My name is Jason Addison and I started rallying when I was 15 in my brothers rally car in the passenger seat in the old “Bay and Gisborne Rallies” and from that point I was hooked on rallying. When I turned 21 it was time to start driving myself and I converted my Mazda BFMR into a rally car. I then moved up into a 1993 GC8 Impreza, which was great fun because you can’t beat the Subaru rumble. Twelve months ago I sold the car and it was time to build my dream rally car. In May 2011 I found a 4WD 1996 Mirage Hatch in Auckland which I purchased from photos only and picked up the following weekend.
It looked like a car your Grandma would take to the supermarket but the plans I had for it got a lot of people thinking I was mad!
With the car being 4WD already, my plans were going to be easier - well at least I thought they would be!!
I removed the 1500cc automatic engine and gearbox and replaced them with an EVO 8 MR engine, EVO 6 gearbox and RS diffs.
I plan to get 300+ HP at the wheels out of the EVO 8 MR engine with anti-lag and launch control to give that real WRC sound out of the 3” Mandrel exhaust from the turbo engine.
I have had to change all the brakes to EVO 6 brakes as the drum rear brakes wouldn’t cut the mustard for this car now. It’s now running aftermarket 13” vented discs all round with EVO 6 alloy bottom arms which connect these brakes to the shell. All the rear suspension setup has been changed to a mixture of EVO 3 and EVO 6.5 subframe and rear arms. The wheel track has been widened 175mm to get the wheels out to the edge of the guards. So many pieces have changed on this car, I am having to write a list of what I have changed including radiator rail to indicators!
We’ve lengthened all the steering wheel and centre console and we are sitting in the rear seat foot well to get some weight on those rear wheels.
Getting 55m of roll cage tube into the 7 point roll cage has been a challenge but has now paid off as it is really starting to take the WRC look I am after – see pictures below.
The bonnet and front guards were all scrapped and EVO 5 bonnet and front bumper put in its place. The front guards have had many hours put into them to fit to the Mirage doors. Genuine EVO 5 rear flares and side skirts are also fitted to the car to give it the aggressive look with a home made fin rear spoiler to finish off the WRC look. With an awesome paint scheme planned (kept under wraps at this stage) it’s a car to see when completed by the end of this year.
There has been a huge amount of hours put into it so far, with a massive amount still to go. This car is no longer a Mirage – it’s more a “Mevo” I guess.
It’s been 12 months since I started and although still not finished, it is getting close now. I’m hoping to have it running at a hillclimb by the end of the year, so watch this space for more updates as the car progresses over the coming weeks.
I can’t wait to get in the drivers seat again to throw this toy around some gravel roads!