Junkyard Find: 1985 Mitsubishi Galant

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The first non-Chrysler-badged Mitsubishis arrived in the United States for the 1983 model year, in the form of the Cordia, Tredia, and Starion. They weren’t enormous sellers, but they made the Mitsubishi name a bit more familiar to American car shoppers. For 1985, Mitsubishi USA brought over the fifth-generation Galant, hoping to steal some sales from the extremely popular Honda Accord. Galant sales were not brisk, to put it mildly, and so I found it noteworthy when I spotted this first-year-of-importation Galant in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard.

Mitsubishi was all about futuristic controls during this era, and so the Galant buyer got these space-station-grade HVAC/wiper controls on pods attached to the adjustable steering column.

On the left-hand pod, more controls, including a paddle-style turn-signal switch.

Mitsubishi trimmed the interior in industrial-strength burgundy cloth and hard red plastic, all of which has done a fine job enduring 32 years of California sun.

Most Accords of this era survived more miles than this car (based on my very unscientific junkyard-odometer sampling), but 163,000 miles is good enough for most cars of the middle 1980s.

This car had a 101 horsepower, 2.4-liter straight-four engine. The 1985 Accord had just 86 hp, and you had to deal with a lot of slimy dealership practices — if you could even find one to buy.

Sounds like a good deal!

As always, the Japanese-market ads were better.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Guy922 Guy922 on Jun 06, 2018

    Some woman down here in Pueblo, Co, still drives one of these. A rare one indeed, the one she has is yellow and appears to have a factory sunroof. My 95 Galant was far more conservative looking lol. Those tiny square back up lights are funny.


    Had a 86. Great car