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Ideal coupe with a golden ratio created by pursuing cost reduction

*This is a translation done by a machine.

In 1994, Mitsubishi introduced the full-fledged “FTO” into the popular personal coupe market. As a younger brother of the top sports model GTO, it was an ambitious work, including a 2-liter V6 DOHC that was rare in Japan and the first AT with manual mode in Japan (1994 to 1995 Car of the year was also awarded). If you are a 40-50 year old car enthusiast, you might think of Mitsubishi's FTO as an image of this car, but there is actually a model that can be said to be the source. That was “Galant FTO”, which debuted in 1971.

Gallant was a model that served as main Mitsubishi sedan for a long time from 1969 to 2015(Overseas in 2017). I think many people remember the topics such as adopting the pioneering new mechanisms such as Sirius DASH3 × 2 engine with variable valve mechanism and GDI which is the first direct injection engine of mass-produced cars, and the first Japanese win (Kenjiro Shinozuka) at WRC (World Rally Championship).

Galant FTO was a personal coupe based on the original Galant (COLT Galant.) and was also MMC's first pilard coupe. In addition to the fresh and unique styling of the semi-notchback, which combines a fast back and a notchback, the distinctive feature of this product is that in the 1970s, cost reductions were aggressively pursued in the form of innovative parts sharing. The use of common parts was not limited to engines and chassis, but extended to body panels such as hood (COLT Galant) and door (Galant GTO and COLT Galant HT).

Galant FTO was a great way to cut costs, but it also had some benefits. As for the common platform, only the wheel base has been shortened by 120 mm, so we inevitably obtained the ideal package for a sports car with a wide tread and short wheel base. Unlike the big brother Galant GTO, which is a full-fledged sports car that pushes high performance to the front, it can be said that the FTO's appeal is its sharp and light handling.

The engine started with 1.4 liter 4-cylinder in-line OHV (Neptune), but the 1.4 minor change resulted in 2 engines, 73 liter and 1.6 liter 4-cylinder in-line SOHC (Saturn). The GSR, a hot version of the series, combines a 1.6 liter twin cab specification (110 ps) with a 5 speed MT (Standard is 4-speed MT) for superior performance. As for styling, he wore a front and back overfender (By 1974) which was a symbol of sports model at that time. This model has been well received as the driving force behind the series.

The low-priced, sporty FTO was a hit product with annual sales exceeding 20,000 units since its launch. However, sales were sluggish due to the effects of the 1st oil shock, and the baton was connected to the next generation Lancer Celeste, and production was discontinued in 1975.

Shinichi Yamazaki's Highlights!

Galant FTO is hidden behind Galant GTO, who is like an older brother as a collectible car, and has become quite rare in the market. Even if the car is found, many people are worried about the condition, but Galant FTO in good condition has appeared.

This car is an early model GII (intermediate grade) that hardly exists in the market. The body has been fully restored with a white body, and at the same time the original color, Rocky White, has been fully painted to Olympus Orange which was not set in GII. It is almost a full original, but the aluminum wheel is a set of Hayashi Street which is a standard of old cars. Fashionable feet.

According to the current owner, "The body was in such a bad condition that it could have been disposed of, but the condition of the interior and the engine system was good, so I was able to restore it. Since genuine parts were almost discontinued, the craftsmen made the damaged panels one by one by hand. It's not as good as the hot version of GSR in terms of market value, so the only thing that survived was love.".

As mentioned in the above comment, the interior is so good that I can't believe it's been more than 45 years. We don't know where it was stored now, but the plastic parts, including the dashboard, are less broken and damaged, and the multi-meter, which was synonymous with sports cars at the time, is still beautiful. I tried to operate each switch carefully and the function was normal. What is noteworthy about this car is the valuable hanging air conditioner set in front of the passenger seat. I was able to confirm the operation, so it is high point that you can ride comfortably even in summer when you don't like old cars.

The actual running distance is 41,705 km, and although there is no overhaul of each part, the engine and other engines are well maintained. The mount is a bit underpowered, but if you twist the keycylinder, the heart will wake up immediately and the idling is stable. The 4-speed mission is sucked into the gate by a light operation, so you can feel assured. What bothered me was the plating of the bumper and the door handle. Especially, the plating of the door handle on the passenger seat side came off, and there were many cracks and floats. There is no functional problem, but the body is beautifully finished, so I would like to repair it if possible.

As it is a rare car, there are still a few things to worry about in the future, but at present, there are no major problems, so it is an ideal car for getting started with Japanese classic cars. But you must never compete in speed. Being in a nostalgic mood and riding in style suits Galant FTO running through modern times.

Vehicle Specifications

Model Year1972
Year of PurchaseJul 1972
Engine Capacity1,378cc
Steering WheelRight
ColorOlympus Orange
Chassis No.A61-0012273
Engine No.
Inspection2-year vehicle inspection
AreaOsaka, Japan