Legend, kept by a legend. Guess how much?
By John Howell / Monday, October 25, 2021 / Loading comments
The adjective ‘unique’ is an absolute and the often trotted out qualifiers of ‘almost unique’ and ‘nearly unique’ are terrible blights on our wonderful language. So it’s a pleasure to use it correctly for once, in the context of this car, which, at least as far as we can determine, is unique. Sure, it isn’t the only Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V GSR out there, but none comes with the unique provenance that makes this particular example one of a kind.
We all know the legend that is Richard Burns. His tale is a tragic one: that of a great talent sadly cut short in his prime at the age of just 34. He was undoubtedly worth more than his sole WRC title, but he played his part in Mitsubishi winning the constructors title in 1998 with the assistance of his co-diver Robert Reid. And it was while on Mitsubishi’s payroll that, according to the vendor, he acquired this example of the equally legendary Lancer Evo V.
As the advert explains, he moved to Subaru the following year and the idea of being seen in the Impreza’s arch nemesis wasn’t really going to be viewed warmly by anyone involved, from Prodrive’s Dave Richards to the bigwigs back in Ebisu, Japan. The Evo clearly meant something to Burns, though, because seen through the rule of ‘actions speak louder than words,’ he didn’t offload it. Instead, he stuck it out of sight in his personal collection.
Now, £125,000, give or take, is a huge amount of money, no question. But it isn’t ridiculous considering the £100,100 paid earlier this year for Mitsubishi UK’s ex-Tommi Makinen Evo VI. And while that car had just 10,000 miles on the clock, that’s made to look like a high-mileage hack when you consider that this ex-Burns Evo V has covered fewer than 800 miles.
Indeed, with that sort of mileage it’s hard to think that the condition wasn’t pristine; nevertheless it’s had some attention to recommission – after all, it’s sat relatively inactive for nearly a quarter of a century. This includes renewing many of the perishables, like the fluids and filters, and seemingly all things rubber, such as the belts, bushes, brake hoses and – sadly for the continuity of the alliteration – track-rod ends.
Looking at the pictures of the underside, it’s hard to identify anything that points to it every having had any road use at all. It looks mint, down to the gleaming nuts and bolts and that condition appears to extend to the 4G63T 2.0-litre turbo, too. The details are amazing as well. Those that scour the PH classified will be used to the little trinkets of originality, such as the supplying dealer’s rear-window sticker or number plates, but I can’t say I ever recall seeing a car supplied with its pre-delivery mirror hanger before. Naturally the machine-polished paintwork is gleaming, the OZ Racing FT wheels are unmarked and the GSR-specific details including the Recaro buckets and red Brembos are all present and correct.
Whichever camp you’re in of Evo or Impreza, this is probably a time to call a truce and simply appreciate the joys of a car like this. And the life and talent of Richard Burns and the fact that this car, thanks to him, really is a unique piece of history. The only sad part is that, because of what it is and what it represents, it’s almost impossible to imagine whoever ends up owning it will ever add to those 792 miles.
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