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Gloucestershire Business News

Heritage fleet up for auction as Mitsubishi Motors leaves county

As car brand Mitsubishi Motors moves forward with plans to leave the UK, it has announced the virtual auction of its UK's heritage fleet.

Gloucestershire-based Colt Car Company had a long-term relationship with the Japanese manufacturer, acting as importer to the UK market since 1974.

But last year, Mitsubishi announced it was freezing the introduction of new models into Europe with immediate effect.

According to a letter sent by Colt to retail partners, the company said it had no choice but to reduce fixed costs by 20 per cent and concentrate on core markets.

Since the announcement, it has put its Cirencester HQ up for sale, and is now auctioning off it's classic car collection.

Amongst the 14 cars on offer are two of the earliest original UK Mitsubishis ever registered in the country, a Colt Lancer and a Colt Galant; the brand's flagship sports cars of the 80s and 90s, a Mitsubishi Starion Turbo and a Mitsubishi 3000GT; as well as three of its iconic 4X4 vehicles - a Mitsubishi Jeep and a Mk1 and Mk2 Shogun.

Of most interest to performance car enthusiasts will be the three Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, each representing the pinnacle of their respective generations of Evo, and all with low mileage and maintained to the highest standards. The star of the heritage fleet, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition, is also expected to be the highlight of the auction.

The brand's rally heritage in the UK is represented by a Mitsubishi Galant GTi rally-replica, a promotional vehicle build in the late 80s to commemorate Pentti Airikkala's Lombard RAC Rally victory in a Mitsubishi Galant VR4, and the championship-winning Mitsubishi Evo IX which was driving to consecutive British Rally Championships by Guy Wilkes in 2007 and 2008.

The newest additions to the heritage fleet, a 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Mk1 and a 2017 Mitsubishi L200 "Desert Warrior" which was built for the brand by journalist and presenter Tom Ford for a feature in Top Gear magazine, also go under the hammer.

Every vehicle on the heritage fleet is being offered with no reserve and the auction will run from April 1 for a month, with an end to each lot throughout the final day on April 30.

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