History

Crightons of Peterborough - 01733 577444

Founded by George and Pat Crighton, Crightons of Peterborough was initially providing tax free vehicles to service personnel in the UK, Russia, Cyprus, Germany and Hong Kong.

George had just finished a career in the RAF when he imported the first ever Mitsubishi into Great Britain, it was a very impressive vehicle in many ways as, even at that time, they were so well engineered that the average annual warranty claim was 87 pence per car, against the average British Leyland warranty claim of £800 … that’s a whopping 919 times as much … which is probably why it took mechanics a whole day to do the Pre Delivery work on a British car and only 2 hours on the Mitsubishi. Clearly one of the reasons why Mitsubishi were happy to be the first company to give a 3 year, unlimited mileage warranty (even if the vehicle was used as a taxi or a driving school car) when its British counterparts only gave a standard 12 months!

The first Mitsubishi rally car for Crightons

The car was also fast, handled well and was robust … and Iain Crighton tested it to its limits … he drove it in the local rally championships and came first … he then promptly wrote it off and that was the end of the first Mitsubishi imported into the UK!

Well, it was the end of it in that guise. When Iain ‘remodelled’ it, the engine was removed and stripped down and, even though it had completed over 100,000 hard miles there were no signs of wear so it was rebuilt and used in the next rally car!

Iain was certainly his fathers son as it was George Crighton that really showed him how to do it properly’ as George Crighton wrote his Mitsubishi rally car off is spectacular style by crashing it off a cliff in Cyprus. However, such was his understanding of the strength of the car that his only thoughts of safety were what if another car does the same thing and … the fact that he couldn’t swim! In the event swimming wasn’t necessary as the Mitsubishi ended up on the rocks below and not in the sea … but George Crighton walked away from the crash unscathed … and considering swimming lessons.

The Colt Car Company was formed in 1974, three years after Crightons imported the first Mitsubishi, so you can be sure we have more experience of the brand than anybody else in Europe.

Crightons has also historically offered individualistic cars, certainly not run of the mill, you really do feel that you’re driving something that is bespoke rather than another volume product.

So, choosing a Franchise in 1979 was a natural next step for Crightons heritage, born of the aerospace industry, and the fact that they built their cars to perform perfectly in even the most extreme conditions, meant that the two brands would compliment each other perfectly … both built to perform, built to last and built to enjoy.

Crightons rally success was also a contributing factor – Erik Carlson, their prodigious rally driving legend – was instrumental in Crightons development making it a very safe vehicle that performed fabulously. Erik was known as Erik “On The Roof” Carlson due to his regular habit of rolling his during rally’s … but he would just push it back on to its wheels and go on to win!