It wouldn’t be a Mitsubishi fleet without 4x4s of course and as well as a couple of that British favourite, the Shogun, there’s a super-rare 1983 Mitsubishi Jeep CJ-3B (they built it under licence from Willys) and, bringing things up to date, a deliciously over the top L200 Desert Warrior project pickup truck built for Top Gear magazine.
Also available in the sale are private registration plates: lots of them, all familiar from a thousand test cars over the decades and with both CCC and MMC represented a reminder of the importer’s changing status. The privately-owned Colt Car Company, based in Cirencester, imported the first Mitsubishi into the UK in 1974, and the debut Lancer from that year’s Earls Court Motor Show is in the sale. The cars were rebranded as Mitsubishis by the 1980s but it wasn’t until 2008 that the importer became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese giant.
Mitsubishi has had some recent success in Europe – its Outlander plug-in hybrid was class leader in 2020 – but has now decided to pull out, apart from selling two rebadged Renault models in some left-hand drive markets from 2023. In the UK, though, this autumn will see the end of Mitsubishi as a new-car importer, its future presence only as an aftersales business to look after the 400,000 Mitsubishi vehicles on UK roads.