Junkyard Find: 1990 Mitsubishi Galant GS-X

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
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.

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