Home > Uncategorized > 1991 Mitsubishi Galant GTI Part 2: Keeping It Original

1991 Mitsubishi Galant GTI Part 2: Keeping It Original

If you missed Part 1, here’s the recap: In June 2016, we acquired a Sunbeam Silver Iridium 1991 Mitsubishi Galant GTI from its second owner. Our initial goal was to convert it into a VR-4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) rally car replica, finished in RalliArt colors with our company and sponsors’ insignias.

Since our project car was in good running condition, we did a rolling restoration. We had the front hub bearings replaced, had the alternator refurbished, the dark window tint removed, and worked on minor cosmetic and mechanical restorations ourselves. We then drove it a lot and drove it hard!

We drove to Pampanga in August 2016 to participate in the 6G Elite PH Fun Run; and to Tarlac in September to participate in the Mitsubishi 4×4 Camp where 2-time Paris-Dakar Rally Champion and Mitsubishi Rally Driver Hiroshi Masuoka affixed his signature on the driver’s side sun visor. In short, we had a lot of fun with our GTI!

When we approached George Blaylock, the big boss of Diamond Motors Corporation, to ask for some sponsorship for our project car, our plans changed. After he saw the original documentation that came with it, Mr. Blaylock insisted that our GTI should be restored as close to original as possible. He then offered to buy it and add it to his personal Mitsubishi collection. We hesitated but later agreed because we knew that it was going to a good home.

At Diamond Motors Corporation

On April 26, 2017, we dropped off our project car at the Diamond Motors Corporation Service Center in Marikina. It was thoroughly inspected, a checklist was accomplished, and it was properly documented and received for servicing. After it was received by the Service Adviser and we signed on the documents, “our” GTI officially became Mr. Blaylock’s GTI.

The Service Adviser accomplished a proper checklist to formally receive the GTI.

He inspected everything in and around the car and took note of anything noteworthy.

He inspected the trunk and its contents.

Wait! Is that a dead body in there?

Disassembly and Prep Work

The following day, its disassembly process began under the supervision of Rod Punzalan. When we arrived after lunch break to take photos, the initial disassembly process had already started.

The GTI’s disassembly has already started!

Technicians made quick work of disassembling the GTI’s trim and components.

The disassembled interior revealed a rust-free floor pan.

The back of the interior was clean as well.

The front was deconstructed.

The body cladding and the spoiler were the next to be removed.

All the exterior trim parts and interior components were labeled and boxed.

On May 16, 2017, we visited Diamond Motors Service to find that the mechanics had already removed the GTI’s major components like the drivetrain, interior, and suspension. Stripped down to its body shell, they were happy to report that they found almost no rust around the car.

Rod Punzalan inspects the GTI’s stripped body.

The body man shows off the almost rust-free body.

The firewall was prepped for gloss paint.

The floor pan was virtually rust-free.

The sound deadening material was all that’s left in the front inner firewall.

There was no rust in the rear passenger area…

… while only minor work was needed at the trunk area.

In storage, we saw the front and rear suspension components…

… the original 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve 4G63 4-cylinder engine…

… and other components that were carefully stored and tagged. 

The bare shell is being prepared for paint.

Paint and Reassembly

By July 2017, the paint and body shop technicians had sanded down the GTI down to its original factory-applied base paint and applied a fresh coat of Sunbeam Silver Iridium finish (Paint Code: SSI) top coat and several layers of clear coat for added luster. In August, they begun the re-installation of the underchassis components.

The GTI’s shell was noticeably different than when we saw it two months ago.

The shell has been painted in factory SSI silver all over.

The underside of the car was painted gloss SSI silver as the top side.

The engine bay was treated to a coat of gloss SSI as well.

The front suspension crossmember were painted gloss black.

The floorpan was cleaned up and painted prior to the installation of insulating materials.

The firewall was cleaned and painted, too.

The roof was massaged from the inside to remove the dents.

The trunk was restored to what it was originally.

The fuel tank was cleaned and painted gloss black.

The front McPherson struts were refurbished and painted gloss black.

The rear suspension assembly was likewise refurbished and painted.

Rod Punzalan and his team were very pleased with the condition of the GTI to begin with. They did very little bodywork – just to remove the little dings and dents – and they did not need to scrape the paint to bare metal. They were able to preserve the car’s factory-applied original primer and base coat so the factory-applied rust protection is still intact. They just prepared the surfaces and sprayed several new coats of SSI silver and protective layers of clear coat.Log on again next week as we take a closer look at the newly restored and fully assembled 1991 Mitsubishi Galant GTI. Don’t miss it!