Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 19 September

It’s with some sadness that we’ve reported Mitsubishi’s decision to pull out of Europe next year. No doubt the immaculate example of the Evo VI Tommi Mäkinen from the firm’s UK heritage fleet will be sold to a collector and hidden away, leaving the world bereft of the greatest car this diverse company has brought to these shores.

A few years ago, £10k would have been enough for a good one, but now £25k or more is required, which is a lot for a car that’s over 20 years old.

But what a car it is. We should laugh at some of the comments made when it was new – the ones that suggested the active yaw control (AYC) and complex four-wheel drive system detracted from the purity of the driving experience, because where would the modern performance car be without them?

Probably behind an Evo VI in the real world. Even though it has ‘only’ 276bhp, the performance is so easily accessible because the car never feels twitchy or nervous and just breathes over even the worst of road surfaces; plus there’s pin-sharp steering, AYC to help mitigate understeer and oversteer and confidence-inspiring big Brembo brakes.

The tricky part is finding an unmolested example, because modified cars won’t be as reliable. You’ll also want to make sure the suspension bushes have been renewed and the vehicle has been rust-proofed. So it’s no wonder good examples like the 48k-miler we found cost so much. However, we’ll be looking out for when the UK heritage press car goes up for sale – and working out how many organs we will need to sell in order to buy it.

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MA: Since when has a Corolla been mid-engined? You’re just jealous that I’ll be busy enjoying mine in the sun, while you’ll be stuck with flaky ’80s Italian electrics and a leaky roof.

FP: As long as the windows go down and my rorty 1.5-litre fires into life, I know I’m in for a good time. That’s the whole point of a Targa-style top, surely? Open-roof motoring made simple. Let’s not forget, either, that my X1/9 tips the scales at just a shade over 900kg, whereas your Toyota lumbers in at more than a tonne…

MA: Pfft, 222bhp will make light work of that. Surely, the 85bhp in yours is a source of embarrassment?

Verdict: I will take the wedge-tastic Bertone X1/9.