Remembering The Legend That Was John ‘Nosh’ Ronie!!

It is well known in the car community that we as petrol-heads like to go above and beyond for fellow car people. Whether they are in the classic car groups like RPM365, general car groups like Motorheads International, or manufacturer specific car groups like VolvoTuning.net, we as car people both see and do this on the regular. Since owning my C70, I have seen this happening first hand in many groups that I’ve joined but one group and especially one member in particular instantly comes to mind and his name was John ‘Nosh’ Ronie and he helped run a group called VolvoTuning.net or ‘VT’ for short.

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The word Legend gets thrown around a lot in the car community these days, too much in fact. Nosh, as he was known by his friends and peers due to owning a chippy in Sheffield, was a bonafide Legend. Ever since buying my C70 in 2015 I was looking for help and a community to be a part of, and through a friend of mine, I joined VolvoTuning.net and was instantly introduced to John. Within seconds of joining, he made me feel welcomed into the group and instantly fell for the car, I’d never felt more welcomed into anything before in my life. Throughout the 3 years of knowing John we got on brilliantly, jokes were made and help was given by both sides. Even though we both had different Volvo’s, we both respected each other regardless of model or power or anything. Granted, my C70 was more of a Volvo than his FoMoCo V50 estate but that didn’t matter.

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I’m also not the only one who loved and respected the big man neither. Everyone that knew him and met him all have fantastic memories of the guy. From holding a mini-meet at a Volvo Owners Club only meet VT weren’t allowed at to others watching and laughing at him walk out of a Scottish Harry Ramsdens restaurant at the Forth Railway Bridge a few years ago with a face like thunder, everyone that ever had the chance to meet him loved his charm and his ability to simply light up a room. On one occasion, he took a fellow member on a long old jaunt around Yorkshire trying to find an ice-cream shop of all things.

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Aside from the silliness, Even though Nosh was built massive and looked scary and unapproachable at first, he actually had a heart of gold. He was an avid supporter of numerous charities and always done something each year for charity, whether that was a VT meet or even a Shoebox Appeal at Christmas, he did it all and he loved it. He was also there for his numerous friends and family as well. From inviting friends over and feeding them and giving them drinks in return for a bag of sweets to giving mates around the area lifts to certain places if so needed. No one even asked for it all, John simply done it out of the kindness of his own heart. If anyone had car issues at meets or even needed parts delivered or even fitted, he’d be down and helping them out without even asking.

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As well as being an avid Volvo & overall car guy, John was also a family man as well. He had a wife called Sam, two sons & a step-daughter called Skye who he absolutely adored. He also had 7 grandkids between his two sons and Skye that he’d do anything for as well. To the ones that knew him best, he was one of the greats. Whether that was family or even close friends, no-one ever came close to the love John gave out and received back.

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Unfortunately, in early 2018 Nosh was diagnosed with terminal rectal cancer and when the news came out, everyone stopped in their tracks and cried. It was if the world had stopped spinning on its axis, that’s how bad it hit us all. For those lucky enough to have money spare decided to set up a JustGiving page to help out the hospice care look after him as he got worse. The overall outpours of love came flooding in and after everything had seemed to settle, the fund was up to well over £15K raised by fellow VT members and the Volvo community in general. After the news came out of his diagnosis, many people who made merchandise for the group decided to dedicate numerous stickers and mug designs to both show support and help the fund.

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John ‘Nosh’ Ronie passed away on the 23rd April of 2018 after only 6 weeks of fighting his cancer, up to the day he passed he fought it with grace, a good laugh, and a brilliant heart. Even though he was fighting something absolutely devastating for both him & everyone involved, he still put other people first. This was a typical John Ronie thing to do and that was why he was so respected in the Volvo communities.

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When he left us and the funeral was arranged and sorted out, Sheffield, where he was from, quickly became full to the brim of multiple Volvo’s lining the streets and the car park of the crematorium where everyone started to say their goodbyes for the last ever time. For such a small community, everyone rallied together to say their final goodbyes and it was a real tearjerker to see.

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After the funeral, It was John’s wish to have his near 500bhp V50 wagon stripped for parts and sold to other members to help finish or upgrade their builds. While it was sad to see his car to go like that, John knew that it’d go towards other cars and also to the family to cover any costs they may run into. This was a completely selfless thing to do, anyone else could’ve easily sold their car on whole and just let things be but not Nosh, he really was a legend in his own right.

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Even two years after his unfortunate passing, Nosh is forever remembered by numerous Volvo community members and friends of his. Recently, for example, Teddy bears have been made up by a Volvo Community member’s wife using some of Nosh’s old clothes with capsules of his ashes put inside so that he is remembered. I myself never got to meet John in real life due to either distance issues or car problems but even with that, he was one of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of talking to and laughing with.

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No one did things like John ‘Nosh’ Ronie, to everyone that knew him personally can even back me up and agree. When he left us, he left behind a massive legacy that will never be filled by another individual. He is thought of every single day by everyone in the community and for obvious reasons. The Volvo community lost a gem of a bloke two years ago today and it shows.

 

By Alex Jebson

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The 8th Generation Mitsubishi Galant & Legnum!!

When it comes to Japanese cars, it is very easy to remember the numerous amounts of Japanese metal that came over here throughout the ’90s. Think of the ’90s and you instantly think Skylines, Supra’s, Celica ST205 GT4’s, Mazda RX-7’s, and even the underrated yet amazing Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT. Out of the numerous Jap cars that graced our UK shores, there is one that stands out from the rest for very good reasons and that is the 8th generation Mitsubishi Galant/Legnum.

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So what was the Galant and what made it so special? Well, the Galant was the flagship saloon and wagon throughout the ’70s, ’80s & especially the ’90s. Throughout the years it was instantly evolving from a good, well-rounded Japanese car into one of the best in my opinion. This especially came into effect during the majority of the ’90s where the Galant became somewhat of an underrated beast. Before we get onto the truly phenomenal 8th gen VR-4 though, first of all, I will go through the standard model first so you can get an idea of how good it actually was even in standard guise.

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When the 8th generation came round in 1996, just like the previous models before it, it was vastly improved in pretty much every aspect. Instead of the curvy and rounded looks of the 7th gen, the 8th gen car was a whole lot sharper-looking, especially at the front end where it got the nickname of ‘Shark Nose’ due to its mean-looking bumper, grille and headlamp setup. Compared to a similarly aged Accord or Camry, the Galant was leaps and bounds ahead when it came to overall exterior looks.

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Interior wise, they were built really well with good solid materials used all around and tons of practicality available. If you decided to specify leather seats, you got full piped seats all round that was unbelievably comfy. If you bought the Wagon like most did then you also benefitted from a massive cargo area equal to the size of a Volvo wagon. Above all of this, it gave the owner the feeling of actual class that a lot of other cars couldn’t even come close to.

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Engines available ranged from a 1.8 GDi ‘4G93’ to the 3.0 V6 ‘6G72’, in the UK we got the 2.0 4 cylinder ‘4G94’, the 2.5 V6 N/A ‘6A13’ producing 163bhp, the 2.4 GDI ‘4G64’ and the 2.5 V6 ‘6A13TT’ solely for the VR-4 weapon. All the engines available suited the cars well, with power raising from 134bhp in the 2.0’s to a whopping 280bhp for the VR-4, there was an engine for everyone. Out of the bunch, both of the 2.5 V6’s were the ones to go for. They both made great power with decent reliability and pretty good MPG for a V6. Out of the three V6’s available, one stood out from the rest and that was the ‘6A13TT’ unit used in what has to be one of my favorite ever affordable dream cars – the Galant/Legnum VR-4!!

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With the spotlight solely focused on the Lancer Evo’s of the ’90s, it was very easy to forget about the Galant/Legnum VR-4 and Mitsubishi knew this so, in the late nineties, they made sure the Galant was not to be forgotten – the VR-4 was back with a vengeance!! Now, this wasn’t the only VR-4 to be created, in fact, the VR-4 badge was first seen on the 6th gen Galant of the late eighties as well as the early 90’s 7th gen as well. When the 8th gen VR-4 came out in 1996, It was basically a grown-up Evo 5/6. with VR-4 standing for Viscous Realtime Four Wheel Drive, This gave the 8th gen Galant the grip of the Evo, as well as some of its features onto a bigger platform car. The engine was also seriously upgraded as well. Mitsubishi took the already brilliant 2.5 V6 ‘6A13’ from the normal car, added a couple of cheeky turbochargers as well as a massive intercooler thus creating what can only be described as a bit of a beast in automotive form.

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Power was upped from a respectful 163bhp to a whopping 280bhp. this was due to a bore/stroke of 81.0 x 80.8 mm, this also gave a compression ratio of 8.5:1, not bad for a 2.5 V6 engine. Derestricted, the 8th gen VR-4 could hit 150mph which was crazy for a big saloon/wagon. 0-60 mph was dealt with within 5.7 seconds for the INVECS-II 5-speed semi-auto and a crazy 5.3 seconds for the 5-speed conventional manual, that’s still fast even by today’s standards, not bad for a car that is over 20 years old!!

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With the Evo, GTO/3000GT, and now the Galant VR-4, during the ’90s Mitsubishi simply couldn’t be touched. Whether it was on the rally scene, the Sports Coupé scene, or even the super saloon scene, Mitsubishi went from being a dependable but underrated company to a manufacturer of some of the best cars for sale during the ’90s. In fact, the 8th generation Galant was so good it was awarded the ‘Japanese Car Of The Year 1996-97’ award for the second time.

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Production stopped for the UK market in 2003 due to expensive build costs and overall lack of interest in the model which was a real shame considering how well built the car was and how well the VR-4 was received. Since it’s disappearance in 2003, the Galant has never been sold here in the UK and it’s highly unlikely that Mitsubishi will bring the name back, nevermind make a performance model again.

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Reliability on these old Galant’s are second to none, these cars were made when Mitsubishi made their cars properly, so much so in fact that it is very easy to see one of these cars hit well over 200k miles and still drive and feel as tight as a drum. Bodywork issues aren’t too bad, now, of course, every Japanese car of this age will suffer from rust and the Galant is no exception. They tend to rust over the rear wheel arches near the door shuts so watch for that. Suspension issues can also become noticeable, especially on the VR-4’s that have a multilink setup on them.

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Check the body kit on the VR-4’s for scrapes and cracks, due to the lowered suspension it is very easy to get the front bumper especially caught on high curbs. Apart from that, the 8th generation Galant is a very reliable yet capable underrated saloon & wagon, especially in VR-4 trim. If you want to get one then now is the time to buy as they’re getting really cheap for what they are. If you want a JDM Import Wagon then get searching for a Legnum VR-4, these are pretty much the same as the UK Galant but with a slightly different rear-end styling, a few more bits and pieces from the Evo’s of the generation as well as a Momo Steering wheel and Recaro front seats.

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With a lot of Japanese cars from the ’90s being loved by every petrolhead going, the 8th generation Galant/Legnum stands underrated by the JDM fanboys of the world. With this being the case, prices are possibly the lowest they’ve ever been. They’re very rare as well so getting a good one won’t be easy but once found, you’ll be forever smitten with it. If you can get the even rarer VR-4 then you seriously are winning at life, In wagon form, these cars are really all you’ll ever need in life. So the next time you see one of these on the road, show a little bit more respect to one of Japans forgotten about legends.

 

Hope You Enjoy!

By Alex Jebson