The last hero

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Dealer’s Diary -

Shed a tear at the pass­ing of one of Ja­pan’s most le­gendary ve­hi­cles. One equally at home at in­ter­na­tional ral­lies, romp­ing through the mud or tow­ing way be­yond what’s legally per­mit­ted. Think authen­tic, bombproof, civilised.

The Mit­subishi Shogun is down to re­main­ing stock only in three- and five-door form. I rec­om­mend that if you’re in the mar­ket for a prac­ti­cal and ro­bust 4x4 you lo­cate one be­fore its too late. I’ve no idea what the High­ways Agency are go­ing to do now they’ve lost what is ar­guably Bri­tain’s hard­est work­ing 4x4?

I’m an en­thu­si­as­tic owner of one pow­ered by the largest pro­duc­tion four-cylin­der en­gine in a pas­sen­ger car. Its out­stand­ing abil­ity to tow saved me from a deadly se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent when the driver of a Mon­deo left lane four of the A2 and came be­tween me and my 1850kg car­a­van at 60mph.

For those in the know, the demise of the Shogun has been on the cards for a while due to emis­sions, so peo­ple have been rush­ing out to buy them. You’ll rarely see one in an auc­tion and nearly-new ones are dis­posed of via ‘closed’ auc­tions at BCA. Not even I am al­lowed in.

My small lo­cal in­de­pen­dent Mitsi dealer is hugely en­thu­si­as­tic about them. He owns a mint MKI (above) which he’s not afraid to rally. In the show­room, along­side said rally war­rior, is a glass tro­phy cabi­net with an award given to him by Mit­subishi UK. You can imag­ine his de­spair when said award was stolen. For­tu­nately, the award was re­cov­ered, but what can never be re­placed is such a tough, ser­vice­able and tal­ented 4x4 at a gen­uinely bar­gain price. What other 4x4 would be pro­moted by its chief en­gi­neer do­ing hand­brake turns?

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