Friday, May 1, 2015

10k: EvolovE: 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage, Evo IV clone

Maybe because it's Friday and the meds have worn off (or finally kicked in? Who knows) but this Evo IV clone has my attention. Evos I-IX were 4G63-powered rally rockets offering varying degrees of wing size (just kidding - they're all enormous) prohibited from American showrooms until number eight. Meanwhile, thumbstick jockeys got to experience them in Gran Turismo-style racing games. The creation of this clone follows the formulaic boy meets girl/boy can't buy girl due to pessimistic market predictions/boy assembles girl from overnight parts from Japan love story. Find this 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage Evo IV clone for sale in Sacramento, CA for $10,000 via craigslist.

Compared to an Evo VIII or IX, this one is lighter and cheaper. Later Evos weighed 3,100 pounds or more depending on trim level, which is acceptable for an all-wheel-drive rally sedan with nearly 300 horsepower. A true Evo IV was 2,900 or less. Price-wise, later Evos start at $15,000. Expect to pay double for an unmodified one.

Compared to a real Evo IV, this one is LHD. It's also in America, and not rusting away outside of a Japanese alley. Building one from scratch is probably more costly than importing one, especially once you add in the extras. JDM rain visors and clips? Really? But all of that Previous Owner's Money/Previous Owner's Work has become an unrecoupable investment and is of no concern to the buyer.

Compared to a Mitsubishi Mirage, you aren't entirely appalled by its presence. Then again, you might be. It's easy to be put off by a 141,000-mile Mirage with a salvage title and a swapped engine that bogs at 5k rpm. Surely all those JDM-exclusive parts (like dome lights from a JDM Evo V) are worth something, right? 

See another clone that isn't a Yenko Camaro? Please don't send us Yenko Camaro clones. Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. There's a lot of work here. Nice car.

    I'd rather have a later factory Evo, without a wing.

    But this is nice work.

    Now, is it smoggable in California? Does the seller have BAR tags on the swap? Does the buyer have a smog tech that rolls over for a belly-scratch at the waving of a couple Benjamins?


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