This project started in 2007 when in a fit of nostalgia I purchased this 1973 Mitsubishi Galant Colt GTO GS2000 off Trade Me.
The car had spent most of its life in Wairarapa and the body was in excellent condition with no rust, however the paint work, upholstery and bright work was tired.
After we stripped the car down to a bare shell I discovered that although it was painted blue, the original colour was white, so I decided to return this GTO to its original colour.
Once we stripped it down, the body was soda blasted which took it back to bare metal. From there we started a complete restoration job.
Most of the parts could be refurbished and restored, however we did manage to locate a few new parts and thanks to several people we were able to purchase a number of bits to finish the car.
Now, 4 years later and after a lot of hard work by Rob and Bill, two of our ‘older technicians’, the car is now finished and on display at Bay City Mitsubishi, Tauranga.
The paint work was carried out by Bryce Fisher at Carcraft Bodyworks. The upholstery was restored by Ian Handley at First Ave Auto Trim.
GTO – Gran Turismo Omorgata
History of the Galant GTO
The Galant GTO is well established in Japanese automobile history and was renowned for its styling which is still an influence today.
Mr Hiroaki Kamisago played a big part in the development of this vehicle after his company ordered him to go to America in 1967 to study design at the Art Centre College in Los Angeles. It was during this time that Mr Kamsisago was influenced by the styling of specialty cars like the Mustang and the Firebird and was convinced that it would be popular in Japan as well.
On returning to Japan Mr Kamisago presented sketches of a car, the dynamic style of which had never been considered by Mitsubishi. The sketches proved to be a hit with the president of Mitsubishi at the time who then ordered to have the car ready for the Motor Show. This prompted the start of the GTO development.
The GTO was designed with aerodynamics in mind. Mitsubishi had a co operative relationship with Chrysler at the time and after seeing a test production model of the vehicle suggested that using curved glass with a small curvature would add more space to the cabin. As a result, the GTO introduced the first 50” curved window to be used in a Japanese car. After a long journey the GTO was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show as the Colt Galant GTX-1. The car was an immediate success.
Mitsubishi quickly implemented full operations and was ready to be rolled out just one year later in 1970 sold under the name of Galant GTO.
The styling of the Galant GTO captivated youngsters and car enthusiasts alike and was a huge hit. Its success meant that Mitsubishi had created an opportunity to take a new step forward in the auto industry.