Jeff Tobin’s dyna-wedged Galant GTO reconnects him with a much admired car from his youth. 

The main reasons you bought this car? 
I owned a 1973 GTO back in 1982. It was a great car that I sold the following year to raise most of the deposit on a house. I thought it would be nice to get another one eventually and located this car in 2016. It’s a spitting image of my old one and had been a Christchurch car all its life until I bought it. 

Is there anything you appreciate more about the GTO second time around? 
The thing that stands out is how well the GTO still holds itself in modern traffic. It’s quick and agile and remains a fun car to drive. I think the car still makes an impression. You hardly see them now but they stand out for the right reasons.

How do rate the overall condition? 
8/10. Its strength is its originality.

Anything unusual about your car’s history?
It had been in storage and did very little mileage in the 20 years before my ownership, which helps explain the low mileage and condition.

The design features you like most?
The cockpit layout and gauges. Also the fact that it mirrors the ’67 to ’69 Mustangs with the long bonnet, ducktail boot, front and rear lights, and even the swage in the centre of the bonnet. That’s why it’s known as a Japanese Mustang.

Your longest trip in the car to date?
Across greater Auckland.

Have you made improvements to it?
The Solex carbs have been rebuilt and it now runs much better. All the underneath has been done: suspension bushes, leaf springs, brakes and an exhaust right through. Also, minor paintwork and some rustproofing. I’ve had the rear bumper rechromed.

Does this model have an Achilles heel?
Aside from corrosion, the twin Solex carbs tend to go out of tune. Some owners will have replaced them with side-draught or down-draught carbs and got better performance.

Do you have long-term intentions with your car?
Yes, it’s a keeper. The plan is to continue tweaking it but maintain the original specs. We’ve been able to source a brand-new, old-stock head for it and the next big project is to take the head off, and possibly refurbish it, and take the radiator out at the same time to clean up the core.

What other special-interest cars have you owned?
Two Vauxhall Victors, a 1964 compact Fairlane (ex-Canada with a 289), 1969 Mach 1 Mustang, 2000 Mustang GT, Mk1 Escort RS wih bubble flares, and I currently have a 2003 Mach 1 Mustang.

Would you be more likely to buy a British or Italian car?
British, because of my early car ownership and nostalgia. And if it were a new car, it would be an Aston Martin.

What was the first car you drove, and where did you drive it?
1965 Mk3 Zephyr in New Lynn, Auckland.

Nominate your own car for inclusion: guests@kiwigarage.co.nz





ENGINE 1995cc in-line four

POWER 92kW (123bhp)

TORQUE 175Nm @ 4200rpm

TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual, RWD

WHEELS 13-inch steel

LENGTH 4.12m

WEIGHT 980kg

COLOUR Fuji White

UPHOLSTERY Dark Green vinyl

OWNER Jeff Tobin, Greater Auckland


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