It’s been far too long since we’ve had some vintage Mitsubishi steel on the site. (Remember Bodo Engemann?) That all changes today, as we introduce you to a brother from Down Under who’s been thinking about V8-power in an old Sigma. Check it out.
What’s your name, location, and occupation?
My name is Luke Harwood. I’m 24 and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I currently work as a graphic designer for a web design company in Melbourne; for the past 3 years have also been running my own business doing my own freelance design projects.
What are your weapons (vehicles) of choice, how did you come to own them, and how do you use them?
I currently have 3 rides at the momen,t however over the years I have owned quite a few old Mitsubishis.
The Long Term Project
My 1984 Mitsubishi Sigma GSR which was my first car and I have owned since 2006. When I got the car it was in OK condition, but needed some work. It was running a stock 2.6lt 4cyl with a header and a cam. My aim from the start was not to do an over the top build with big wheels and gauges all over the shop, it was to look stock on the outside with minimal mods on the inside but have the motor to back up its future plates.
I had always wanted a GSR ever since my step brother had a red GSR when I was about 8 years old. That’s what started it all. As a matter of fact that exact car still sits in my back yard rusting away as I use parts when I need them. The car has had a lot of work done inside and out from steam cleaned interior and paint repair to having 3 different motors over the years. First I ran a stock 2.6 with twin 40DCOE Weber,s then I put a 2lt Sigma turbo motor in the car with a turbo carburetor setup running a stock 10psi, and now the major engine upgrade is nearly done – a full built 2.6lt fuel injected turbo running 20psi. When it was in my old Scorpion it made 198rwkw (265rwhp) on 17psi but with new fuel system and various other mods I’m hoping to see at least 220rwkw (295rwhp). However, to put this power down I still need a 9-inch diff and maybe a Supra gearbox upgrade in the future.
For my 21st birthday I got the plates for the car that now define it, the plates being TUFSIG. Mitsubishis are not very popular over in Australia. Most people have a Holden or a Ford, so you get some laughs and looks, but it doesn’t bother me. It’s a Sigma, and in my eyes it’s tuff.
Full rebuild Astron 2 , 2.6lt EFI turbo
Ported Magna M7 head
290 deg cam
ADJ cam gear
Astron II rocker gears
Double valve springs
TR modded Intake
TR throttle body
550cc RX7 Turbo injectors
Low comp pistons (moly rings 7:6.1)
Garret GT35R with .82 rear housing – Still being fitted
New engine mounts
TR Magna alternator
Xtreme Cushion button clutch
Starion Turbo flywheel
Starion Turbo 5 Speed gearbox with hydraulic clutch conversion
Custom quick shifter
Adjustable plumb-back BOV [recirculated, for us yanks – Ed.]
Oil and boost gauges
Battery in boot
May 2010 I purchased a 1992 AUS-delivered Mitsubishi 3000gt Twin Turbo, pretty much my dream car as a 5yr old. Of course, at the time, I had no idea what it was, but when you’re 5 and you see a car with pop-up headlights and a spoiler, it’s amazing. I decided to get an AUD-delivered model because I was a bit unsure about buying a jap import – like any car, you run the risk of getting a thrashed out pig.
This one was a one-owner car that came with all history and decent KM for the age and it was also completely stock motor; all it was running was lowered Intrax springs and 18″ wheels and currently the only thing I have added was a new sound system and gave the interior a steam clean. It’s an awesome car to own and drive, with twin turbo and AWD it hugs the road and gets looks everywhere it goes and that’s what you want in a cruiser.
Future plans involve finishing the Focal sound system and maybe a set of 19s.
I bought this car about 4 months ago for a very cheap price and again it was a one-owner car so it was in very good condition. It’s a 1983 Mitsubishi Scorpion, which I believe are in the States as well. [Correct, sir, as the Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Sapporo. – Ed.]
At the present time, all I have done is had some of the rust removed and gave it a steam clean. Future plans may involve putting my old carby turbo setup on the car and converting it to manual with a narrow block jap 5-speed box I used to run in TUFSIG. Besides that, it’s just an everyday car that gets used for whatever.
How do the modern Mitsubishis compare the older ones?
It’s good having access to both era,s because each are awesome to own and drive. The 3000gt has the stability and grunt you want and is very comfortable on a long drive, but TUFSIG is just raw power and scary. I can’t wait to put it on 20psi and see what it will be like.
Have you considered V8 power in any of the cars?
Yeah, it has always been a thought in the back of my mind – especially to put a gen 3, aka LS1, in TUFSIG. Something about having an all alloy 5.7lt V8 in a Sigma is just so temping, however at present I’m happy to just stay with turbo power. Maybe down the track in the coming years it could be seen with a V8 in it. My dad’s Holden Monaro has a LS1 and he’s planning on charging it in the future, so that will be a good tester to see if I would put one in my car.
Share a cool story from your past and a specific goal for the future.
Not sure if I have many cool stories to tell, however the main goal I can see in the future is to get TUFSIG painted in the original colour and also build a new motor to make more than 350rwkw (470rwhp). That would be my ideal power for the car. Not sure if I will do this with a turbo motor or, as I said earlier, a LS,1 but only time will tell.
Share one of your favorite tips/tricks/ideas.
If you can do it yourself then go for it. Most, if not all, of the work that has gone into TUFSIG had been completed by myself and my dad. He has been a huge help with this project and he even works on the car when I’m away, which is awesome. I think that if you do a lot of the work yourself, which is a bit easier on an old car, it can be more rewarding at the end.
What does being a gearhead mean to you?
It’s one of my main hobbies and passions in my life; a way to just escape, and working on cars has always been a fun thing to do for me. I don’t see that changing anytime soon; always great to go on a nice cruise with mates and just chill.
How do you define ‘high performance machine?’
Power and the ability to put that power down on the road.
Look Luke up sometime. If you’re into the older Mitsubishis, consider checking out his build thread on Sigma-Galant.com. And, while we’re thinking about it, Luke tells us he’ll be in the States this August. He wont’ be able to make it to the DSM Shootout, but maybe we can set up an international Mitsubishi meet while he’s here, eh?
Go fast with class, Luke. Thanks.