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This Is Japan’s GTO

September 11, 2015
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10 Comments on "This Is Japan’s GTO"

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Alastair Watson
Alastair Watson

Love it, Matt! I completely get why you’re such a fan. Although we didn’t get the GTOs here in Australia, we did get the Galant hardtops (mechanically identical). I’ve had mine for 34 years now and have put it to full Japanese spec (Aussie versions were 1.6 litre four speeds, whereas mine’s a 2.0 litre five speed). There’s an Australian website – galant.sigma.com (maybe with an .au on the end) that features a few hardtops & GTOs (imported via NZ, I think). Mine can be seen on uppermiddlepetrolhead.blogspot.com,au , if you’re interested.

Cheers.

Andrew Kiddie
Andrew Kiddie

Good to see another GTO alive and well. I am new to Petrolicious, what a great site, got here via the Jalopy Journal.
Presently restoring a GSR model . Even though they were sold new here in New Zealand very difficult to find parts and information.
Any information or parts sources would be greatly appreciated.
And , in their day they where a performance car. With their five speed, twin carbs and disc front brakes etc they Gave many an Australian V8 Ford and Holden a run for there money.

Riccardo
Riccardo

Very interesting article/piece. I’ll be honest, I have zero interest or knowledge of Japanese cars (even though I did have a Honda S2000, it was a great car), but what I really enjoy is to understand what makes other enthusiasts “tick” with their own chosen car, especially what might seem to non aficionados a relatively “oddball” option. Loved hearing Matt’s passion leading him as far as learning Japanese, well done man!

One thing I haven’t quite figured is whether this Galant GTO is actually a performance car? Is it a bit like, say, a Japanese BMW M3/5 of the era?

JapaneseNostalgicCar
JapaneseNostalgicCar

Althought early Japanese cars were significantly smaller than they are today, the Galant GTO was more comparable to a BMW 6-Series since it was Mitsu’s flagship GT Coupe.

Wayne Strawbridge
Wayne Strawbridge

While much rarer now, when I was a teenager there were a lot of 2nd hand imports of these from Japan. I’ve always had a soft spot for the GTO’s beautifully proportioned looks, (rear 3/4 from a Mustang “Eleanor” Fastback?), and I’ve seen a couple re-powered with the almost dimensionally identical, (but crucially hugely more powerful), turbo Evo engines. Real sleepers!

Matt De Mangos
Matt De Mangos

From all of us at JapaneseNostalgicCar, heartfelt thanks to Aaron, Jeremy & all the PetroLicious crew for a job well done and epic collaboration! Let’s do it again REAL soon!

Aaron McKenzie
Aaron McKenzie
Thanks for your kind comment, Matt. The pleasure was all ours. When I first saw this car at JCCS 2014 in Long Beach, I was fascinated. I’d never heard of it, let alone seen one, before. Even after walking around and studying it for 20 minutes, I was still at a loss, so I’m thrilled that we were able to get you and this (beautiful) car on [i]Petrolicious[/i] to tell its and your story. Thanks! By the way, if any of our readers are in Southern California, I hope they’ll do themselves a favor and stop into the Japanese Classic… Read more »
Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
510’s , Mazda RX-3’s , Datsun 2000/Fairladies , Honda 600’s and even the Colt that came here as a Dodge and wound up being the ultimate rally weapon back in the SCCA pre – Buffum days … what made them appealing was simple . They were the era’s JACK’s going against the GIANT’s of the day and ‘ killing ‘ them on a regular basis on road courses , drag strips [ the RX-3 truly was a Giant Killer on the strips ] as well as rally stages . Oh … but the Toyota 2000GT ! Now that was a… Read more »
Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson

I know what you mean JB.
When I was young all I could think of, car wise, was Datsun 510. I would even question myself, why am I so infatuated with this car? Maybe it was a combination of seeing them trounce BMWs and Alfas at Watkins Glen and feeling that It was a car that I could someday afford. It still feels, however, more than that. There’s just something special about certain Japanese cars of this era.

JB21
JB21
These are cars of my youth, so to speak. It’s funny, I was a small kid in Japan in the 70s. Though I didn’t understand at all the significance of those cars, like many kids back then, I knew their names, and how awesome those letters like GTO and GTR and Coupe, GT, etc., sounded, just seemed special. I think now that it’s kind of odd that I don’t have particular attachment to most of those cars other than a slight sense of nostalgia. I don’t know, I just never developed that special feeling towards cars like this Galant, HakoSuka,… Read more »
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