For most, it’s likely difficult to imagine choosing an RA65 Celica over the now-iconic AE86 Corolla, but for Jake Legg, it was hardly more than a second thought. After weighing his options, it was the uniqueness of the RA65 before us that won him over, eventually spiraling into a 4-year build: what spent years as a daily driver unfolded into something considerably more. With a familiar yet individual shape, it’s a platform under-utilized and under-built.
It’s admittedly an abstract concept here on StanceWorks: celebrating an almost completely stock car, rather than a counterpart built to be something wholly individual; however, it’s not quite what you’d expect. Cameron Smith’s “preservation piece” isn’t the story of an untouched example, nor is it a statement about the capabilities of the restoration process.
What you see in these photos is the culmination of dedication and drive: most people buy project cars to build slowly over time, to one day create a vision of what they have, while others keep changing the goal posts and start builds with the end result always changing. Some projects, though, happen to start off as an opportunity, and that exactly how this one started for Neil many years ago.
If you weren’t aware that Evo Wagons existed in any form, don’t worry: you aren’t alone. Prior to now, I too would have assumed it’s base-model Lancer up-conversion; however, that’s far from the case. With the Evoultion IX platform, Mitsubishi set out to make just 2500 wagons over the course of just two years, making it a rather rare car, all things considered. By a more popular comparison, more than 16,500 E30 M3s were built over the course of their production run.
How many people name their cars? I have always been a believer that if you name a car, it is a car that you intend to keep for as long as you can. Naming a car that you’re going to flip or part out is pretty pointless in my opinion, but I guess like most things in life it’s a matter of personal preference. In 2018 I purchased this car for my then fiancé to learn how to drive manual as she had been wanting to for years.