Galant VR-4: Father Of The Evo

It didn’t take long for me to realize that Sunday’s Street Neo Classics event was a good one. Not only was there a very cool mix of cars in the spectator parking lot, one of the first machines I encountered after entering the show was this – a 1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 owned by Harold Lacson.

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While the Lancer Evolution is Mitsubishi’s most well known turbo all-wheel drive sedan, it wasn’t the Japanese automaker’s first. Prior the launch of the Evo in 1992, it was the Galant VR-4 that served as Mitsubishi’s WRC entry, and many of the lessons learnt through this model would be used in developing the Evolution.

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These days Galant VR-4s are few and far between, and that’s why I was so pleased to see Harold’s car when I arrived at the show. Despite that fact it’s a daily driver, you’ll be hard pressed to find another VR-4 in better condition, or one that’s been more tastefully modified.

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Starting with the exterior, Harold’s car is running a number of JDM body parts including the front and rear bumpers, headlights and folding mirrors.

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He’s also upgraded the suspension with Feal coilovers and Whiteline sway bars, and the wheels are 17-inch BBS LMs with Yokohama Advan A048 tires.

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The 2.0-liter 4G63 under the hood has seen some work as well. There are HKS cams, an Evo III turbocharger, an ETS front-mount intercooler, APEXi exhaust and more. Also note the AMG spark plug cover – a rare piece from a time when the German tuning company lent its hand to Mitsubishi products.

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The interior of the Galant is in beautiful condition and is largely original with the exception of a few aftermarket upgrades like a Personal Grinta steering wheel.

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Up front sit a pair of Recaro seats from an Evolution IX and Harold even added the rear seats from the Evo as well.

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Not only is the Galant VR-4 a rare specimen and a perfect addition to the Street Neo Classics line-up, I don’t hesitate at all to use the word ‘perfection’ to describe how Harold has approached his car.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media
mike@speedhunters.com

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73 comments

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1

This is really really nice. I like this a lot and I can't find anything wrong with it at all, a real credit to Harold

2

No one casual or even lightly interested in cars knows what this is. So this is a proper sleeper if you want to. 
In fact. Speedhunter need to find the best sleepers out there.

3

haha that's a nice coincidence...matt farrah posted a onetake on a white vr4 7h ago :D 


"you'll be hard pressed to find another VR-4 in better condition, or one that's been more tastefully modified"
I think that prefectly describes the car. 
amg spark plug cover is from 2.0l N/A (also 4g63) fwd car that amg put their hands on back in the day, as far as i know they didn't modify vr-4s

4

Despite that fact it’s a daily driver, you’ll be hard pressed to find another VR-4 in better condition, or one that’s been more tastefully modified.


"You'll be hard pressed to find another VR-4 in better condition, or one that's been more tastefully modified." Very true. This car is a credit to its owner for sure. The amount of old 4wd Galants I see with big Evo VI (or is it IV?) body kits is annoying.

5

my first turbo car back in the day  was a 89 Eterna ZR-4 red top Evo 0 engine also.. same car but 5 door lift back version.. it was a sik as classic car ..good times! so rare cant find them on the streets no more :'(

6

Speedhunters amazing

7

The 90s.. shouldnt this have a bright paintjob and giant wing?.....

8

I've always felt that those wheels with meaty tires make any car look like it means business.

9

I don't even want a tiny japanese sports coupe anymore. I want a regular car that has added AWD, turbo charger, and a like a lip kit or something. Maybe that's why the Juke R resonates with me. It's just Nissan doing what they do with something they've already got, and it's cool. end of story

10

MatsNorway agreed. street car sleepers are the best.

11

the 6th gen galant in its vr-4 guise never gets old :)

nice sleeper setup!

12

1st eaction: WOOOOOOOOOO!
2nd reaction: I MUST SEE THE BACK SEAT SHOW IT TO ME!!...also the production # on the dash. Its soothing.


As the resident OBD-1 4g63 fanatic yeah I've practically never seen a nicer example (other than the aformentioned white one on dsmtuners.com), certainly not one so well rounded with all the spesh'l bits and pieces.
The AMG spark plug cover makes me tots jelly along with the interior. Its cool he invested in 4 lug BBS RM's and those look like either Brembo Evo brake calipers or 3000GT VR4s. He also has the turbo manifold from an Evo 3 which flows better.


I had a ported & clipped Evo 3 turbo before I wore it out. I was seriously surprised Mitsubishi would mate cars with turbo's that violent hah. When it hit, it hit HARD, seemingly all at once and did not fade at redline. Actually the first few times I floored it I was so distracted by the outside world turning to plaid the bouncing rev limiter had to snap me out of it.

To create a driver like this takes a loooot of energy from a Mitsubishi fan but my god is it worth it.

13
RichieTipsyKariuki

Pics of the back seat please!

14

Every Christmas I get retold the story of how my uncle got a ride in Australia's first ever evo prototype that literally had all the running gear out of a vr4 shoved into a lancer shell. There was a Renae (might be spelled wrong) Fielke (also might be spelled wrong) who was a mate of his that worked for mitsubishi and got paid lots so was always bringing new cars round to my uncles photography store in blackwood. One day he just turned up in the standard looking prototype evo casually and asked my uncle what he thought, then took him for a very quick drive that still has him reeling after 25 odd years.

15
NikkSquidBonnett

MatsNorway The idea of the Galant vr4 being a sleeper fascinates me, because here in NZ in the late 90's the scene was dominated by vr4's, RS legacy's and bfmr familia's - eventually early evo's and wrx's got cheap enough, but the vr4 is still common enough that everyone knows what it is, and what it's capable of. Crazy.

16

OMG! I've always thought VR4 cars are RHD only from the factory --- THIS is a LHD! This post gave me hope.

There's something about the shape and the aura of these model that I just love, especially the tastefully modded ones. I've seen a base model one, silver with the same bumpers, white wheels, and it's been well kept. I always stare at it whenever I see it. It's just very handsome. I would love to own one, even the base model FWD --- Swap in a 4G DOHC engine and turbo it. I'll be happy. :D

17

NikkSquidBonnett MatsNorway There were only 3008 imported in 1991 and 1992. There are only a handful on GVR-4's on the road today in the US.

18

Nice! As someone who has an original fairly untouched JDM VR-4 Evolution, I hope that one day mine will be as clean and as tastefully modified (but also looking OEM if possible) as Harolds.

19

citymunky NikkSquidBonnett MatsNorway Of course that's a stark comparison to the 25,000+ that were produced in total.

20

meal stub most were indeed RHD for the Japanese, Australian and some Asian markets, but as mentioned earlier some 3000ish made their way to the US in LHD form and was even sold in the middle eastern market too. Some US models have made their way to Scandinavia being privately imported over, and other Europeans have made do with converting their Dynamic4 models to VR-4 power.

21

Its nice to see a Galant that isnt a half-cut.Nowadays, a lot of the VR4s in Japan has been shipped to Malaysia as half-cuts. Almost all VR4 and EVO 1-3 arrive in Malaysia as half-cuts. Here in Malaysia we have a big Mitsubishi scene here as early proton cars uses Mitsubishi chassis.

22

Used to love seeing these in NZ. Sadly you don't see a lot here in Aus.

23

Respect. 1899/2000 here.

24

Love the Galants! The newer gens of Galants and Legnums just look menacing. Havent seen Speedhunters post many of them. Glad to see one up! It's a car not too many know about.

25

Like mine?

26

Speedhunters The Lancer was a rally car well before the Galant...it was just rwd not the father of the Evo.

27

They brought it to Indonesia as Mitsubishi Eterna, and even its base model was very popular because of its speed..

28

Wtf is up with those A pillar belts?

29

Matt Khoun US-spec regulations mandated in the late 80s/early 90s that if a car does not have at least a drivers side airbag that it must have some other means of automatic restraint system.. because lots of Americans at the time didn't wear seat belts. SRS air bags on US spec cars in the same era had larger air bags too to cushion a non-belted occupant.

30

PhillipWeston Matt Khoun So weird right? I used to see them a bit in TV shows etc and wonder what the hell was going on. Thanks for the explanation PhillipWeston

31

These are getting quite rare in NZ now. Used to see them a lot in high school.

32

bimbombash In New Zealand and Japan the Eterna is a lift back version of the Galant, and the turbo all wheel drive is badged a ZR4, like so:

33

tokuku This was THE car to have for street racing ten years ago down in Wellington.

34

PhillipWeston I feel like this is a car that needs to be left in stock condition, or at least returnable. At this point, un-raped VR-4s are virtually non-existent.

35
G vr4 enthusiastic

Take a look of malaysian's vr4. They are perfect!

36

Peter_Kelly tokuku Oh my... This is why my father used to say "this car is fast" everytime we run into a VR4!

37
NikkSquidBonnett

PhillipWeston citymunky NikkSquidBonnett MatsNorway I feel like I must have raced against at least 50% of that total, haha!

38

PhillipWeston A good sleeper car.

39

There are a handful of real clean examples kicking around. Harold's car looks real, real clean. Bail on all those ABS lines and it will look even better haha


1459/2000 checking in

40

Spot on. Still having a 1994 1.3 litre carburetor proton wira and it still is a solid car after so many years. As much as my parents wanted to sell it off, I'm trying my best to persuade them to keep it as i love carb cars because of the sound it makes and also a manual 5 speed that goes with it. My father thought of having it to undergo full overhaul with the engine few years back but the shops we went kinda ask us to not do it with the reason being the engine itself is in good condition and doesn't want to mess it up. Nuff said the only major thing is a worn out clutch plate which tells you the reliability of these kind of car (well only on the earlier models, newer one's is a nightmare to maintain).

41

Nice!  I actually saw a VR4 for the first time last night, it was white and looked super clean.  This is my favorite car that Mitsubishi made.  I actually used to have it's competitor, the Subaru Legacy SS.  Japanese companies don't make cool cars like these anymore and it's a shame.

42

SilverGSX I had a too-long response about the i8 but it was deleted so heres the short version. I've seen two around my residential area in Rhode Island, and they're a spectacle to say the absolute least. I love the design language; it's truly transcendent.

43

Peter_Kelly PhillipWeston Matt Khoun wait... you haven't experienced these? Trust me, when they were popular i was probably 5 or 6 years old and thought they were magic. This is, until you start riding front seat and realize theyre the most gigantic annoyance. 

I guess I like how he kept them.

44

Peter_Kelly bimbombash i quite like this. Why aren't car/wagon hybrids gaining traction these days? I don't think crossover fits this niche; they're too heady imo.

45

DinoSawr theyre not too popular on a consumer level imo. Check out their fuel consumption, it's abysmal.

46

citymunky NikkSquidBonnett MatsNorway honestly i've never seen one. I just knew they were out there somewhere. Just like that 4wd turbo Celica.

47

The VR4 was not offered in the U.S., correct?

48

It's a DSM with 4 doors. Man I must be old. DSMs are better platforms, but they aren't JDM yo! With that said, It's great to see one of these as a feature!

49

uoeno Yes it was, it suck so much if they didn't haha

50

Ohhh man!  This is a good feature I love the 4G63t platforms!

51

@UnrefinedProject Not a DSM brah.

52

That is a very nice, clean sleeper of a car. Congrats to the owner.

A friend rallied a VR4 in Australia many years ago, was a bit of a handful and a touch big.

I really want to find a mint, unmodified 92-94 Subaru Liberty ( Legacy )  RS, sedan or wagon.
Sadly what few are still alive have been modified way too much or have done 300,000 klms.

53

@UnrefinedProject

54

johnbezt Peter_Kelly PhillipWeston Matt Khoun none of us are in the US or have US-spec cars from that age so why would we have experienced them?

55

Peter_Kelly PhillipWeston Yeah definitely returnable, and only mods that are OEM that you would be hard pressed to spot. It already has a 20G turbo (in the original 16G housing), EvoIII exhaust manifold, 2G DSM throttle body elbow (larger) and late model Evo throttle body half shaft mod. At some stage I want to rebuild the engine with higher comp (8.5-9:1) pistons, 272/264 cams, late model Evo beehive valve springs, fit late model Evo intercooler with bigger piping that looks stock on the outside and run full Evo7/8 ECU, AFM and injectors with plug in wiring harness adapter.

56

PhillipWeston johnbezt Peter_Kelly Matt Khoun because I didn't know that fact... why else? 

Also, who the hell are 'us'? It's early in the A.M. here, please don't ask me questions like this.

57

PhillipWeston johnbezt Peter_Kelly Matt Khoun you get a like because I can't downvote you. rude

58

Mechanically yes it it is. I'm aware that it wasn't made in Normal, IL.

59

More aftermarket support, more readily available tech information, less weight, better aerodynamics, 4WS sucks, etc... That's just my opinion. However, you can't go wrong with anything that's 4G63 AWD and I can't say that I've never gone on a Craigslist hunt for a VR4. I guess I just think it's funny how a lot of people have a negative opinion of DSM's yet they praise Galant VR4's. It will be interesting to see what happens to the value of all of the above. I wish I could have one of everything!

60

I think this might be my favorite Mitsubishi, and this example is so beautiful. I am always sold when it's black on gold.
Pretty interesting AMG did some work on the VR-4. I know they merged with (bought out) Chrysler, who were Pacific partners with Mitsubishi, which would make some sense, I guess.

61

IRONWOLF RD AMG did work on the N/A E33A FWD Galant rather than the VR-4. They also put a horrible body kit on an already horrible Debonair V in the late 80s.

62

PhillipWeston IRONWOLF RD Ah, gotcha. Thanks for the info!

63

@DownUnder Yeah you'll never find an unmodified Legacy or Impreza except for perhaps a later model. Same goes for the likes of Silvias and R32 - R34 Skylines. Just buy it and return it to stock ;)

64

cpasbrig1 Nice car!

65

rally2727 Peter_Kelly tokuku written off or owners send them to the wreckers when they die.. that's just a guess as to why they're getting rarer.

66

johnbezt DinoSawr You don't buy a Twin-Turbo V6 AWD for its fuel consumption. I just picked up a Legnum VR-4 myself and it's no worse so far than my previous Celsior (LS00) or Cressida with 1J swap.

67

I love the Galant.And this is just so damn gorgeous.

68

Peter_Kelly tokuku You're getting old Pedey, it's closer to 15-20 years ago now! The "good old days" of BC5 RS Legacies on Motoform Sektas, BFMR Familias and EF8 CRXs on ROH Astrons/ZSs...sigh...

69

nice to see a gvr4 on here 925/2000 will run someday!!

70

Peter_Kelly tokuku This car definitely brings back great memories of the Porirua drags up tip road 3 nights a week!

71

thanks for the compliments guys! i appreciate it!

72

Actually, the Galante was MMC, NOT dsm, never made in illinois. Straight up shipped from Japan, then badged 3000 of them

73

wow what a gergeousss vr-4

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