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Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 1997 SOLD

Not for sale - it has been sold via a Car and Classic Free Ad
Imported from Japan last year, I was told when I bought it that it had had just the one Japanese owner. I am certainly the first UK-registered keeper.

It is in marvellous condition for its age, feeling tight and rattle-free on the road.

It was freshly serviced when I bought it in August 2019, and has been fitted with a removeable towbar and new tyres since I bought it. Having just been machine polished and given Diamond Bright paint protection, it is now fully fettled and only being sold due to a dramatic change in his circumstances.

The panels are all good and are free of corrosion, damage and the sort of scuffs that are inevitable when a car spends its life in the UK; the Japanese really do know how to look after their cars and I'm always amused when I read of a Mazda MX-5 and the like being promoted as being a “genuine UK car.” That makes no sense to me, as not only do the Japanese look after their cars better than any other nation, they don’t use salt, either.


The paintwork is thought to be largely, if not completely, original, which was supported by the fact that it was looking a little flat when I bought it. One of the first jobs I commissioned was a professional machine polish and detail, followed by the application of a Diamond Bright paint protection finish. The car now looks very good indeed, with only a very few age-related marks on it.

The four ‘Evolution’ badges were missing when I bought it, as were the ‘MIVEC’ and Mitsubishi logo on the front grille, and the ‘Pajero’ bade on the rear door handle. So, being something of a completist, I sourced new/old stock original equipment replacements from Japan. These cost in excess of £700, but I think they were worth every penny as the car looks stunning now.

The tyres Yokohama tyres were perished with age, so I sourced and fitted a set of Yokohama Geolander G015s, including the spare. The car was fitted with Yokos when it was new, and the car’s Japanese owner continued the tradition while he had the car so I felt it would have been rude to move away from them; they’re a brilliant all-round tyre anyway, especially in the winter and in mild-to-moderately tough off-road conditions.

The car was professionally undersealed when I first registered it here in the UK, and there is no rust whatsoever on the car bar a few rusty bolts under the bonnet.

The rear receiver hitch bolts on to existing mounts. It is rated to 1,250kgs and can be removed in a couple of minutes should the new owner prefer to run the car without it. However, it does form a useful recovery point and attachment point for a cycle carrier or even a winch in addition to being a towing point. A modern 13-pin electrical socket has also been professionally fitted.

The only exterior work to do is the alloy wheels. They’re the original equipment wheels but the machine-finish has oxidised in places. Some owners prefer to have them powdercoated for longevity, while others prize originality over practicality. The choice is now yours.

The interior is in great shape too; where many suffer from torn and ripped side bolsters, the ones on this car look almost new and show only the very gentlest signs of wear. They’re still very supportive and hold the driver and front passenger tightly although the strength of that embrace can be adjusted via a knob on the side of each seat.

The rear seats look almost unused, and have their own cupholders on individual fold-down armrests on the outside.

The door cards are clean, as is the carpet and headlining. The boot is tidy too, and home to the complete toolkit, which still looks like new. The latter features the original equipment torch, whose safety tab between the battery and contacts hasn’t even been removed.

Speaking of nice touches, the rubber seal on the odometer reset button is still intact, and the car still has its O/E road flare in the passenger’s footwell.

There’s a velvet lined cubby beneath the stereo too, and four cupholders in the front of the vehicle. It still wears its original Japanese warning stickers, along with MOT and tax decals, plus the odd oil change and timing belt sticker.

The original reversing alarm works too, (although it would be easy to disconnect should you find it irritating) as does the dash-mounted compass and external temperature gauge. In fact, everything works as it should, and with a crispness to the controls that only the Japanese could engineer in to last 32 years and a hundred thousand miles…

Other gems are the Blaupunkt Rotterdam stereo, which is brand new and looks retro but offers full Bluetooth streaming for music and phone calls. The original Mitsubishi Motors CBA-CS2A radio cassette player (part number MR318342) will come with the vehicle. A model-specific Brodit phone holder and a universal QuadLock clip have been fitted, but these clip onto the dashboard and can be removed without leaving a mark.

The only problems I can see are a scratched driver’s side grab handle, and a small area of peeling lacquer on the central faux-carbonfibre trim panel.

The car has a partial service history from Japan, plus a few service stickers here and there, which Google translate shows as being timing belt replacements as well as general servicing. The oil pressure gauge shows good oil pressure of 60psi at motorway speeds, and the volt meter shows that the alternator is charging the battery correctly.

It was serviced when I bought it and needs nothing doing to it; it is free of any known mechanical faults and drives brilliantly. In fact, I recently took it to Anglesey and back, a round trip of more than 400 miles, a trip it completed without a single problem - plus, it drew a huge amount of attention from pedestrians and other drivers alike.

The engine bay itself looks a little grubby given the quality of elsewhere, but most of that is rust-proofing fluid and you could easily remove that with something like white spirit if you had a mind to.

Summary

Modern icons are rarer than you might imagine but the Pajero Evolution certainly qualifies as such. Brutally tough and utterly uncompromising in its purpose, it drives like a hot-hatchback on steroids, a Tonka Toy made real, and is all but bulletproof; after all, if it can dominate the Paris Dakar Rally it should be able to cope with a Waitrose run in the snow…

They’re rare, too. Mitsubishi UK is believed to have imported around 60 cars, split evenly between white and silver – and anyone who has looked at a UK Pajero from the period will know that our predilection for salting our roads plays havoc with the undersides, so buying a freshly imported Japanese example makes complete sense; this one is as rust-free as it is taut, and looks and drives like a car with a third of the mileage under its belt.

So, however well you might think you want that 30,000-mile-from-new example, you really don’t, mainly because you’ll be too scared to use it for fear of devaluing it. What you really want is one that is in the much the same condition but with a few miles under its belt, which means you’ll feel able to use it.

With the price of the very best cars having long topped £20,000, the £12,750 I'm asking for this example is peanuts; there are cheaper cars out there, but none that offers the same value for money as this one.

And, while past performance isn't a guaranteed guide to the future, the fact is that the price of the Paj Evo has risen by more than 30% in the past year, with a month-on-month growth of more than 10% according to Patina The Market.

For much more entertainment about this wonderful madness, see this article in Patina Picks: - details above

Viewing in Leamington Spa




Ad Type For Sale
Category Classic Cars
Make Mitsubishi
Model Pajero
  Pajero Evolution
Year 1997
Mileage 105,000 miles
Country UK
Region Oxfordshire
Town Abingdon
Status Private
Ref C1164731
 

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