LS1-powered 1976 Mitsubishi Galant – FRYTND

This tough LS1-powered Mitsu was meant to be a skid car, but it turned out way too nice for that

Photographers: Ben Hosking

Drew Friend’s Mitsubishi Galant ‘skid car’ is nicer than many show cars

This article on Drew’s Galant was originally published in the September 2017 issue of Street Machine

WE KNOW how it is – you go to a car show and get all hepped up to go home and set the world on fire with your own build. That is exactly how Wollongong’s Drew Friend wound up building an awesome LS-powered Mitsubishi Galant. Well, sort of.

While it looks fat, the Galant is a pretty lightweight package. “It is 1140kg without the driver,” Drew explains. “The power-to-weight ratio is ridiculous! I want to run numbers in it and do as many events as I can do. Then, once it gets a little bit old, I’ll put it on the pad and do a skid”

What started out as a simple skid-event car became a finely detailed machine that landed him in the Elite Hall Top 60 at Summernats 30.

Even though he started off wanting a Capri, Drew is stoked with his car. “People don’t know what it is; everyone has Capris, Toranas, RX-2s. I can’t thank Dad enough for what he did to make this happen for me and everyone who helped throughout the build”

“I got excited after Brashernats a few years ago and wanted to build a burnout car,” Drew explains. “I’ve always wanted a ’69 Capri but I couldn’t find one. My dad knew of this car, which he worked on years ago and it had already been sand-blasted, tubbed, ’caged and painted, but had gone no further.

“We acquired it and went about rebuilding it – which got out of control. My dad never does things by halves so if it was going to be done it had to be built properly.”

That is certainly the case when you inspect Drew’s Mitsu up close, drinking in all the finishing details. Sure, he might have had good bones to work with, but this coupe has been finished to a very high standard.

“I bought the engine from Commwreck in Sydney off eBay,” Drew says. “I went LS because they are good for cheap power and everyone was running them a couple of years ago, so I thought I’d try them out, even though I’m a Ford man at heart”

The shell has been flow-coated in Baslac Ultimate Green Pearl by Drew’s dad and Steve Bosilkovski. It is a retina-jabbing fluoro hue that works well on the tough two-door shape, especially when contrasted by the gloss black details that Drew and his dad have done. Extra attitude comes from the four-inch reverse-cowl, while the windows have been flush-fitted for a neater appearance. Amazingly, the ‘Ninja Turtle’ paintwork helps highlight the black 15×4.5 and fat 15×10 Billet Specialties wheels wrapped in 275/60 rubber.

Built as a skid car, Drew’s Galant has some stout cooling abilities. Along with the four-core aluminium radiator and twin thermo fans, it runs E85 alcohol-based fuel, while the exhaust sheds hot gases down the Pacemaker four-into-one headers and out the 3in pipes via an X-pipe crossover and Hooker mufflers

The old single-cam four-banger the Galant came with was never going to get the job done for Drew, so he fitted a 5.7-litre LS1. The light aluminium Chevy proved to be a good thing right up until it dropped a lifter at Powercruise early in 2017, requiring a top-end rebuild. The Gen III small-block now wears a pair of T-Rex CNC-ported heads, and features LS7 lifters, Camtech pushrods, dual valve springs, and a 233/238/110 Camtech camshaft providing womp. Raceworks fuel rails, 1150cc injectors and a Holley ECU handle the E85 and spark, while a Melling high-pressure pump and Moroso rear-hump pan take care of the oil. It’s a solid, basic combo capable of throwing out 357hp at the treads, which is more than enough to make the flyweight Galant a handful!

Even though the LS1 is fairly mild by today’s standards, it still eats E85 with a voracious thirst from the boot-mounted fuel cell. A pair of Walbro in-tank pumps push the corn juice up custom fuel lines to the Raceworks fuel rails that are plumbed with 1150cc injectors

The coupe runs a Hughes two-speed Powerglide auto, fed torque by a 4000rpm stall converter. The Friends upgraded the tailshaft with Strange yokes and 1350 unis, while the diff is a Strange Pro Case nine-inch, packed with 4.3 gears, 35-spline axles, and a full spool for maximum 11s.

Although it was already tubbed, the Galant wasn’t a roller when the Friends got into it. “We had the diff, but Profab set the rear end up for us,” Drew says. “We kept the leaves for simplicity and it hooks up really well, even off the transbrake. I’m happy with it”

That nine-inch sits on a pair of Pedders leaf springs, with stock-spec shocks moved inboard to clear the 10-inch-wide rears now filling the mini-tubbed rear guards. Drew and his dad also added a rear sway-bar and CalTracs bars to try and keep things pointed straight, while a rack-and-pinion steering system and coil-over shocks live up front, all braked by Wilwood four-pot calipers and discs.

Drew’s Galant has an understated but fantastically well-detailed interior for what was meant to be a skid car. Flat floors and a smooth custom console stand out, while the dash has been filled with just the essential gauges to keep the look nice and clean. Drilled aluminium pedals are a nice, practical touch, while the Kirkey buckets look tough but are neatly trimmed

Cars built solely to sit on the limiter and throw belts at events don’t need beautifully finished interiors, but Drew’s Galant has copped a ton of work inside to make sure it is not only gorgeous to look at but functional as well. The Kirkey seats, Auto Meter gauges, eight-point rollcage, SAAS tiller and B&M Stealth shifter tell you it is a car built to go fast, but the flat floors, custom console, trimmed tubs and the quality of the stitch-work on every surface lift the cabin above and beyond pure competition cars.

With such amazing detailing, there was no way Drew would put his car through the hurt locker of a burnout competition, so he changed focus and now has his sights set on ETs and trap speeds.

“Dad took the car to a whole new level, and now it’s too good to be a skid car, so we are going to show it and drag-race it, which I am hooked on!” Drew enthuses. “It has done a 10.65@126mph in its first full pass, so we are now in the process of getting it tech-approved so I can go quicker and not get kicked out. We’re also building another motor, which will be an aspirated L98 six-litre Gen IV on nitrous, so hopefully we’ll run a low nine or high eight.”

Drew Friend


Colour: Baslac Ultimate Green Pearl

Type: Chevrolet LS1
Capacity: 346ci (5.7L)
Cam: Camtech 233/238
Heads: T-Rex CNC-ported
ECU: Holley HP
Injectors: 1150cc

’Box: Hughes two-speed Powerglide
Converter: 4000rpm
Diff: Strange Pro Case 9in, full spool, 35-spline axles
Front suspension: Cortina steering rack, strut front end
Rear suspension: Inset leaves, CalTracs bars
Brakes: Wilwood discs (f & r)

Rims: Billet Specialties; 15×4.5 (f), 15×10 (r)
Rubber: Moroso 275/60 (f), M/T ET Street (r)