RALLY REVERENCE

This Mit­subishi Galant GTi-16v pays homage to its brethren

Top Gear (Philippines) - - The Garage -

‘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

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