Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Rare Bosozoku cars: Mitsubishi Galant Lambda

This week we feature another rare Bosozoku styled car. This time I did find two Bosozoku styled examples of this car in contrary of the singular examples I previously posted.

This time we feature two Mitsubishi Galant Lambdas in different styles:
Mild Bosozoku styled Mitsubishi Galant Lambda
Mild Bosozoku styled Mitsubishi Galant Lambda

This Galant Lambda is a bit of a Kyusha styled car. Very nicely slammed to the ground with some phat rims and a nice oil cooler sticking under the bumper.

Wild Bosozoku styled Mitsubishi Galant Lambda
Wild Bosozoku styled Mitsubishi Galant Lambda

This wildly bosozoku styled Galant Lambda has it all: big overhanging lip at the front, big fenders, spoiler on the boot, 70s paint scheme, chromed mirrors and bumper, a hood ornament and let’s not forget the Astron 80 badge on the grille!

The Mitsubishi Galant Lambda was also known as the Mitsubishi Sapporo in the EU, Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Sapporo in the US, Chrysler Scorpion and the Mitsubishi Scorpion in Australia and the car was also known as the Colt Sapporo in the UK. That’s a lot of names!
Almost factory stock zenki Galant Lambda
Almost factory stock zenki (1976-1980) Galant Lambda

The Galant Lambda was marketed as a “personal luxury car” which meant it was not considered a coupe. It was supposed to be a two door luxury vehicle based on a car from the larger model lineup. Most likely to match the “hardtop” designation by Toyota for the Crown and Chaser which were immediate competitors.

The car had a facelift in 1980 which resulted in a new grille with fixed lights, B pilar going into the roof lining instead of being a seperate beam, new rear lights and a set of spoilers to get it into the 80s era.
Factory stock kouki Galant Lambda
Factory stock kouki (1980-1982) Galant Lambda

The Galant Lambda featured several engines but the 4 cylinder Astron 80 was the most favorable engine of them all: it featured the “silent shaft” system. The “silent shaft” system was an improved version of a single balance shaft which counter balanced the vibrations made by the inline piston engine design. This system was the first use of twin balance shafts which enabled Mitsubishi to improve stability in the Astron engine and enlarge the engine over 2 liters. The Galant Lambda Astron 80 featured a 2.6 liter engine, a figure which was in the 70s normally only obtainable by adding at least two extra cylinders!

The Galant Lambda featured a futuristic design both outside and inside. It features a single spoke steering wheel and a wild spaceage interior. This interiour looked just as good as the interior of a Citroen SM back in 1976!
Factory stock interior Galant Lambda
Factory stock interior Galant Lambda

On one side I understand why the Galant Lambda is a rare Bosozoku car: it is already a very wild styled car, on the other hand I don’t understand it: it reads potential all over it.
Perhaps it has to do with the brand Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi focused primarily on smaller cars during the 60s and early 70s while Nissan and Toyota already sold the larger saloons. Resulting in Mitsubishi’s being the 5th largest car manufacturer in Japan. Also Mitsubishi focused on Rally and not on circuit racing so they missed the Granchan followers.

As an ex-Mitsubishi owner I always wanted to buy a good condition Sapporo, however an AE86 came in between. Who knows, maybe I’ll own one myself one day. One thing is for sure then: it won’t be Bosozoku styled! ;)

[I posted this article earlier today on]


  1. Ben T.

    Mmmmmmmm… nice article. Very informative. I sense you really appreciate the car. I have one and yeah, it’s a great car with a great engine. :)

  2. Stewart Farr

    It’s the one car I always regret selling.

    having driven both the AE86 and my sapporo. I would take the sapporo anyday. It was luxury.

    • banpei

      Sapporo over the AE86? Wow! That’s not something you hear every day! :)

      • gzuckier

        It was the kind of car that earned your affection after a while. I used to compare it to the labradoodle I owned at the same time; not the most brilliant entity, but solid, reliable, always eager and cooperative, and would never do anything nasty no matter what the provocation.
        The US/Canada version had a 2.6 liter (!) version of the engine not available anywhere else, I think. The US/Not Canada version also had an extra specialized valve which helped convert the thing to a lean-burn engine (more swirl), but the Achilles heel was cracking of the heads; maybe because the extra valve weakened them? Anyway, there was a closet industry of transplanting heads from either Canada or the same engine on the Mitsubishi pickup trucks, which also did not have the extra valve.
        An apparently fatal failing was the diaphragm-actuated secondary on the 2 barrel carb; eventually (like 10 years) the diaphragm would develop a hole which constituted a serious vacuum leak making the engine quit when you floored it. Rebuild kits and/or carbs were unavailable at that point. Lucky me discovered that you could buy adapters that would fit Weber two barrel downdrafts (nothing exciting like their sidedrafts; these were just their standard stock carbs that came on lots of European Fords), and that livened the thing right up, as well as making that nice ripping canvas Weber noise. Wouldn’t pass smog inspections though.

        • banpei

          Wow! I never knew about that extra valve. :)
          Then again: Japanese manufacturers did crazy things to pass environmental laws in the 70s and 80s.

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