By on October 16, 2011

Back when I created the Nice Price or Crack Pipe series for Jalopnik, my favorite subjects were super-original cars that most people don’t even remember having existed; the point was to present the readers with a dilemma. Señor Emslie aka Graverobber has done a fine job carrying the NPOCP torch, but I’ve decided to keep this most agonizing of all low-mile dilemmas for my own use: an 18,630-mile Mitsubishi Cordia L.
I’ve lately become fascinated by the Cordia (and its sedan sibling, the Tredia). From the standpoint of the automotive historian, the first generation of non-Chrysler-badged Mitsubishi cars in North America is of some interest, particularly when considering that the only triple-diamond-badged car of the mid-80s that anybody recalls today is the flaky-yet-gorgeous Starion. Very few Cordias were sold in the United States, and those that developed costly problems (i.e., damn near every one) weren’t valuable enough to be worth saving; I haven’t seen one on the street for a decade, and even junked examples are about as commonplace as Aston Martin Lagondas. So here’s this showroom-condition ’85 in Florida for a mere— or is it an exorbitant?— four grand. An ’85 Celica or Maxima with this few miles on the clock and a mid-roller price tag would have dudes cold blasting each other with TEC-9s (remember, are talking about Florida here) to be the first in line to buy the thing, but a Cordia? Bundle it with a low-mile I-Mark for six grand and I’ll be on the next flight to Miami!

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43 Comments on “Future Classic or Crusher Food? Low-Mile Mitsubishi Cordia For $4K...”


  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Mitsu produced the Cordia and the Tredia. Where were the Beadia and the Rimia, enquiring minds want to know?

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Well, Murilee, it makes more sense than the Russian cars you want. At least the Mitsubishi was sold in the U.S. I’m wondering about the types of engine swaps that could be done if everything goes to heck. You’d likey want to keep it Mitsubishi but I don’t know which Mitsu engines would work for a swap into a RWD chassis like that.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    Ahh, good old Cordial. Sportia! Roomia!

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Ah yes, the Cordia: the reason I will never own a Mitsubishi automobile.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Crusher Food. It’d have to be a Turbo 5-speed with alloy wheels and power everything (if such a model existed) to even think about it. Add to that the obsolescence of parts like door handles, switches involing windows, ignition, turnsignals or wipers and not to mention all the seals in the engine and trans are old and brittle. Forget about having functioning AC and yeah I’d deal with those things for an original low mi IROC or SVO but for this, no thanks! ‘Course those would be more than twice the price but still.

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    CRACK PIPE….BIIIIGGG crack pipe

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I actually remember exactly what it was like to drive these cars, even though I only did it a few time. The automatic is absolutely a deal killer. There just wasn’t enough torque for a slush box, even one that shifts like a kick in the kidneys. That being said, I really dig the Recaro knock-off seats. They’re very 1979 though.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @CJ: It’s funny you should mention knock off Recaros. I had the real things in my Mercury Capri Turbo. What I remember now is that they were rock hard compared to anything else I’d ever had. Even then when I was 70 lbs lighter, they squeezed my buns like a drunken sorority girl.

      My Dodge Lancer Turbo had some very Recaro-like seats. IIRC, they were either built by Mitsubishi or their supplier, but they were Japanese sourced for sure. They held up very well over 11 years and 160+K miles. And they seemed to fit my butt for the whole time I owned the car.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I remember the early Fox Recaros. They were exactly what I was thinking of. My dad had an ’85 Lancer ES Turbo with seats that looked like aggressive sports seats, but they were actually softer and less supportive under lateral G loads than many bolstered bucket seats. They were very comfortable, but their bolsters didn’t have much structure under the foam.

  • avatar
    Marko

    That has to be the most generic car ever.

    I don’t know who would buy it. Perhaps a bank robber? It would make the perfect getaway car, since nobody would be able to identify it…

  • avatar
    turbobrick

    I will say that this era was the high water mark for Mitsubishi design. The sharp lines made the cars look more expensive and upscale than they were.

    I know used car value are high, but $4000 for this?? I’m going to quit my day job and become a high-rolling automotive writer ;)

  • avatar
    chevysrock39

    My mother bought a brand new 1984 Tredia LS, it was the first car she bought new and it was actually the car she had when my parents got married. She remembers it fondly, my father, not so much. To this day I have never seen one, and the way he describes it that’s a good thing. To this day he refuses to buy anything Mitsubishi related simply because of that car.

    • 0 avatar
      zbnutcase

      I will never buy a Mitsu simply because of the Zero…those who forget history are bound to repeat it. I however, will take two low mileage I-Marks, and an Impulse Turbo

  • avatar

    Give it another 20 years and someone will want to collect it.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    That is a great find. Not far from my last home there was a guy who owned a 1983 Cordia that had been converted to electric drive. He also had a first generation VW Rabbit converted to electric power.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8490341@N04/5272166019/

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    Don’t know about the car, but I would never buy anything that had been parked on grass for any amount of time.

  • avatar

    See if you can talk him down to 2500, then drive it happily until something no longer replaceable breaks, and then simply move on. With any luck, you’d get a couple years of “What the hell is THAT?” out of people.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    “So here’s this showroom-condition ’85 in Florida for a mere— or is it an exorbitant?— four grand.”

    Let’s see. 700 miles a year. Potential rust and ‘storm’ issues. Parts that are easy to find at a junkyard as a Ford Tempo Diesel.

    Half that price would be a kind offer.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    If Mitsubishi had a future they could buy this for their museum.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    Mitsubishi sawed the Tredia in half widened it mounted a Astron and called it the Magna it was crap Lido called it the K car.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Sad that this was an evolutionary step from my much-loved Arrow…at least the Arrow (especially in 1979 true “Fire Arrow” guise had attitude and personality). This? Not so much. I did like the Starion much better…

  • avatar
    Dynasty

    Reminds me of a watered down Delorean.

  • avatar
    SuperACG

    Gorgeous Starion? Well, it was designed by the same studio who did the DeLorean…and the Scirocco, even the Isuzu Impulse. Funny how all the lines seem to be very similar on those cars…but the Cordia? Looks like a “poor man’s” version…and yes I drove one when I worked at the car wash in high school…the owner even said it was a P.O.S..

  • avatar
    TheHammer

    It might be worth $500

  • avatar
    LTDScott

    It’s funny, over the weekend, Hooniverse featured several early Korean cars sold in the US. This got me in a loop of Wikipedia entries for old Korean cars I had not heard of (now I want a Daewoo Imperial for unknown reasons).

    Reading Hyundai’s story, it seems that Mitsubishi’s assistance is what transformed their cars from horrible to acceptable, and that’s when Hyundai started their exports to the US and other countries. I found that pretty funny as Hyundai (and Kia) are both doing great here with cars that are receiving many accolades and selling well, whereas Mitsubishi is…. not. The student has become the master!

  • avatar
    Speedygreg7

    Hey that is my uncle’s car. Garage kept its entire life. I remember when he bought it, he was looking at the Celica and 2 door 626 as well. Too bad he didn’t choose one of those cars instead as he would have a desirable classic.

  • avatar

    I just bought an 87 Corida Turbo 5 speed – We’re going to Lemonize it and race it in North Carolina in March 2012.


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