By on April 5, 2012

OK, so I’ve got a silly obsession with the Mitsubishi Cordia. I was only vaguely aware of the Cordia/Tredia back in the 1980s, but since then it has come to symbolize crazy pre-Boredom Era Japanese automotive design plus drive home the point that not all Japanese cars were more reliable than Detroit products back then. So, my heart leaps when I see a Cordia, be it on the street, on the race track… or awaiting a one-way trip to a Chinese steel factory. Here’s a non-turbo Cordia I found in Northern California last month.
According to the odometer, this car has fewer than 30,000 miles under its belt. Huh?
Cordias were never known for racking up Corolla-like lifetime mileage figures, but the completely worn-out interior suggests that the odo broke early on in the car’s career. That, or someone lived in it for a decade or so.
The naturally aspirated Cordia came equipped with an 88-horsepower, 2-liter four. The base model scaled in at a featherweight 2,101 pounds (just 79 pounds heavier than the same-year Chevette, which boasted a mighty 65 horses on gasoline… and 51 with the diesel engine). So, Cordia drivers could feel confident that their futuristic-looking Mitsus could eat up a new Chevette in a drag race!
One of these days I’m going to find a junked Tredia. There must be a few left!


Until that time, let’s contemplate the incomprehensible Japanese-ness of this Cordia ad.

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17 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia...”


  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    Very cool, love these cars and their so very 80′s design paradigms.

    I had to look at the date, yes, April 5, 2012 but it seems you did a version of this fine a couple of months ago, along with the Tredia or am I imagining things? I know you found a very cool Mitsu with the digital dash and got that beauty to light up and hang in your office.

    One thing I’ve noticed about most of these finds is seeing the paint that’s behind the license plates shows without a doubt just how much the paint has faded, in some cases significantly enough that upon first glance, it’s silver when it was really gray, like on this example here.

  • avatar
    mechimike

    Don’t ya think it’s kinda Sportia?

  • avatar
    righteousball

    Woah, the ad says the song used is “Cordia’s Theme” by Randy Crawford.

    Actual title: My Baby And Me(COR-DI-A) – you can find it on youtube…

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    Based on the amount of brake pedal and clutch pedal wear this car probably went a lot further than 30,000 miles. Or, the driver of this car was always on the clutch and brake which might explain the low miles. Weren’t these based on Colt/Mirage mechanicals? Nearly indestructible. Body sure looks great.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “plus drive home the point that not all Japanese cars were more reliable than Detroit products back then.”

    Absolutely true. I had a 1985 Montero with the I4 engine and 5 speed manual tranny. Most unreliable vehicle I’ve owned in 34 years of vehicle ownership.

  • avatar
    Skink

    After Tredia and Cordia, some were waiting for a Beadia.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    too low miles for it to be junked, was not treated with TLC most likely

  • avatar
    arbnpx

    Haha, the title at 25 seconds is “shin jidai no supesu-kupe!”, or loosely Google-assisted translated, “A new era of space coupe!” There are some Cordia ad posters floating around with the phrase “Space Coupe”, which is either a nod to the spacious rear seats, or the starfighter-esque instrument cluster.

    • 0 avatar
      righteousball

      This ad started me on a YouTube JDM ad marathon last night…I must like torturing myself with really bad Japanese catchphrases. I think the Tredia ad was like (I paraphrase) “it wears like a blazer” o.O

      I developed my car enthusiasm solely on Japanese reading material, and it’s endlessly amusing to see the other side of the coin on a site like TTAC. Grandiose all you want, once you hit the US everyone sees it’s really just average with pathetic build quality. :D

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    From the looks of it, there must not be a lot of demand for parts for these cars, this one looks to be complete, and not missing any parts.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    Always thought back in the day these had some of the lamest styling of Japanese coupes , particularly the circular front wheel wells contrasting with the square rear wheel wells . As has been pointed out here before , many Mitsus were bought new by people with crappy credit who couldn’t get financing for a better new car .

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Back in ’84, the Colt Turbo was scary fast. I never got the chance to drive one, as the first unit was pre-sold, and the 19 yr. old customer went ass over teakettle into the trees across the street. The shell-shocked look on his face told me everything I wanted to know.I assume the Cordia/Tredia turbos were equally capable. Remember, this was the early days of the onset of the horsepower surge, after 14 yrs. of 140 hp. V-8′s.Amazing we survived – especially without a soft-touch piece of plastic in sight.

  • avatar
    cfclark

    Wait, did Murilee coin a new autohistorical era? I don’t think I’ve seen “Boredom Era” used before, although it certainly fits our current age.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Mitsus did not last, period. My 81 Champ’s motor was toast at 95K, after nearly replacing all the major parts, including clutch, by 1988.

    No wonder they are fading away.

  • avatar
    jcisne

    Jackie Chan in The Cannonball Run. That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this car. But after a Google search I see that his car was a Starion, not a Cordia.


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