Hella Sweet Lemons Car of the Week: The WORKS MitsuBeastie Mirage

By: Judge Phil "Murilee Martin, The Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla" Greden. Photo Credits: Nick Pon, Jeff Glenn, Phil Greden
January 16, 2019

The very earliest 24 Hours of Lemons races took place at the now-long-defunct Altamont Motorsports Park in California, with the first event in the fall of 2006. The second Altamont race, in the summer of 2007, boasted not only the first Lemons Maserati (a Biturbo, of course) but the first entry campaigned by a famous tuner shop: WORKS, a legendary outfit located at Sonoma Raceway.

WORKS MitsuBeastie 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage at Altamont Motorsports Park, 2007

WORKS got its start as the first American shop specializing in upgrades to the Mitsubishi EVO, back in 2002, and so of course their Lemons car had to be a Mitsubishi. The WORKS crew found a fully depreciated 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage with automatic transmission (you might know this car better as the Dodge/Plymouth Colt), caged it, covered it with the most affordable fake fur available, and the MitsuBeastie was ready for action.

WORKS MitsuBeastie 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage at Altamont Motorsports Park, 2007

The “Work Mitsubeasty” (as it was known then) finished 15th overall at that race, an excellent performance and far better than what you’d expect from a very, very, very, very, very, very poor man’s EVO with a slushbox and 113 horsepower. Here we see it going wheel-to-wheel with the Ecurie Ecrappe Alfa Romeo, another car that still competes in the series.

WORKS MitsuBeastie 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage at Sonoma Raceway 2015.

After that, the WORKS guys parked the MitsuBeastie behind their shop and allowed the fur to soak up Northern California sun, wind, and rain for a few years. The series started coming to Sonoma Raceway aka Sears Point back in 2010, and the WORKS guys finally brought the MitsuBeastie back to life in 2011, dragging their car the 200 yards from their shop to the inspections at the Skankaway Anti-Toe-Fungal 500 race.

WORKS MitsuBeastie 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage at Sonoma Raceway 2017.

After sitting for a few more years after that race, WORKS brought the MitsuBeastie back to life in 2015 and has finished in the double-digit part of the standings at each race— no small feat at the Sonoma races, where 150+ teams compete at just about every event.

WORKS MitsuBeastie 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage at Sonoma Raceway 2018.

The MitsuBeastie’s best performance yet was a P37 finish at the 2018 Arse Freeze-a-Palooza, beating 117 entries (including many Porsches, BMWs, and a C4 Corvette that got stomped by 210 laps by the MitsuBeastie).


This sort of performance is exactly what Mitsubishi had in mind, back in 1994.

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