Introducing Bodo Engemann, his “Magic Team,” and what will be one hell of a Mitsubishi restoration—we guarantee.
I’m a Mitsubishi-fanatic. Or, like my Polish friends call themselves, a “Mitsumaniaki.” This can only happen in times of the World Wide Web; where everybody has access to information around the globe.
Imagine a car—built in Japan, but only sold in the US market. Only 2500 manufactured. A hybrid of aggressive sports car and low-cost compact car. It was purchased by a Polish worker in the US. When he retired, he took his limited edition car back to Poland with him. He gave it to his wife, who gave it to their son, who sold it to a friend, who sold it to a clubmate—who sold it to a German member of the Polish MitsuManiaki forum.
It’s true! I noticed the sales ad at the MitsuManiaki forum, and when I read it I knew—I have to buy this car!
The car is a 1989 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo. Powered with the same engine as the legendary Mirage Cyborg, but without AWD. 2500 were built. 1900 were sold as Mitsubishi Mirage Turbos, 600 as Dodge Colt GTs.
Only a few are left, most of them modified with bigger engines, bigger turbos. In Europe, only three of them exist for sure. Two are modified. It seems that this is the only car in original shape.
Brother Przemek & The Bodo Magic Team
I called my “brother” in Poland. Przemek is not my real brother—but after many years of a deep friendship, we feel like brothers. He contacted the seller, drove 200 miles to pick up the car, and stored it in his garage for me while we came up with a plan.
In Poland, there is a group of automotive craftsman I call “Bodo’s Magic Team.” Four guys who professionally restore my cars. Przemek, my brother, is the logistic head. He knows, where to find parts, and organizes transports. Mariusz is a fantastic coach builder. He can turn a rusted piece of sheet metal into a Concours d’ Elegance winner. Bartek is the mechanic who can fix anything with a wrench, a hammer, and a screwdriver. And Christian is the man for the paint jobs. His work is better than everything else I’ve seen.
Unfortunately, this car is a real piece of crap.
Over the summer, Mariusz took a quick look at the car. And his report was shocking—the car is a real piece of crap. Almost every panel is rusted to pieces with huge holes only covered by a protection coating. The engine is burnt, too. Every seal leaks, the turbo is shot, the exhaust blows huge, blue clouds. But do I give up? No!
I talked a lot with the team members. Mariusz said it would take years to restore each panel. Better to find a clean Mitsubishi Colt shell and cut out all panels for transfer. Meanwhile, Bartek will take out the engine and do a complete overhaul, renewing every part we can find.
We’re up to three Colts now, if you were keeping track…
It took some months before I found an old man’s 1989 Mitsubishi Colt GL. The engine was crap, but the body and the doors were rust free. I picked it up for a handful of Euros and brought it to Poland.
In my garage for many years now is 1988 Mitsubishi Colt GTi. It’s been waiting for… I don’t know why I bought it anymore, but I have it. The body is completely rusted, but the engine and the mechanical parts are in good shape.
It took some time to figure out what parts from the GTi or the GL will fit into the Mirage. Hours spent checking part numbers at the ASA program, making huge lists in Excel, searching Ebay, RockAuto, and SummitRacing, in England, the US—even Russia—for the parts we needed to properly restore this rare old Mitsubishi.