Films: Mitsubishi Colt Galant: This Is Japan’s GTO
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Made To Drive | S06 E08

Mitsubishi Colt Galant: This Is Japan’s GTO

"This car reflects me, my personality, being unconventional,” says Matt De Mangos. “I mean, seriously, who imports one of these, and who spends eight years fixing one of these up? It’s not an exotic, there’s no cult following…"In other words, it must be one special Mitsubishi.
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Meliambro001
Meliambro001
3 years ago

Should’ve chosen the PONTIAC GTO for review instead of Petrolicious wasting its time, as usual……

Alastair Watson
Alastair Watson
6 years ago

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
7 years ago

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
7 years ago

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
7 years ago
Reply to  Riccardo

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
7 years ago

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
7 years ago

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
7 years ago
Reply to  Matt De Mangos

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 Car Show at the Queen Mary on 19 September. Matt and his car will be there and there’ll be plenty of other terrific Japanese nostalgics.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
7 years ago

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 horse of a different color and in a league so far above everything else thats been mentioned that the likes of Honda/Datsun/Mitsubishi / Isuzu etc didn’t even have a clue such a league existed .The 2000GT being right up there as a direct competitor for the likes of the XKE , Porsche 911 , even Ferrari’s etc … and fully capable of taking those iconic giants down on a regular basis as well

Not to mention the 2000GT being one of the most absolutely drop dead gorgeous sex on wheels cars ever made !

[ in my opinion its better looking and a more balanced design than the XKE ever was ]

FYI; I’ve seen mentioned both in the comments as well as the texts lately that what killed off the 2000GT was a lack of demand … which is absolutely untrue . The demand exceeded the limits of production and continued on well past the termination of the cars production run across the globe . What killed the 2000GT off was a little something Toyota rarely ever lets surface . Abject fear internally despite customer demand . That and the very low profit margins the 2000GT had .. with Toyota not recognizing the value of having a marginally profitable ‘ Halo ‘ car in the line up back in the day

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson
7 years ago

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
7 years ago

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, Bluebird, RX-3, Fairlady Z, don’t know why. Loved, and still love Toyota 2000GT and Sport 800, or Honda S600, loved Mazda Cosmo, and my dad’s car, Isuzu 117 Coupé… They were just a bit more special, you know, in some weird ways that I don’t know how to describe. Cars, and I guess many many objects for that matter, how we relate to them is such a funny thing.