I know what you’re going to say: “Oh no! Not another Mitsuoka Galue!” Too much of a good (?) thing could be hard to stomach, and I would hate to put off any of you from loving the oddest Japanese car marque in history. But this is the limousine version, guys! Exclusive, elusive, expensive, excessive and even stranger than the “normal” Galue, which I’ve covered in CC a few months ago. So let’s take a good look at the best Mitsuoka has to offer.
I chanced upon this Infinity-based monstrosity last night, as I was walking in Bangkok. I’m here for a week of R & R with my family – it’s the easiest place to get to from Myanmar, so a lot of expats like to escape here once in a while. And Bangkok has given me a few interesting automotive surprises before, but this one was a whopper.
This is my first nighttime shoot, but thanks to my new phone, I managed to get a few decent pics. The Galue Limousine is truly massive in the metal. The matte paint made the car even more daunting, like a bug-eyed whale parked on the curbside in the heat of the night of the Thai metropolis.
The Galue III limousine was launched on an unsuspecting public in late 2008. I’m unaware of production numbers, but they must be very low indeed. At some point, the Mitsuoka importer in Thailand decided to add the limo to their line-up, and the car certainly was at the Bangkok Motor Show in 2013 (which is why I prudently hazard a guess at that model year for this car). Still based on the Nissan Fuga / Infinity M35 with the 3.5 litre V6, the Galue limo stretches the Nissan platform by 70mm (about 3 inches) and raises the roof ever so slightly.
The price in Japan for these things is upwards of US$100,000. This means, if my info on Thai import tax policies is still accurate, that the price in Bangkok for this Galue would be about US$400,000 (300% luxury import tax on vehicles, perfume, alcohol, etc.) In reality, it might be closer to US$300,000 if one figures the Japanese price includes VAT, which would not be included for exported cars. Still, that’s quite a packet of dough for this bucket of bolts.
So who would have the kind of money (and the kind of taste) for a long-wheelbase Nissan with a Bentley grille and a matte finish? Well, it seems the guy who ordered this car was so proud of it that he had it badged. On the stretch, too, for good measure.
Here’s a close-up of the badge. To save the CCommentariat precious seconds of Google search, I can reveal here that Mr Edward Kiti is the president of the Thai Modelling Industry and Agencies Association. A true member of the Elite (he he he)…
Mr Kiti must lead a charmed life, surrounded by beauty and long-legged attention. No wonder he needs a limousine with A/C, a bar and tinted windows. So if this Mitsuoka’s a-rockin’, you know what to do… Interestingly, there was a late-model Toyota Fortuner in identical matte guise parked behind the limo.
And lo and behold, the Fortuner also had Edward Kiti badges, both front and back. No doubt the entourage and flunkies (or the chaperones?) get to ride in this one, as well as the bodyguards (if need be).
Here’s hoping the Thai capital will offer other CCs for your reading pleasure. Old Japanese iron is present in the city, as are occasional European gems: I saw a mint-condition Fiat 124 coupé in traffic last time I was here, but was too busy drooling to get a decent picture. I will try to use my wits and my new phone with better coordination…