1998 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution – £15,000 to £20,000 estimate
The Pajero Evo is probably one of the most underrated classic race cars of all time. Perhaps it’s because of the Mitsubishi badge, or because it’s an SUV. Or maybe it’s because Mitsu had to hastily rename it the ‘Shogun’ in Europe, due to how terribly ‘Pajero’ translates into Spanish.
But the Pajero Evo is the real deal. It was built to win Dakar. And it definitely did.
Starting with a short-wheelbase Shogun, Mitsubishi replaced the live rear axle with fully independent multilinks, matching them with double wishbones in the front. Suspension travel was increased to a desert-bashing 240mm at the front and 270mm at the rear. Limited-slip diffs were installed at both axles, and the locking centre diff was combined with a high/low-range transfer case. The track was 125mm wider at the front and 110mm at the rear, filling out the always-attractive box flares.
It used a complicated version of Mitsubishi’s V6, with variable valve timing and dual intake plenums, which was allegedly good for more than the 276bhp ‘gentleman’s agreement’ limit that was going on in Japan at the time.
This particular one’s been to Dakar, and is still in race trim should you feel like returning…