This Mitsubishi Galant GTi-16v pays homage to its brethren
‘His passion to build a unique car won out in the end’
The sixth-generation Mitsubishi Galant came at a time when the automotive industry was picking itself up from the economic turmoil of the ’ 80s. Toyota and Nissan had returned to the game as well, countering with their Corona and Maxima offerings. The introduction of the Galant GTi- 16v in the early ’ 90s, however, was a game changer, with its brutish good looks, great dynamics, and an engine that offered power far beyond what the competition could.
At the time, Clint Castañeda had just entered university as a freshman. He’d become infatuated with an immaculate white GTi- 16v that he would see parked on the streets of Cubao while on his daily commute to school. This planted the seed for the dream, but school, work, and adulthood put that dream on hold until the late 2000s.
After a convoluted and roundabout acquisition process in 2009, he finally became the proud owner of a white GTi- 16v, and the journey of his 1000 lakes Rally Replica Galant began. Through MyMitsu.ph, one of several local Mitsubishi enthusiast clubs, he met like-minded sixth-gen Galant fans. One such member, Philip, was building a rally replica Galant roughly based on the Evolution 1 WRC livery, and with his help, Clint set out to build the first version of his car.
He chose a design that was a nod to the late’ 90’ s ‘digital’ Ralliart stripes, more commonly seen on the WRC Lancer Evolution IV. The car was painted white and featured an all-decal design made from 3M weatherproof vinyl. Slowly, the other modifications came, including model-specific H&R lowering springs, and rare 17in- by8in two-piece Fortran Drag wheels. The engine bay retains the stock DOHC non-turbo 4G63 engine, but it received an aesthetic upgrade in the form of a Tuned by AMG spark-plug cover. Out back, spent gases exit via a Kakimoto Racing muffler, but the headers and pipes beneath the car remain stock. The interior is mostly genuine GTi fare, except for the white Ralliart gauges and a scale-model 1000 Lakes Rally VR- 4. There’s a Pioneer audio setup that includes amps, separates, and a boxed 12in woofer in the trunk. Eagle-eyed fans of the nameplate will also appreciate the little aesthetic touches like the US-spec non-VR- 4 taillights, a JDM grille with the ‘Full Time 4WD’ badge, and the JDM quarter-windows with Galant markings.
Unfortunately, 2012 saw the car fall into minor disrepair, as a back injury kept Clint from it. It was only a year after, when Clint was well enough to drive again, that the Galant received much needed attention. He stripped it of its red, black, and gray livery in 2013, and adopted the definitive ‘Citizen Ralliart’ livery. On the bare white canvas, he decided to have the blue, green, gray, and red colorway painted on, thus cementing his commitment to the replica build. Shortly after, the rest of the 1000 Lakes Rally 3M decals went on, with great attention to detail as regards their design and placement. Of note is the faux windshield defogger—a necessity in the 1000 lakes Rally. Future plans include a set of coveted 16in Advan Rally and Trial (ART) wheels, an interior restoration, and a Ralliart steering wheel.
At first, Clint was wary of putting together a replica for fear of ridicule from ignorant car folk, but his passion and willingness to build a unique car won out in the end. This may not be a 300hp boost-laden, roll-cage-equipped, four-wheeldrive rally car, but it’s a mechanically stock, tastefully built daily driver that pays tribute to the model’s rich and victorious rally history. In a way, it carries its motorsports ancestry within, with the added advantage of creature comforts.
super-rare alloys look so good. it’s all about the fitment