Marty Mellon (aka: Ralli///Mart) is a Senior Graphic Designer for a city council living outside Belfast, in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Having made the “natural” transition from Impreza to Lancer, Marty is soundly hooked and gives of his time to serve the global Mitsubishi community by serving as a regional community organizer.
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
I drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8 260 GSR, Dandelion Yellow. This entry level Evo 8 was created by Mitsubishi to meet the motoring industry’s homologation requirements for the European market and, as such, the Evo 8 260 in its OEM state is a little under powered at 260BHP. A little less BHP than the rest of the Evo 8 range.
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Mitsubishi? How do you use it?
My philosophy from the first week of ownership for the Evo 8 260 has been this: when it’s broken, how can I make it stronger, and in doing so will I make it faster? This philosophy has seen the removal of many OEM parts from my Evo over time in favour of the leading aftermarket brands as things required to be replaced. Over time the modifications have made my Evo stronger and in turn the BHP and boost figures are on the rise to see the Evo currently running 357.4 BHP/344.2 lb ft of torque on standard cams and the restrictive turbo with its 9.8 hot side.
What originally attracted you to the Mitsubishi? What keeps you going today?
I think it was the colour first. How could you not notice it? On a serious note though, I had been the owner of a few performance oriented cars such as the Renault ClioV6 with its 3.0 V6 24V engine. It broke down – a lot! So I went for the more reliable Subaru Impreza. It would only be a matter of time as a Subaru owner that curiosity, as to what Evo ownership was like, would get the better of me and so I naturally progressed from the Impreza to the Evo.
What keeps me going today you ask? Well it was not long after the purchase of my pride n joy that I met an Mitsubishi Lancer Register (MLR) member at a show. I was encouraged to get online. I joined the MLR and now, as a Regional Organiser for the MLR in Northern Ireland, my Evo ownership has brought a whole new social life that did not exist for me previously. It is the spirit and enthusiasm of MLR members that keeps me going. I organise meets for like-minded Evo enthusiasts here in Northern Ireland and attend a whole range of events from shows to drag racing events and track days. Although I have never dragged or tracked my own car it is amazing to see these cars being put through their paces as that is what they were designed for.
Got a favourite story about your Mitsubishi?
Yeah, one of my favourite stories is the one where the tuner I left my car into because it had over fueling issues, phoned me up an hour after dropping the car off and told me I needed a whole engine rebuild. I can still recall the sinking feeling and the life draining out of me during the phone call. Compression and leak down tests highlighted a loss of compression in chamber 1 and by the end of that day the head was off and the engine was in bits. Momentum Motorsport completed the rebuild in 4 days for me and now, as the engine was forged, the car was good for some real BHP figures down the line.
What are your goals for your Mitsubishi and how close are you to achieving them?
I would like to achieve a sensible 400 BHP /400 lb ft of torque for everyday road use. My goal is to turn the entry level Evo into an Evo that commands real respect from the Evo community here in Northern Ireland. Most of the modification work to realise this has been completed. I would need cams replaced and a turbo upgrade to reach these figures.
My long term aspirations for the car are, once I’ve paid the car out in full and I’m in a position to retire the Evo as the main driver and enjoy it as a second car, then I will have a go at a few track day events. At present it’s my everyday driver and I depend on it for transport. We all know it’s all too easy for things to go wrong mechanically or for a car to get damaged through driver error. So, for the next while I’m happy to spectate from the trackside.
What was your favourite modification and why?
Well my favourite modification to date is two things really. Firstly, the Greddy RS dump valve and secondly my HKS Racing suction kit. I just love hearing the engine audibly breathe deeply in on full throttle and the dump valve expel air from the system. The chatter that the two modifications can create sounds that are just fantastic.
Your mod list:
Wiseco 85mm pistons, Eagle rods, ARP header studs, ACL Race big end bearings, Cometic steel head gasket, HKS Super Fire spark plugs, HKS Racing Suction Induction Kit, AMS Fuel Rail, AMS cast end intercooler, AMS plug cover, Greddy Type RS blow off valve. DC Sports titanium strut brace, ARC titanium heat shield, Spec R polished fuse cover, Ralliart oil cap, Ralliart rad cap, Rexspeed carbon fibre bonnet, Risers cone breather filter, Walbro 255 fuel pump
Milltek Sports 3inch front pipe, East Coast Customs centre decat pipe, HKS Super Dragger cat back
Rota Fighter Drifts 18 x 9.5 alloys with Toyo T1Rs 235/45 R18s, Evo 9 rear spoiler with carbon fibre blade, Mitsubishi vector generator spoiler, DO Luck carbon fibre front splitter, Rexspeed carbon fibre exhaust trim, Evo 9 MR tail lights black chrome, black genuine Mitsubishi tail gate decals
AMS Gear Knob, Ralliart carbon fibre effect shift panel, Ralliart titanium pedal set Evo 8 MR, Gizzmo Ltd Edition boost controller, R Spec 2 bar mechanical boost gauge – steering coil pod mounted.
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
All the MLR events we attend are exciting. Some I’ve mentioned already and the occasional rolling road days are always good craic to see if the big BHP figures that Evo drivers claim really exist, but for me as an RO there is nothing more exciting than the sight of 15 – 20 Evos in your rear view mirror making their way to a show. One meet here saw 30+ Evos at a meet.
Tell us about a time something broke and what it took to fix it.
The rear diff blew as I was cruising on a dual carriage way at 65MPH. Thankfully, the case held together but boy did it make a hell of bang. That sinking feeling returned that I experienced in the engine build phone call. Luckily I rolled into a lay by, at first not sure what had just happened. I couldn’t see anything wrong mechanically under the bonnet but as I tried to roll the car forward, the rear wheels locked and crunched very nicely with each wheel rotation. The Evo was recovered on a flat bed lorry and was collected the next day by my local Tuner, East Coast Customs. The rear diff was replaced that day. It took £700 to fix it with a second hand diff replacement.
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi owner? The most challenging?
How the general public react to these machines when on display at shows or out on the road. You feel you’ve got the car of your childhood dreams. It never fails to amuse me when young lads react by pointing whilst shouting to their mates “Look at the Evos”, or the less informed one who shouts “look at the Scoobys”, whilst his mate makes the international arm rotation sign for – Go on light it up. I have to admit I still feel like a bit of a lad myself sometimes and will occasionally oblige them.
What excites you about the coming year?
Meeting new MLR members.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person?
We hold a Bi Monthly MLR meet and then all the shows and events fill the calendar here, so, on average 2 or 3 times a month.
Your thoughts on those who part out otherwise salvageable cars?
We all need parts and if the person decides to part out a car I’m always on the look- out for my next purchase.
How do you feel building a Mitsubishi compares to building a Mitsubishi community?
I treat them with the same respect I guess. I have been developing my Evo for the past two years now and the best has yet to come. The same can be said for my role as MLR Regional Organiser. Through the club’s growing presence at major shows in Ireland new members are coming on board and we regularly have members attending their first meet. All in all, both the Evo and the Evo Community are growing with equal pace.
How has your Mitsubishi build benefited from your involvement in the community?
MLR members are always on hand to offer excellent advice when it’s required – usually at times of great difficulty. I tend to take advice – not give it when it comes to mechanical matters so I have relied heavily on the good nature of MLR members.
What’s next for your Mitsubishi?
Brake Discs and Pads
Who has helped you the most along the way with the car? Any mentors?
All the MLR members generally but in particular I would thank Carl Jones aka Jones the Boost. He is an all round great guy and what he doesn’t know about Evos is not worth knowing.
How have you paid this forward and mentored others?
My strength lies in my organisational skills which I use in my role as Regional Organiser.
Do you spend time on any Mitsubishi sites? Which ones?
Mitsubishi Lancer Register (MLR)
Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Where can people find you online?
No but usually I can be found on the MLR.
Thank you for sharing your point of view with the global Mitsubishi community, Martin. We really appreciate it. We also appreciate your giving of your time and energy to organize events for your regional Mitsubishi community. That’s really going fast with class!
Those following our Evolutions coverage this year might have noticed we jumped from Evo V to Evo VI to Evo VIII. We’re tracking down a VII, the story just isn’t ready yet. No worries! In the meantime, have you ever lost your rear diff or got one of those terrible phone calls that your Mitsubishi is done for and needs a new engine?