A LANCER GSR story.
I counted one, two, three and then a fourth LANCER GSR appeared from the corner of the street; Its engine roaring with that unmistakable tune, a sweet and succulent sound that can only come from a dual overhead camshaft 16-valve engine. For a moment I stood there frozen like a tree, my roots savoring the tirades of earthly vibrations, as I watch this DOHC GSR slither through the parked cars until it settles at its intended spot. A succession of high revs and finally the engine stopped. A cold shudder passed over me and then I was back at my senses, surrounded by LANCER GSRs. I was in the right place alright. I can’t help but smile.
Inside Gil’s shop
Gil got out his LANCER GSR and greeted me; he said to follow him inside his shop as he relayed quick and precise instructions to his men to prepare the parts I purchased from him. As I got inside I was welcomed by a multitude of LANCER parts. And I thought to myself; this wasn’t a shop. It was an art museum!
All of them bared and displayed in such a rustic fashion; Turbo manifolds hanging by the wall, a 4g63 engine block resting on a table, an intercooler prepped at the side and rows upon rows of japan surplus parts, piled-up together like library books. Are those aftermarket aluminum radiators? They’re stacked as high as the ceiling. To see this was a real treat. But wait there’s more. At the back of his shop is a short corridor which led to his garage. He allowed me to explore and like a kid on a new playground I was electrified with excitement.
The garage was filled with more parts, the big ones; a myriad of fenders, bumpers and doors hang by the walls. Whole engine blocks and exhaust systems lined-up the floor. Front cuts, rear cuts, half cuts and all cuts of all shapes and sizes all open for display and at the center of it all rests a red LANCER EVO 4.
He explained that building and tuning cars was an everyday life. Some of the cars he built were commissioned by his customers others are to be sold later on. And then it hit me,
Gil is like one of those renaissance masters living the life of commissioned art producing wonders to their patrons while enriching a culture at the same time.
Gil’s LANCER GSR Project
He offered me a chair and I sat down. We chatted for a while, car stuff. I shared to him my experience; how I lamented that my GSR was neglected for so long as well as the rejuvenated feeling of breathing life to it once again. He shared his own experience; he showed me pictures of his LANCER GSR RX version R project both in its turbo and its stock DOHC MIVEC form, which left me drooling, he gave his insights and some wonderful trivia. And most importantly he shared his philosophy, which greatly influenced me and has been the foundation of my own project ever since.
The Legendary Asti RX version R
He reached in one of the many cabinets of his shop and pulled out this most amazing thing; an original Mitsubishi Mirage dealer catalogue.
This is like a Holy Scripture for LANCER GSRs but when I lay my hands on this magazine it was more like how I handled my comic books back in the days; carefully removing it from its plastic cover and lightly holding it with two fingers to turn a page. The catalogue showed a variety of LANCER GSR variants released during that time as well the full specs and features. It’s like I’m carefully being introduce to its roots, where it all started and where it all began. And then he pulled out another one. This time it was an original Mirage accessories catalogue.
I was slowing losing my mind. That was the first time I saw a chrome Mirage trunk garnish. If the dealer catalogue is the Old Testament, the accessories catalogue is the New Testament. He then pointed out the items I purchased from him; the Asti chin, the rounded fog lamps and the slanted trunk along with its slanted tail lights. He then added that all those items were listed in that catalogue and that my choice of parts was a good start. This was beginning to be biblical indeed.
If there is a local haven for LANCERs out there, I would say it’s located along the stretch of Aguinaldo highway, Bacoor, Cavite and it is called GIL’S GARAGE AND AUTO PARTS. There, the master is at work; creating LANCER master pieces for enthusiasts out there.
What is he up to next?
Lambert, 10:12 am