To have a love of classic Japanese cars is a little different from having an appreciation for old cars from other places. A lot of really cool cars never made it out of Japan during their production cycles, and most haven’t become valuable enough to be as well-known as some rare Italian cars. No, if you want a boxy car with mirrors way out on the fenders, you’re going to have to work for it. This video tells the story of a man who really had to work for his Mitsubishi/Colt Galant GTO.

Matt De Mangos spent eight years restoring his Galant GTO, a right-hand-drive car that was never sold in the U.S. and that De Mangos had to import himself. It’s not a particularly well-known car, possibly not even in Japan at this point, and it has proved very difficult to work on. Things that are usually relatively simple to figure out on an old American car are a whole different story with the Galant GTO, to the point that De Mangos says he had to learn Japanese in order to finish the restoration job. And from the looks of his garage, he really committed to it.

The Galant was first launched in 1969, with the Galant GTO coming the following year. Like the Pontiac of the same name at the time, the GTO wasn’t actually built for homologation, and here the three letter combo was just used to denote fastback-bodied models. The Galant GTO would only last until 1975, but the shorter coupe version of the Galant, the FTO, would go on to become its own model and enjoy a long life. The GTO was also reborn as its own model in 1990, badged in the U.S. as the 3000GT, it was one of the most advanced sports cars of its day, especially for it price range.

Jacob Joseph
Jacob Joseph
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