Monday 28 November 2016

When Mr Lonsdale Met Mister Bishi

Hands up if you remember the Lonsdale YD41 and YD45. Yeah? Really? You total liar. The Lonsdale range of re-badged Australian-built Mitsubishi Galants Sigmas was only ever sold in the UK, and then only for thirteen months. It's right up there with the SAO Penza in terms of rarity, and anybody born after 1983 can be fully excused for having been untroubled by the Lonsdale before now.

Was it such a bad car? Well, no, not really. Unless you specifically disliked the word 'Lonsdale' and took exception to stylised black and red badges, the Lonsdale was no different to the perfectly OK Sigma it was, er, based on. It's just that there were some pretty sophisticated European rivals by 1982, with advanced technology like 'a hatchback' and 'some aerodynamics'. In short, the Lonsdale was tragically short of a USP.

And how much do I want one today? Well, quite much. The depressingly uneven howmanyleft website tells us that there six examples remaining known in the UK. Allowing for a 500% margin of error, that puts the real number between 30 and -24. That's not a huge number. If you've got one stashed away, such is its scarcity it could be worth as much as scrap value, possibly even more.

If I've whetted your appetite for worthless Australiana of obscure provenance, pop on over to Hooniverse where I've uploaded the entire brochure.