CC Capsule: 1997 Mitsuoka Galue – Real Horrorshow

A damp and moonless night in downtown Tokyo. I must have taken a wrong turn. I’m trying to reach the metro station on the other side of this block, but instead am meandering along the narrow unlit side streets that start to become an impossible maze. A Dead end to my right and a gravel path ahead – I turn left. I see a car park at the end of the street and… Oh God! Nooooooooooooooo!…

Without warning, I was face to grille with a monster. It was as if the Galue was lying in wait for a hapless victim – and I was to play that role. It was calmly sitting there, in the dark, its grotesque chrome snout glistening with rain and anticipation, its evil bulging headlights seemingly aglow with delight. I was done for, and I knew it.

I lunged to the right of the beast, in a futile attempt to outflank it and make it to the other side of the car park and, perchance, the metro station. It was no use. The wily Mitsuoka had read my move. It flashed its fake wire wheels at me menacingly, paralyzing me with fear and dread. I stopped in my tracks, out of breath.

There was no escape. I silently prayed that this was a mere nightmare and that I could perhaps awake from it before the Galue turned violent. It displayed its razor-sharp rear fins, asserting its dominance and increasing my level of panic beyond what I had experienced before, even when faced with the worst Exner designs.

The danger with older Galues is that their unpredictability. And being a pure JDM product, there is no possible way to communicate with them. All you can do is shake like a leaf and bear it. They’re so alien and disturbing, with their narrow body and garish detailing. That hood ornament, for instance, has been seared into my brain forever. I still see it when I close my eyes.

For whatever reason, though, the Galue did not go on the offensive. It stared at me, doubtless amused by my discountenanced demeanor and the steady drip of cold sweat that was pouring from my brow. I started backing away slowly, hardly believing I might live to tell the tale of this horrific nightly encounter. But survive I did.

The streets of Tokyo are reputed to be among the safest in the world. And if we are judging this by the frequency of human crime, then I can agree. But this is not a very accurate metric: Mitsuokas lurk everywhere in the city, ready to pounce. My knees were still shaking as I got on the train. Be afraid, be very afraid…


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CC Capsule: 1998 Mitsuoka Galue (Series I) – Downhill From There, by T87