade


My first thought was "nah, that thing, maybe can be used as a parts car for someone dumping money building an AWD Mirage or something like that" But then I thought about all the EVs coming our way and how machines like these, that we all adore, will be forgotten... Cars like this should not meet that fate. It must be preserved.


Probably not a paid parking spot. It's been de-registered, and is incurring no cost to anybody I'd say.
It may be the last registered owner has passed away. Probably not worth saving by now...