Junkyard Gem: 2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart

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We began getting Mitsubishi Galants here way back in the 1971 model year, when the Colt Galant showed up bearing Dodge Colt badges. Mitsubishi didn't start selling cars with its own badging in North America until the 1983 model year, and the first Mitsubishi-badged Galants showed up on our shores as 1985 models. When the ninth and final generation of Galant appeared for 2004, it was a generic-looking Camry rival, enlarged and priced attractively but otherwise not very interesting. Then, for 2007, a sporty Ralliart version showed up. Here's one of those rare cars, found in a snowy Colorado self-service yard recently.

Ralliart is the racing and performance division of Mitsubishi Motors, and I've managed to find a few Lancer Ralliarts during my junkyard travels. I'd forgotten the existence of the Galant Ralliart, I must admit, so at first glance I took this car to be an ordinary Galant with Lancer Ralliart badges pasted on.

Unlike the Suzuki Works Techno badges found on Aerios and Renos of the era, these Ralliart emblems really did indicate a quicker-than-the-base-model car.

The '07 Galant Ralliart got a 258-horsepower V6 and a stiffer suspension, plus a few styling touches. It certainly would have been more fun than a new Camry, though the Mazdaspeed6 was quicker.

Even the soporific Camry could still be bought with a manual transmission in 2007, but not the Galant. All the US-market 2004-2012 Galants (which were built in Illinois) came with automatic transmissions.

The Galant managed to hang on until 2012, by which time it had been largely forgotten by American car shoppers. That's too bad, because the gadget-packed Galant Sigma four-door hardtops of the late 1980s and screaming Galant VR-4s of a bit later were interesting machines. I still haven't found a junked VR-4, though I have spotted a discarded Galant GS-X.

This one lived fast and died young-ish. Perhaps someone will grab that 6G75 engine to swap into a Chrysler K-Car. We can hope.

Hop in. It's go time!

Taiwanese car shoppers could buy this car as the Grunder. The real gone cats preferred the Grunder Police Interceptor, of course.

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