Junkyard Find: 1990 Mitsubishi Galant GS-X

junkyard find 1990 mitsubishi galant gs x

As we’ve seen in this series, Coloradans bought plenty of all-wheel-drive-equipped AMC Eagles, VW Quantum Syncros, Audi Quattros, and Toyota All-Tracs during the 1980s. The suits at Mitsubishi Motors saw all those AWD-enhanced car sales in snowy American regions and decided to sell some rally-influenced Galants on our shores. A few decades later, this rare-but-not-valuable Galant GS-X appeared in a Colorado Springs self-service car graveyard.

I see the occasional street-driven Galant VR-4 around Denver, so I always check for examples of those rare turbocharged machines when I hit the local boneyards. No luck on that so far, but I did manage to find the VR-4’s naturally-aspirated sibling.

This was around the time that Toyota managed to sell a handful of Camry All-Tracs in North America, and the Galant GS-X was a cheaper and sportier all-wheel-drive sedan that may have pried a couple of sales away from Toyota salesmen. Of course, Mitsubishi’s viscous-coupling AWD system wasn’t as sophisticated as All-Trac (or Quattro), but it worked well enough in snow or mud.

The engine was a DOHC 4G63 four-cylinder rated at 135 horsepower, and we can assume it now lives on in some hot-rodded Eagle Talon blatting out its mating call on I-25.

I’m sure GS-X buyers could get an automatic transmission if they so chose, but this car had the five-speed manual.

The gauge cluster has the slushbox gear indicator, however, so we may be looking at a car that began its career with two pedals. I think it’s more likely that it had a cluster swap due to bad gauges, though; I put an automatic cluster in my 5-speed Civic a while back, because I couldn’t find a cluster from a manual car in sufficiently nice condition.

With that in mind, this just-over-100k odometer reading should be viewed with some skepticism.

Galant GS-Xs and VR-4s pack a certain amount of historical significance, since they led directly to the creation of the Lancer Evolution, but their real-world monetary value doesn’t come to much. Still, exactly the kind of car I want to find when I’m in the junkyard.

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2 of 12 comments
  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Dec 29, 2020

    The off-road pictures w/mountains in the background are cute but no one that buys a FS SUV in that price range in the 21st century wants or needs it for that. The off-road vehicles go inside an enclosed trailer and are towed behind the SUV. As already mentioned above, due to it being a low on power there are much better options than the LC.

  • Geo Geo on Dec 29, 2020

    I love the interiors in vehicles of this era, especially this one. The dash design seems so layered and three-dimensional, though simple. By the end of the nineties, interiors became generally flat, generic, and boring. The interior of the next-gen Gallant was indistinguishable from anything else out there.

  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?