An Evo built for the right reasons
A can of beer. Isn’t it funny how some car builds evolve from the simplest of things? In this case, a well-executed Lan Evo VII came into fruition as Dondie Mallari recalls, “I brought in an Evo VII from Japan back in 2014 and the transaction regarding its importation was formalized over a can of beer during a car show.” But what’s more relevant and informative than the booze is the story behind the build. What went on and how it was done that might give insight and inspire others. Proving that it can be done in this manner with the right people and the correct parts.
Since this was supposedly what he calls “My stress reliever,” the Lan Evo was initially tucked away in his garage for a year. This allowed him enough time to plan and collect all the aftermarket parts needed for the Evo. Being the proprietor of JDMselect, which specializes in selling aftermarket parts for Japanese cars, he has a lot of sources. In fact, bringing in parts is quite normal for him as he says, “Parts came easily because it was basically my job and I think in just 2 months, I already had most of the parts on my semi-wish list.” Once the parts list was completed, it was time to look for a donor car to convert the Evolution into a proper Left Hand Drive car. Sharing the same platform as the 2001-generation Lancer, or Cedia in Japan, it also didn’t take him long as he explains, “I was also into buying and selling cars that time, thus I had access to a network of cheap cars, so I was able to source a cheap but not abused 2001 Cedia.
Depending on the builder and personal preference, Lan Evo conversions can either be based on a surplus half cut and transferred onto a local Lancer unit or directly converting the steering (RHD to LHD) components of a complete Japanese-spec Lan Evo unit. In this case, Dondie opted to simply convert the steering orientation of the intact Evo using the steering components of the local Lancer as he quips, “We just used the firewall and the steering components and used only what was needed to keep the Evo as pure as possible.” The conversion also included transferring the important interior bits such as the whole dashboard, switches, clips and the air-con system that according to him were relatively easy. As far as the conversion process is concerned, Dondie explains, “The usual Lan Evo conversion is to transfer an Evo onto a donor chassis. We did not do that because we believe that the welds done in Japan on an original Evo chassis are special to make the car more rigid. Hence, it cannot be replicated unless you totally redo everything and add a roll cage.” The whole tedious conversion process was done by DAS whose lengthy mechanical experience includes building and restoring BMWs. “Nothing was too difficult; it was only the process which took time as the builder is also one of the busiest out there.” Since the Lan Evo was in good condition overall, the conversion process was neatly done. It’s barely noticeable that it was once an RHD car. What’s more, all the panels are straight and everything is complete and in working order.
Obviously, the Lan Evo is one of most popular tuner platforms worldwide, and being in the aftermarket parts business can only mean one thing: This Lan Evo would be treated to a plethora of go-fast and look-good bits and pieces while closely adhering to the keeping it simple and functional attitude. “Like many others, it was built the way I always treated past car projects. The parts always came before the car and that is how I’ve always done it. From the coilovers, the seats strut bars, intake, muffler and more.” Some of the hard to find items, which really transform the looks of this Lan Evo, include the unmistakable C-West front bumper, side skirts, and the carbon fiber rear diffuser that seems to be a requisite for any Evo out there. The interior upgrades consist of the Bride seats, Worksbell Steering, and safety harnesses, which only reinforces its performance theme.
It rolls on Rays 57 Wheels along with TEIN coilovers and several Cusco chassis stiffening bars. To counter the high temperatures, the 4G63T engine keeps its cool with an upgraded Koyo aluminum radiator and a Mishimoto low temp thermostat. Other bits include an ARC manifold cover, HKS intake, Greddy Exhaust and Custom Charge pipes. Overall, it makes 312 horses at the wheel on the Autoplus Dyno. “As someone who has owned and built different cars, the Evo bears an image that represents boost, speed and traction. It’s actually no different from other regular cars, it’s just something that a tuner or enthusiast would really love because simply, it was built with ‘enjoyment’ in mind.” What’s great is that it starts the moment you turn on the ignition and drive the heck out of it.
2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
Dondie Mallari, JDMselect
4G63T, 2.0-liter, Inline-4, DOHC, 16v, turbocharged and intercooled
HKS Air Filter, Apexi Intake Box, Custom Charge Pipes, Greddy Japan Exhaust, KOYO Japan Radiator, Mishimoto Thermostat, Greddy FV Blow Off Valve
Monster Carbon Fiber Spark Plug Cover ARC Manifold Cover, Cusco Oil Catch Can, Dynamics Radiator Hoses, Carbing Cooling Plate,
Bride Cuga Bucket Seats, Takata Harness, Worksbell Steering Wheel, Worksbell Quick Release, Ralliart Pedals, ARC Titanium Shift knob, Greddy Info-Touch
C-West Japan Front Bumper and Side skirts,Carbon Fiber Japan Rear Valence, Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser, Carbon Fiber Vortex Generator, Carbon Fiber front canards, Ralliart Motorized Side mirrors
TEIN Super Street Coil overs, Cusco Front Member Bar, Summit 3-pt F & R strut bar, Mine’s Japan Rear trunk Bars
Rays 57 Motorsport Wheels (18×10), Bridgestone Potenza RE002 Tires (255/35R18)
Body & Paint
JDMselect Marikina Branch