By on August 4, 2011

“TWO HUNDRED BUCKS? Are you serious? That doesn’t sound like enough money.”

No, dear readers, I wouldn’t last ten minutes in the “World Series Of Poker”. I can’t bluff and I usually speak my mind before using that mind to think about the consequences of what I’m saying. In this case, however, it didn’t matter. The guy across the table from me at dinner was bound and determined to sell me his nine-year-old, good-condition, no-options-but-new-tires-all-’round, Plymouth Colt four-speed for the very reasonable price of two Benjamins.

How could I say no?

The year was 1999 and I was, as usual, working two jobs. By day I was a contractor for a certain big blue computer company at a local hospital, and by night I was one-half of a web-hosting cooperative operating a single dual-Pentium-II box out of another web-hosting company’s closet. My partner in the latter enterprise, a brilliant half-Filipino named Greg, was also my office mate in the former. We’d met on my first day at the hospital and had almost immediately decided to go into the web hosting business.

What a sweet gig that was. Our single computer had cost $950 to build, and we paid $150 a month for its place in the closet, but it was easily capable of hosting a hundred websites. Our clients each forked over between twenty and two hundred bucks a month to share their dreams, opinions, and products with the world. For a pair of twenty-somethings with very few actual expenses, it was a dream come true and the only problem was figuring out where to spend all the money.

Not that Greg was particularly concerned about the proverbial dolla dolla bill, ya’ll. We’d never heard of Asperger’s Syndrome, but looking back it’s plain to me now that he had a four-alarm case of it. He couldn’t remember his keys, his wallet, or his cell phone. He didn’t keep regular hours, return calls, or clean his room. He’d paid cash for a nearly-new Mitsubishi Eclipse some time previously but had never changed the oil or renewed the plates. He would often stay awake for days at a time, obsessing over a bit of Perl code or a potential for a “buffer overflow”, and then sleep for twenty-four-hours straight. Once, I helped him clean out his desk at work and we found three uncashed paychecks totaling just over six thousand dollars. You get the idea. He was in the world, as the Apostle Paul would say, but not of it.

Although Greg drove me nuts sometimes, I liked him — and I needed him. Running a webserver in 1999 meant writing a lot of custom configurations and code, and I couldn’t do it alone. My wife and I started looking after him a bit. Eventually, we all moved into a hip, tall-ceiling condo. I used the webhosting money to furnish it with Herman Miller furniture, Aeron work chairs, and 21″ color monitors in our “office”. Greg chose to sleep on a bare mattress in a room filled to waist level with books, unfolded clothes, and pizza boxes.

Where were we? Oh, yes: the Colt. Big Blue paid for our dinner pretty much every night of the week, and those dinners swelled with the ranks of the contractors, the subcontractors, and the hangers-on. At one of those dinners, a sub-sub-contractor mentioned that the death of his father had left him in possession of an 85,000-mile 1990 Plymouth Colt. Base car, black bumpers, four-speed manual, no A/C. He wanted it gone. Two hundred bucks was the price. I had it in my pocket, so the next day the title, and the car, were in my hands.

From the moment I put the Colt in gear, I loved it. The 1990 Colt was actually a Mitsubishi Mirage/Lancer, of course, which meant that it was an imperfect copy of a Honda Civic. With 81 horsepower to push 2200 pounds, it was sprightly enough, and the grey-vinyl interior was dismal but durable. Visibility was absolutely superb, the cowl was low, and the very small complement of controls was easy to operate.

When I was a kid, the phrase “UJM” — Universal Japanese Motorcycle — was popular. A UJM was any four-cylinder, water-cooled, standard-style Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, or Yamaha. Think Honda CB550 as an example. They were all well-made, durable, a bit bland, and difficult to identify at a distance.

I think of the Colt, Civic, Corolla, and Sentra of the early Nineties as Universal Japanese Cars. They were all under 2500 pounds. They could be had with vinyl floors and, usually, four-speed transmissions. Nothing went wrong with them, but there wasn’t any gingerbread to be had either. Only rust could take them out of circulation, really. They were good cars. For a while, I thought the Hyundai Elantra might aspire to modern “UKC” status, but it turns out that the Koreans would rather put heated rear seats in the things than quarter-million-mile engines.

So. The Colt. Forget two hundred bucks. This car would have been a screaming deal at two thousand. Or four thousand. It returned an easy thirty-five miles per gallon in all circumstances despite buzzing like a Sikorsky on the freeway. Nothing went wrong with it.

If only the same could be said for Greg’s Eclipse, which finally responded to three years of operation on the same four quarts of oil by swallowing its crankshaft. Greg left it by the side of the road, walked home, then forgot where he’d left the car. Although he had tens of thousands of dollars in the bank, he couldn’t exactly go get another whip; in addition to never renewing the tags on the Eclipse, he’d forgotten to renew his driver’s license or purchase any insurance. The State of Ohio’s hammer was going to come down on him hard. In the meantime, he needed a car. I gave him the Colt and crossed my fingers.

Months passed. My wife and I finally bought a house and moved out of the condo, which I then filled with five expatriate Bolivians. That’s another story. One day, I was working on our server and I received a “talk” request from Greg. “Talk” was an old chat protocol for two people logged onto the same UNIX system.

Greg: hey i have a question

Jack: ok

Greg: do you have the keys for the colt

Jack: There was only one set and you have them

Greg: I lost the ones I have

Jack: Have you looked everywhere?

Greg: yes it’s been a while

Jack: How long is a while?

Greg: I guess 20 days maybe 25

Jack: how the fuck have you been GETTING PLACES?

Greg: mostly I’ve been walking

I called a locksmith, who popped the door and made a new set of keys. Unfortunately, the Colt didn’t start with those keys. We swapped the battery and it cranked but wouldn’t turn over. I was up to three jobs, having added a small vendor-consulting operation to my list of occupations, and didn’t have time to mess with it. There was a 230,000-mile Plymouth Voyager sitting in my driveway, something I’d acquired along with a few other assets when forming the new business from the ashes of someone else’s previous venture. I took Greg back to my house, put him behind the wheel of the Voyager, and considered myself lucky to have the Colt back. A grand of repair, tops, and I’d be four-speeding my merry way along again.

Unfortunately for me, however, my wife did not share in that happy vision. She much preferred riding around in the brand-new BMW 330i Sport I’d picked up a few months before. “Make it go away,” she said. Four days later, I was standing next to the Colt, talking to two rather rough-looking fellows.

“It don’t run,” one said to me.

“Don’t look like it’s got no oil,” the other said. There was a moment of silence.

“Two hundred bucks,” quoth the first.

“THANK GOD!” I replied.

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45 Comments on “Capsule Review: 1990 Plymouth Colt...”


  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Great story… and yes… those Mitsubishi engines for that time were amazing at making oil disappear.

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    Ah, the $200 car. Nowadays there’s a $350 price floor, imposed by The Crusher.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Ah yes, 90′s disposable cars. A friend had a hyundai excel while we were in college. We joked about leaving it on the side of the road when it ran out of gas. Why would you double the car’s value by filling it with gas?

    After one particularly spirited driving session, the magic smoke left the motor via a cracked cylinder head.

    A bunch of us pushed it into the woods and never looked back.

    -ted

  • avatar
    tced2

    And those Mitsubishi engines were in Chryslers of the same time – and had the same trail of blue smoke.

    My sister had the Mitsubishi version of this Colt. An OK car but it was cheap. As illustrated in the picture, it didn’t have a passenger side mirror (triumph of the accountants). And getting one required purchasing a very expensive package. And those miserable motorized “automatic” shoulder harnesses. A kludge if there ever was one.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      The extra cost passenger side mirror wasn’t just specific to Mitsu. When a friend of mine found out his first kid was on the way in 1990, he finally had to give up his rusty but trusty Buick Regal. They decided to go super economical and bought a Honda Civic hatchback.

      The dealer didn’t want his 13 year old Regal, but my buddy didn’t want to have to dispose of it, either. So he struck a deal with the salesperson, and got a Civic with a passenger side mirror (worth $110!) for the Regal.

      Wasn’t there a twin cam and/or turbo version of these? I seem to remember the class of 1990 had a bunch of these UJCs that came with a “hot” version.

  • avatar
    threeer

    My parents drove a used Lancer overseas in Germany for several years back in the early 90s…grey metallic four door, AT. Not exactly a Bahnburner, but that thing was solid. Never failed them. Maybe between that and my 1978 Plymouth Arrow is why I have a soft spot for Mitsubishi and why their current lineup just hurts to look at. I enjoy my 2004 Lancer Sportback Ralliart (just wish they had sold the wagon with a manual tranny and more than 160 HP, but…) and couldn’t see replacing it with much else in the current model selection at Mitsu…
    And dang…I’d pay triple and then some for a decent car like that to beat back and forth to work in since returning my son’s 1997 Tercel to him.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    Had a mid 80s mitsu-dodge colt with the 8 speed manual. There was a 4 speed stick and a two way sport/economy lever. Bought it for the wife so she could get her license. Moved it from Cincinnati to Minneapolis, sold it at a loss a couple of months later, and it is the car we are never to speak of. This was early nineties, the wife still has not gotten her license.

  • avatar

    Great post, Jack. And those little Mitsubishi’s were decent drivers, whether they were UJC’s or not.

  • avatar
    GeeDashOff

    My friend in highschool had the colt with 3 rows (!!). Pic here: http://www.productioncars.com/send_file.php/ad_dodge_colt_vista_sure_1985.jpg

    The best part was you could sit in the 3rd row, fold the 2nd row flat, and have a giant lazyboy style recliner. Man we got in some trouble with that car.

    • 0 avatar
      Eric

      My wife’s family had one of these 3-row Colts. They named it Beasly. They hated it. I think they replaced the carburators 3 times. But it was a very rare car back then to have 3 rows and not be a truck, so they dealt with it.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Ah the memories. As part of being a nice guy while finalizing my divorce, I went shopping for the soon to be ex- for a new car. Now, granted, she was not the ditzy, giggly type. More like cold, businesslike dyke. We settled on a Colt, I spent two days in the grinding negotiations, and settled the deal. It would be a transfer from another dealer.

    Then Sally decides she didn’t like the color. And wanted one in another shade offered at the time. Which, of course, the dealer was happy to find for her. And (as I was out of the picture at that time) negotiated back every penny (plus a few more) that I had negotiated out of him.

    Couldn’t believe it when she told me about the final delivery. And Ms. Businesslike Dyke couldn’t understand how I could justify getting the wrong color just to save a few bucks.

    I think that was the last time I helped a chick buy a car. For the next twenty years, at least. Just went through the process again with one of my cycling partners. She went chick on me, too. The car HAD to be ‘cute’ . . . . . . .

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    A lawyer where I now work, drives this car. It is even red. No signs of quitting. Over the years, we’ve discussed how one day he will have to get rid of it – but as of today – nope. It is still performing as well as anything else on the road.

  • avatar
    NN

    Back in college (turn of the millenium) my buddy, after a little too much Steel Reserve or Night Train or something, drove over a median and snapped everything that connected the wheels to his 83 Subaru wagon. He was down on cash, but eventually was able to buy this exact same Colt, but in white, for $100! 4 speed stick and grey vinyl interior, about 100k miles on it and not blowing any smoke. Drove it through the remainder of college and I think another year or two before he sold it and moved to Germany.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I was always impressed with the flush windows – those were fairly new back then – until my eyes came around to the doors, then it looked Ford Tempo-ish! Still, these “egg cars” as I used to refer to them as, never impressed me, but having never driven one, can’t really judge them. Our K-Car got impressive mileage, too, and was much more practical. More ditto for our Acclaim.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The Plymouth Colt was my very first new car. 4 speed stick (the 5 speed tranny with the fifth gear lopped off) vinyl seats, no radio, the only option was the rear defroster. I used to love chasing around real cars with it. I still regret trading it in, since the dealer basically stole it from me.

    These used to come with the 1.6L turbo motor and 135hp.

  • avatar

    My mom had a 1989 Plymouth Colt, which she bought brand new without a radio. I drove it in 1997 after I got my driver’s license. It had cheap plastics inside, but was very reliablie. The only problem we had was the A/C broke. Unfortuantely, I totaled in accident and walked away without injuries

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    By 1990 all Sentras except the E had five speeds. So the Colt seems a little off the pace even when it was new.

    • 0 avatar
      slyall

      Actually only the base Colt, of which most purchased seemed to be, had the 4 speed, the “E” model and the GT had the 5 speed as standard as well as cloth seats. In ’89 I bought an E as my first new car and later that year my father bought a GT, non turbo. A couple years later I traded mine in on a ’92 Colt GL with A/C after sweltering a few summers with the ’89.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Great story, thanks for sharing it.

    I thought that these cars were the best looking of the bunch, The proportions were right. Still looks cool to me.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Awesome story! Greg sounds entertaining. I have a relative with Aspergers so I can relate. I had a roommate back in 1998 that had an old Colt at one time. He didn’t change the oil on it, but he topped it up with the theory that eventually it would be the same as changing the oil since it burned so much of it.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    Jack I thought you hated Mitsubishis -?

    I think Mitsubishi is one of those companies that can only make good cheap cars. This one fits that description.

  • avatar
    thatguy

    Excellent read. One point – Universal Japanese Motorcycles (like the CB550) were almost exclusively air cooled.

  • avatar

    Great stuff, Jack. How’s the novel and/or screenplay coming along?

    Are any of the boxier previous generation Mirage/Colt with the turbo engine still in existence? Trying to remember if I ever drove one with Mitsubishi’s “twin stick.”

  • avatar

    I had a Plymouth Champ with the twin stick. Bought it from my now deceased brother in law. Fun car. Flaky electrical system. Trying to remember what happened to it.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Reading about the next Porsche ’911′ being available with a 7-speed manual transmission has me thinking that maybe it is time for a return of twin stick, or maybe even electricly engaged overdrive. I must admit that the new 7-speed has me excited about driving a new Porsche for the first time since the 993 was released, but I think that selectable final drive ratios might be a better solution.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I put this car in the same league as the Isuzu iMark which later became the Isuzu Impulse (which had a turbo option too) and the Geo Storm. I had two friends which owned such vehicles: one was a slacker that bought one because it was literally the cheapest thing on the lot (plain white, totally stripped, don’t even thing it had A/C), the other was a chic who thought it was “cute” (neon green color, might have had a sunroof, not sure). Both cars were really wanna be Honda Civics.

    I had an ’97 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T (the turbo), it ate the #3 cylinder twice (under warranty), spewed blue smoke and drank oil. It was only car I’ve owned that required keeping an extra quart in the hatch and eye on the oil light constantly. That 210 HP/214 TQ turbo was a blast to drive (WHOOOOSH), but boy was I glad when the lease was up because I figured it was a time bomb. Guess this was just how Mitsubishi rolled back then and explains why they are an also-ran in today’s market.

  • avatar
    honfatboy

    My first car was the Mirage version. Same faded red, same vinyl interior. It was not fun to drive at all, but it ran. It would have folded in half in an accident. If you braked hard enough, the tail would leave the rear wheels would leave the ground like a bicycle.

    Worse, it impressed nobody but the kids that didn’t have a car–none of whom were attractive girls.

  • avatar
    wiggles

    I really liked the turbo versions of these. In the late 80s, my girlfriend at the time needed a new small car after her POS Fiero 4cyl finally crapped out. She wanted Japanese car but with some power, unlike the Fiero (worst car I’ve ever drove). So we found a 1984 Dodge Colt GTS Turbo (black with gold trim) with 26k miles with the twin stick. We removed the gold trim and it was just all black. Tinted the windows and put on black 15″ Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo wheels which were larger than the 14″ stock ones.
    This car went like stink. It ate VW Gti’s all the time. It had very little turbo lag, especially if you were in the power mode instead of economy mode of the twin stick. It was dead reliable and didn’t burn any oil. At 105k we broke up but the car didn’t.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The summer of 1989 I was in college and working at a car dealership. We had a row of Plymouth/Dodge Colts like the one you describe, except ours had A/C and almost all of them were white. I think there was one black one, but black wasn’t a popular color at the time. Come to think of it, people really needed to be convinced they wanted a white car too. We had so many Colts in stock that some of them had birthdays and needed to be given their second annual state inspection before they could be sold. They cost seven grand, and yet nobody wanted them. Our used cars were garbage, but most customers wanted a ‘prestige’ money pit instead of a poverty hatchback. I liked the Colts, and felt better about selling one of them than a creaky Maxima. They had the worst brakes of any new car I’ve ever driven though, and they also had evil automatic seatbelts. Still better than anything Mitsubishi has sold in over a decade though.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I had a college buddy who bought one of those white ones, and he loved it. I still remember his description: “32 mpg, and it’s almost a sports car.” I don’t think it was terribly long-lived, though.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        They were really light, and were certainly capable of outperforming MGs and Triumphs that were still common at the time. I just remember locking up the rear brakes and skidding to stop lights like a kid on a BMX bike as a result of using the same braking points that caused zero drama in my…Ford Festiva. Maybe a couple back seat passengers and a trunk load of gravel would have compensated for the apparent lack of front brake bias.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Ah yes, the few hundred bucks beater. It’s amazing how a car can actually keep running (albeit not perfectly) with so little outlay. My friend used to have an Audi 4000 he bought for $100. Had no grille, two big rectangular headlights vs the original 4 smaller headlights (I guess it’s from a Jetta, but who knows?), hood secured with wires, and trunk secured with a bicycle lock. He went everywhere with it, and it lasted quite a while until his parents finally grant him his request for a new wheel.

    With even affordable cars so sophisticated these days, though, I wonder what would replace these kind of cars for the next generation?

  • avatar
    IronEagle

    I love these cars. My best friend in high school had an 85 Colt. We couldn’t kill the thing. Hit traffic barrels, sliding down dirt roads and revving to redline in neutral. No luck.

    The 2.0 4g63 engine from the Eclipse/Talon/Laser is almost a direct bolt in. There is a guy in Atlanta that did some work on my 95 Talon TSi that has a silver original Colt GT with the 4g63 and all wheel drive swap. His best quarter mile so far on street tires is a 10.2! He has less than 4 grand in the car! A true pocket rocket sleeper if you can find one with the swaps already.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    Jack – James Mackintosh (from facebook) here. The FB login on TTAC isn’t working through Chrome, again.

    ANYWAY, your experiences with your pal Greg pretty closely mirror some of mine. For about a year I made the mistake of moving in with a friend of mine (who had like stage a million Asperger’s) and his girlfriend (who was surprisingly well-grounded, if a bit of a bitch.)

    Your description of Greg is utterly spot on, so much so the similarities between him and my former friend are creepy. He had a 6-disc RAID array server IN HIS CLOSET. Our monthly electric bill was absolutely horrendous (for a number of reasons, mainly the 3.1 TB RAID ARRAY IN THE CLOSET.) He owned his own web-hosting service that made MORE than enough money to cover rent, electric bill, water bill, and food for 3 people on a 1,200sq ft apartment. He also had an 80K+ per year job at IBM as a contractor, and another side business designing websites. Dude was rolling in dollars, but was ALWAYS BROKE. Always.

    I suppose one factor was his severe, half-ounce-a-week marijuana addiction. He couldn’t function if he wasn’t high. Opposite of normal people. Alarming amounts consumed; the apartment always smelled like high quality ganja.

    He was one of the most brilliant people I ever had the honor of sharing company with; he could write linux code in his sleep with one hand, fix any technical problem imaginable without any visible mental strain, he was brilliant. But his (their) room was also about knee-deep in unfolded clothes, pizza boxes, mountain dew bottles, etc.

    He went through a series of cars as well, but in a different manner.

    -2001 Jetta 1.8T Wolfsburg, stage 1: totalled like a boss, 80 mph during a rare NC snow storm on the highway, though he was invincible.
    -2005 Jetta TDI, got bored so he bought…
    -2006 Jetta TDI DSG! Which he used to rear end a Cadillac Escalade while high out of his mind on cold medicine. It turned out the Escalade was operated by a DEA agent. DUI there.
    -2007 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro 6A: Unitronic Stage 1, sweet car, this was what he had when I lived with him. It was always well-kept mechanically but there was so much SHIT in it there was never a place to put your feet, stupid stuff broken like the cigarette lighter got jammed in it’s socket, wouldn’t come out, popped the fuse – he just left it there. He totalled it making a 90 degree left turn at WOT in the rain, thinking Quattro = invincible, understeered and hopped a curb, slammed into a tree.

    I got tired of fighting with him over the hotel in his foot (he was batshit) and after one fight, I packed my shit and left. I would’ve remained friends with him if he’d ever had the brain to just send me a text saying “sorry” but he basically harassed me “incognito” for a year, I finally showed up to his residence and told him in no uncertain terms that reciprocal actions would follow if he didn’t leave me alone. Classic asperger’s – idiot savant. It’s a shame.

    anyway I know this has nothing to do with the Colt, but the similarity was ALARMING. Man he was an asshole.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    A 1983 Colt was my wife’s first new car. A 4 door with the twin stick 4 speed (8 speed, actually) and A/C. She drove it until she bought a new 88 Accord, a much nicer car. She sold the Colt to her brother, who kept it as a second car. My wife and I got married in 1990, and I had a 66 Plymouth Fury III with only 60K miles but no a/c. I sold the Fury and bought the Colt from my brother in law. I drove it for about a year until someone pulled out in front of me and smashed it to smithereens.
    I acrually loved that car for zipping around town. It was all doors from the side. The only service problem I had was when the piece that holds the gearshift into the floor broke, and the shift lever kept trying to head for the road. Otherwise, the car was virtually perfect.

    • 0 avatar
      slyall

      Ha must have been a common problem with Colts of that era, my sister had a ’85 which the shifter recessed into the floor and you had to pull up on it when changing gears.

  • avatar

    A Colt GT with the 4g61t will happily accept a 4g63T swap without too much trouble. Please have your organ donor card filled out.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    Bought a new ’91 Colt (same base model, but in blue) for $5995 for my work commute car. Great car…put 235K miles on it and gave it to my oldest son for his first car. That car would run all day at 90mph, as my frequent trips from NorCal to SoCal and back would attest.

  • avatar
    Misterlister

    Just after High School, back in ’96 or so, my girlfriend’s brother bought a Dodge Colt from a friend. After it dying on the freeway a few days later, the brother sold it to a friend for a similar price, $250 as I recall. The next morning, as the friend was warming it up for work, and walking back to the car with his coffee, he was shocked to see the car engulfed in flames, and the paint on his truck, which had been parked next to the Colt was burned off by the time he could get the keys and start it up and move it away.

    The Colt on the other hand, didn’t escape relatively unscathed. It burned in the driveway until the tires exploded.

    Good times, and I’ll never look at one the same again, nor will I ride in one!

  • avatar
    hitman1970

    I bought a former rental 1990 Mitsubishi Mirage while stationed at Fort Hood, TX in 1991. Gave it to my brother seven years later before moving to Germany. As of 2004 he still had it. It was a decent car but went through two front axles under the triple diamond warranty package I bought, Thank God, before 40,000 miles. After that it was tires and oil until I got rid of it. Mine had an auto-transmission and a/c. Silver with blue/grey interior.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    While the Cyclone engine in these w3as one of Mitsis best the car was crap with rubbish handling and with auto abysmal gas milage. A truly horrible car at speed very unstable Hyundai built Excels using this car as a base theyt wre junk new

  • avatar
    Albino Digits

    My friend had the most amazing Plymouth Colt Vista when we were in high school. It had a hole in the passenger side footwell covered by a stop sign, the color was champagne, and it could seat six relatively comfortably.

  • avatar
    Rizo

    Ah the memories of my first car.

    In 1998 I was a university student and needed a car to get to school. Newer Honda Civic and Toyota Corollas were way too expensive. I got a 3 speed auto, 1991 baby blue Dodge Colt with 70000km on it for $4000 CDN. The only sign of wear and tare was the driver’s seat. Everything else was absolutely brand new.

    Yes, the car was light and fast (being my first car). MPG was amazing. Loved the hatchback.

    Commute to university was 85km/day (through the city) and the car was trouble free for a year. Then my friends tried to teach me how to do a 180 with the hand brake to park it. Hit the curb with 4 guys in it, bent the wheel and popped the tire. Replaced all for $50. The front suspension was out of alignment forever.

    Then one night, on the way to school, after a long work day, I think I fell asleep behind the wheel and when I woke up, I was way too close to the 4Runner in front of me (even though I swear I saw it stopped at the red light). Hit the brakes, but nothing happened. Damage to the 4Runner: a scratch. Damage to the Colt: $2500. $500 per head light. Every single other Colt I saw in every junkyard was destroyed at the front. So had to order brand new lights and wait 2 weeks for delivery. That hurt.

    Despite the repairs, the car never looked the same. Brakes had serious issues. Always overheated and I had to step on them with both feet to make the car stop (especially after a long trip)

    Anyways, on the way to my first date with this chick at the university and I’m on the right lane. Left lane is not moving due to somebody ahead making a left turn. Suddenly, a Toyota Paseo pulls out next to me. Hits me (or I hit her) and I hit the curb, jump it and end up in the sidewalk. Front wheel is destroyed. I still make it to the date (steering wobbles), spent the night with the girl, marry her and have children with her.

    The Colt? Ride off. The insurance company gives me $4000 to replace it. I buy a 1991 Ford Escort (4 door hatch) overnight (did I mention the 85km commute to school?).

    I still miss kind of the Colt and I still drive a hatchback (Mazda3).

  • avatar
    geo

    I loved the styling of these hatchbacks when they came out. I was enamoured with the clean lines and front-end treatment.

    Maybe if Mitsu had stayed the course, the Colt could have eventually out-Civiced the Civic.


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