The phrase "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" has to be one of the most misleading advertising callouts since the ShamWow guy tricked me into actually buying a ShamWow towel, when I already had a chamois towel in my garage. I learned the hard way that it's the same damned thing! Shame on you, ShamWow guy! Anyway, these Vegas ads are pulling the same trickery. It's really not about what happens inside Vegas, it's about the adventures getting to Vegas. See, I can pretty much list all the possible scenarios that can happen while in Vegas: Lose two month's worth of salary on a hand of Pai Gow, cheat on your girlfriend with some corn-bred college sorority sister who passed out drinking too many shots of Sex on the Beach, murder a homeless dude because you think it's legal in Nevada, and sexing up too many hoes, skipskaps and scaliwags on the hourly. So what happens in Vegas is exactly what happens to everyone else in Vegas, so it doesn't really stay there. Everyone knows what you've been up to.
Mike Sullivan, president of Mishimoto Automotive and owner of this Mitsubishi Evo X, knows exactly what I'm talking about. His journey to Vegas had more adventure, danger, and legal implications than a day's stay at the La Quinta Inn on Sahara Ave., the shadiest Las Vegas hotel, er, motel I've ever stayed in -- just ask the homeless guy I shanked. Mike hails from Delaware, the state that nobody really knows about. Mike and Mishimoto had plans to debut two cars for the annual SEMA show in Vegas, one of which is this Evo. Two days before heading out, the truck driver who was hired to trail the cars decided that he had better plans and didn't show up. So Mike was left with a tough decision: Stay home and edit Delaware's Wikipedia page to ensure that it still says it's a State and not some blip on the map, or man-up and drive the 2,800-mile cross-country trip inside the freshly built with a 0-mile odometer Evo. Thankfully he chose the latter.
He and his team covered up the Evo in blue tape to protect it from road chips, random Hmong pedestrians, and blood from running over homeless people. Ten hours into the trip, they realized the car needed to be re-tuned. So Mike was faced with another tough decision: let the Hmong cross the street and remove the dying homeless dude stuck on the intercooler, while searching for an Internet caf to check up on Delaware's Wikipedia page, or take a 6-hour detour to AMS Performance who were more than happy to help with the Evo. Thankfully Mike chose the latter. "After five-hundred dollars in gas, four speeding tickets, three worn-out drivers, and one minor detour, we arrived in Las Vegas in exactly 48 hours," Mike explained, "The trusty blue painter's tape was peeled off and the Evo made it to the show on time." Now what's better? Staying in Vegas wasting your money on post-op skeezers or driving cross-country inside a fresh whip with nothing but the sound of a turbo spooling in your ear? I would choose the former, but that's just me. Point is, the phrase "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" should be changed to "If you kill a homeless dude because you think it's legal in Nevada, you're dead wrong because it's not. Also, the skank you boned last night was a dude."
What's really amazing, though, is the resiliency of Mishimoto's Evo X. Despite having dedicated zero time tuning the engine and having everything fully modified, Mike, his team, and the Evo came out virtually unscathed. The body remained intact, which was a good thing seeing that it was the first Chargespeed Evo X kit in the States. "The blue tape held up well," Mike says, "But we had to reapply it every few hundred miles. During the trip, people would stop us and ask if we ran out of money to paint the car." I'm sure that joke got old real quick.
Under the hood, Mishimoto chopped down on some major product, starting off with an Artisan 60 trim turbocharger, pushing the Evo to even more unheard-of speeds. A TiAL blow-off valve and a Mishimoto M Line intercooler and pipes help the turbo stay in shape, while an HKS EVC 6 boost controller manages the air pressure in the intake manifold. The RC Engineering fuel injectors spit out proper fuel into the chambers, while an AMS 3-inch stainless steel test pipe and catback exhaust handle the spent gas. An ACT stage-3 clutch helps transfers the horsepower to the ground, while making sure the gear shifts is as smooth as a spray of Soul Glo.
The Evo is lowered by a set of Stance GR+ coilovers in the front, and Cusco coilovers in the rears. All of which roll the four-wheel-drive monster on some fresh 19-inch Volk TE37 wheels, tightly wound up by some Toyo R1R tires. Mike and the Mishimoto team made sure every part going into their project car was of the best pedigree, especially when it came to stopping power. So they installed Project Mu brake kits at both ends of the car. "The one thing I regret not doing on this car was making sure the alignment was correct. I would have done a thorough check on the car before leaving," Mike explains about the trip, "But the suspension is rock solid. Between all of the Cusco modifications and the Stance coilovers, the car handles like a champ."
Mike knew that the minute Mishimoto chose the Evo to be a project car, it would be a sure-shot head turner, and he proved it when he finally arrived at SEMA. "The Evo X is one of the hottest new cars on the market," Mike says, "We wanted to stay ahead of the competition by building an all-JDM Evolution." It seems his dedication to the industry and proven resourcefulness by improvising a trip are also ahead of the game. If only next time, he can get smarter truck drivers to trail his car, it'd be even better. Apparently the truck driver thought Mike wanted the car to be picked up in the year 2012. Wowsers. I wonder if it's legal to murder truck drivers in Delaware?
2008 Mitsubishi Evolution GSR
Owner mike sullivan
Hometown wilmington, de
Daily Grind president of mishimoto automotive power 450hp
Under The Hood Artisan turbo; RC Engineering injectors; AMS 3" test pip, catback, and upper intercooler pipe; Tial BOV; HKS EVC boost controller; Mishimoto M Line piping, carbon oil catch can, aluminum radiator, silicone hose kit, and slim electric fans; Charge Speed cooling plate; Gallery Fresh stainless steel fasteners and anodized washer set
Drivetrain Mishimoto universal transmission cooloer; ACT Stage 3 clutch brains AMS ECU reflash
Stiff Stuff Stance GR+ coilovers; Cusco strut tower bars, lower arm bar, complete lower power braces, and sway bars; ROLLERS Volk TE37 19x9.5 +35 rims; Toyo R1R tires
Stoppers Project Mu front and rear calipers and rotors
Outside Charge Speed carbon front Type 2 lip, front air dam panel, side skirts, rear caps, fender duct, trunk, aero roof fin, and side duct cowls; Jun carbon mirrors
Inside Sparco Evo2 seats; Takata harnesses; Nardi steering wheel; Works Bell hub and GTC; Project Mu shift knob; Blitz turbo timer, water temp and oil temp gauge
Props Mishimoto, Pride Performance, Cusco, Sparco, AMS, Artisan, Charge Speed, Stance, HKS, Project Mu, Toyo, Volk
www amsperformance.com, artisanperformance.com , chargespeed.com, hksusa.com, mackinindustries.com, mishimoto.com, napsusa.com, pride-performance.com, rceng.com, sparcousa.com, stance-usa.com, toyo.com