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2001 Mitsubishi Evo VII – Silver Lining ( Part 1 )

1/24/2015 8:33:13 PM
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How Brad Jesson turned a bad turned a bad situation into a good one-a very good one

Brad Jesson has dreamed of owning a performance car since he was about nineyears old. Way back then he promised himself that when he got his first full-timejob, that’s exactly what he would do. After holding off while his friends all startedmodifying their first cars, Brad finally made it through training at Air New Zealand,and into a full-time apprenticeship as an aircraft engineer. Predictably, it was a madscramble from that point on to find himself just the right car – something that hadpotential. “I started off looking at Audi A4 turbos, of all things,” Brad says, “Thenwent to Silvias and almost bought an S15 with a full HKS catalogue of parts, butended up turning that down and looking at Evo Vs, then VIs, and finally VIIs – I’mnot sure how my budget went from an Audi A4 at around 8K, to an Evo VII at over20, but it did.”

The Evo rolls on a set of Enkei Raijins measuring 18x9.5-inches on all four corners.

Eventually Brad found himself the perfect car – a silver 2001 Mitsubishi Evolution VII. However, things were not as they seemed, and it only took a couple of days to discover he’d acquired himself a full-blown lemon – and yes, that is a pun. “I ended up building this car into what it is today due to the person I bought it off successfully masking the fact that the car had a run bearing, by using heavy oil and selling up before it got too bad. We had a good check over the Evo before buying it and it seemed in good condition, but two days later I did an oil change and a spun bearing made itself known.”

The Evo VII five-speed gearbox was rebuilt two years ago by the Gearbox Factory in Auckland.

It’s a depressing story that many readers can probably relate to in some way, but without that dick move by the previous owner, you wouldn’t be looking at this magazine feature right now. Brad explains: “Instead of just putting another stock motor in and then throwing away the blown motor, my dad and I decided to rebuild it back up. Then after doing some more research, we decided it would be far more beneficial to stroke to it out to 2.3 litres, and it just went from there.” Brad’s father, Peter, is also an aircraft engineer, and between the two of them they have built the majority of the Evo in the driveway at home. “Dad used to build rally and speedway cars in the ’80s and ’90s, as well as being the race engineer for top karters like Raymond Hart.” This obviously came in handy as the build progressed, though the car would still suffer with a nightmare run of problems as time went on. Case in point, the big-power stroker motor currently fitted between Brad’s Tein coilovers is actually his second, after the first blew while blasting around Hampton Downs. He explains: “That motor ran a bearing due to oil surge, which is pretty common at Hampton Downs if you’re running a factory oiling system.”

 
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