The addition of some boxy flanks, a weapons-grade running gear and that military colour scheme have left Bradley Rees with jet fighter- levels of menace on his battle-ready tuned Evo IX…
The Mitsubishi A6M ‘Zero’ fighter plane was undoubtedly one of the technological marvels of the Second World War. Launched in 1940 and quickly racking up a 12-to-1 kill rate for the Japanese navy, thanks to its unbeatable manoeuvrability and reliability (along with an awe-inspiring soundtrack produced from that throbbing 14-cylinder Sakae motor), it’s no wonder it’s gone down in the history books.
Since then, Mitsubishi’s aviation antics might not have been quite as dramatic, but that’s not to say it’s impossible to find a more recent military monster from the firm. In fact, if Bradley’s Evo IX GT is anything to go by, there’s one much closer to home than you might’ve first thought…
Before we get onto how his newly finished precision tool came about, though, we feel a little back-story of this Evo-obsessed builder’s car life is in order. “My first car was an Astra GTE, which really gave me the taste for performance cars,” Bradley recalls. “That’s when I bought the Evo V, and then eventually this IX.”
While the fairly standard V filled in the gaps for a couple of years, it was always the IX that was on Bradley’s radar, ever since an ex-boss had snapped one up from new over a decade ago. “I was looking for one for ages when this one popped up on the Mitsubishi Lancer Register forum,” he continues. “It was one of the only known yellow GT-spec cars in the country at the time, which made me want it even more!”
The GT moniker on the IX represented a very desirable spec for the car: combining the creature comforts of the GSR with the mechanical might of the rally-bred RS; a killer B-road blasting formula from the box which meant very few modifications had to be performed for a lot of fun to be had. “I tried to keep it standard for a while before the subtle mods like alloys and mud flaps creeped in,” Bradley states the inevitable. “Then after a scary trip to the ‘Ring, things were stepped up a notch!”
Left wanting more in the suspension and tyre department when the car was put around German’s most demanding race track, a set of premium KW coilovers, stickier tyres and some hugging Sparco wrap-around race seats were promptly ordered. Which Bradley says were worth their weight in gold in improving the car’s performance on the circuit.
This was topped off with perhaps the car’s second most memorable modification: a military-inspired wrap in the hue of Midnight Sand Matte Metallic by the guys at pro wrapping firm Monsterwraps. Delighted with the results, Bradley was keen to keep the momentum going. “After having the car for four years, though, I wanted to do something even more different,” he pinpoints the time when things started to escalate in the car’s transformation.
Interested in going down the bang-on-trend wide-arch route, but uninspired by the usual suspects’ offerings, a chance encounter with Moscow-based Clinched Flares on Instagram sparked the start of something mega. “I got talking to…”
Want to know more? Check out the full feature on Bradley Ree’s Evo IX in Fast Car magazine issue 385 on sale now in all good shops, the Fast Car online shop or alternatively download Fast Car magazine 385 now.