The Truth About Cars » Dodge Colt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 05 Aug 2014 21:18:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Dodge Colt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1981 Dodge Colt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/junkyard-find-1981-dodge-colt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/junkyard-find-1981-dodge-colt/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 13:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=854209 By the final years of the Malaise Era, Chrysler had their econobox needs covered on the one hand by much-modified rebadged Simcas, and on the other by not-at-all-modified rebadged Mitsubishis. These cars were no worse than their Ford and GM competitors (which isn’t saying much), but the inherent cheapness of the 4th-gen Mitsubishi-built Colt meant […]

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08 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBy the final years of the Malaise Era, Chrysler had their econobox needs covered on the one hand by much-modified rebadged Simcas, and on the other by not-at-all-modified rebadged Mitsubishis. These cars were no worse than their Ford and GM competitors (which isn’t saying much), but the inherent cheapness of the 4th-gen Mitsubishi-built Colt meant that most of them weren’t worth fixing after about 1992, and these cars are rare indeed nowadays. In this series, we’d seen just one example of this generation of Colt/Mirage/Champ prior to today’s find.
05 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one was parked illegally in Hayward, California, and the owner couldn’t or wouldn’t rescue it before the tow-truck man came to take it on its last ride.
09 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBy any sort of 21st-century standards, these cars sucked. They were noisy, rattly, slow, and broke down a lot. However, we are now living in the Golden Age of Miserable Little Econoboxes, where even the diminished-expectations Versa and Spark are perfectly pleasant transportation applicances, and so it just isn’t fair to apply 21st-century standards to the ’81 Colt.
01 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJust imagine you’re listening to Debbie Harry “rap” about Fab Five Freddy on the AM radio and getting 40 mpg in the grim years after the Ayatollah jacked up gas prices and this car makes more sense.
11 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNot much attempt was made to obscure the Japanese origins of this car, though the same could not be said of the French origins of the Omni/Horizon.

Perhaps Chrysler should have gone with the Japan-market ads for this car.

Imported for Dodge!

01 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1981 Dodge Colt Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Plymouth Colt Premier Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1988-plymouth-colt-premier-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1988-plymouth-colt-premier-sedan/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2013 14:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=670658 We see the occasional Colt hatchback in this series— say, this ’84 Plymouth Colt Turbo or this ’88 Dodge Colt hatchback— but the Colt sedan is stop-the-presses rare by Junkyard Find standards. Chrysler called this car the Premier, and it’s full of unusual-for-a-badge-engineered-econobox options. Of course, we can’t talk about the Colt without watching this […]

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16 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinWe see the occasional Colt hatchback in this series— say, this ’84 Plymouth Colt Turbo or this ’88 Dodge Colt hatchback— but the Colt sedan is stop-the-presses rare by Junkyard Find standards. Chrysler called this car the Premier, and it’s full of unusual-for-a-badge-engineered-econobox options.

Of course, we can’t talk about the Colt without watching this Redd Foxx Colt .45 ad, featuring a much earlier version of the car.
04 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinJust over 155,000 miles on the clock.
10 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThis seat seems to have manual adjustment controls, so what’s the joystick for?
06 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinNine-band equalizers were considered essential to a quality cassette experience in the late 1980s.
01 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinPremier!

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Junkyard Find: 1991 Dodge Colt Vista 4WD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/junkyard-find-1991-dodge-colt-vista-4wd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/junkyard-find-1991-dodge-colt-vista-4wd/#comments Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=486040 Unless there’s a super-rare find that requires immediate action or it’s half-price day, I usually avoid hitting Denver junkyards when it’s snowing and/or below freezing out. Thanks to the magic of high altitude, it feels more like December than late April here… but checking the online inventory at my local self-service yard revealed a potential […]

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Unless there’s a super-rare find that requires immediate action or it’s half-price day, I usually avoid hitting Denver junkyards when it’s snowing and/or below freezing out. Thanks to the magic of high altitude, it feels more like December than late April here… but checking the online inventory at my local self-service yard revealed a potential engine-donor for my ’41 Plymouth project. Disregard the snow, pack up the tools!
The ’41 Plymouth is a bare frame with Lexus SC400 subframes mocked up on it at the moment, and I’ve decided to go with the Vortec 4200 six as its powerplant. I’ll be buying a complete donor vehicle, preferably a 2006 or newer Trailblazer/Envoy/Rainier/97-X/Ascender, but having an engine that I can strip down to a bare block for chassis-fit purposes would be a big plus. Sadly, the ’02 Trailblazer I found in the online inventory turned out to be picked completely clean of anything I might want.
With so much snow on the cars, I didn’t see many photographic opportunities. However, a Mitsubishi Chariot aka Dodge Colt Vista 4WD looks best when covered with the white stuff.
Chrysler used the Colt name for quite a few members of the Mitsubishi family over the decades, and it will always be a disappointment that they didn’t call this car the name they used for the Chariot in Europe: Space Wagon. Space Wagon!
213,000 miles isn’t too bad for a Mitsubishi of this era.
Supposedly there’s a 98-horse 4G63 engine in there.

It appears that Japanese-market Chariots of this generation had some sort of weird marketing arrangement with Disney. C-H-A-R-I-O-T!

For added incomprehensibility, here’s the European Space Wagon Trance Remix.

Calling it the Colt Vista led to boring North American ads.

02 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1991 Dodge Colt Vista Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1989 Dodge Colt DL 4WD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1989-dodge-colt-dl-4wd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1989-dodge-colt-dl-4wd/#comments Sun, 18 Nov 2012 14:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=467297 Denver junkyards don’t have quite as many W126 Mercedes-Benzes or 1960s Detroit classics as the ones I grew up exploring in California, but they do have examples of just about every four-wheel-drive Japanese car made during the 1980s. Four-wheel-drive Toyotas, Subarus, and Civics are all represented, though I’m still trying to find a 4WD 80s […]

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Denver junkyards don’t have quite as many W126 Mercedes-Benzes or 1960s Detroit classics as the ones I grew up exploring in California, but they do have examples of just about every four-wheel-drive Japanese car made during the 1980s. Four-wheel-drive Toyotas, Subarus, and Civics are all represented, though I’m still trying to find a 4WD 80s Sentra. But hey, now I can check Mitsubishi off the list of Weird Japanese 4WD 1980s Cars I’ve Seen In The Junkyard, because here’s this Colt!
With “Full Time 4WD,” you didn’t have to work any complicated levers or switches to choose between front- and all-wheel-drive; instead, this car would waste fuel, make extra noise, and wear out driveline components even when driving on dry pavement in June.
Imported For Dodge!
236,581 miles was a lot more than most Mitsubishi products of this era managed. Well done, little Colt 4WD!

22 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Dodge Colt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1988-dodge-colt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1988-dodge-colt/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2012 14:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=431757 This ’84 Plymouth Colt Turbo caught my junkyard weather eye instantly, because early-to-mid-80s turbo econoboxes are always interesting. Then I realized that you hardly ever see regular fifth-gen Colts, on the street or in the junkyard these days, though they were once among the most commonplace subcompacts on American roads. After that, I kept my […]

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This ’84 Plymouth Colt Turbo caught my junkyard weather eye instantly, because early-to-mid-80s turbo econoboxes are always interesting. Then I realized that you hardly ever see regular fifth-gen Colts, on the street or in the junkyard these days, though they were once among the most commonplace subcompacts on American roads. After that, I kept my eyes open for Crusher-bound naturally-aspirated 1984-88 Colts, finally spotting this one.
One glance inside tells you: this is a 1980s Mitsubishi! Perhaps not as wild as the Cordia, but only Subaru went crazier with the Mars Base-style controls.
The cheapest Colt in ’88 listed at $5,899, which was just around a C-note more costly than the (smaller and more miserable) Chevy Sprint and (possibly even more miserable) Subaru Justy. The base Civic— which was a spartan zero-amenities model— listed at $6,095.
The previous owner listened to “Corridos Cabrones,” apparently the Mexican-cowboy counterpart to N.W.A., in the Colt.
Nobody is going to mourn the demise of another forgotten badge-engineered econobox, but it’s interesting to reflect on the once-ubiquitious cars that are no more.

16 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 01 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 02 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 03 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 04 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 05 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 06 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 07 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 08 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 09 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 10 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 11 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 12 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 13 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 14 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden 15 - 1988 Dodge Colt Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Badge Engineering' Greden colt colt Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1972 Dodge Colt Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1972-dodge-colt-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1972-dodge-colt-wagon/#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2011 14:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=421969 Some cars that show up in junkyards were moving under their own power just days before their final tow-truck ride… and others spent decades in a field somewhere, waiting for the price of scrap steel to make hauling-away worthwhile. This Colt, which I found close to the ’83 Cordia in a California self-serve yard, is […]

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Some cars that show up in junkyards were moving under their own power just days before their final tow-truck ride… and others spent decades in a field somewhere, waiting for the price of scrap steel to make hauling-away worthwhile. This Colt, which I found close to the ’83 Cordia in a California self-serve yard, is the latter type.
Lichens growing on the weatherstripping tell a story of long-term abandonment.
25-year-old newspapers in the back offer more clues.
There really isn’t much worth salvaging on this old Mitsubishi, but I can’t resist breaking out the camera when I find a car this weathered.

DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-19 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-01 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-02 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-03 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-04 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-05 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-06 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-07 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-08 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-09 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-10 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-11 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-12 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-13 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-14 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-15 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-16 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-17 DOTJ-72DodgeColtWagon-18

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Plymouth Colt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1986-plymouth-colt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1986-plymouth-colt/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2011 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=406236 Chrysler spent a couple of decades selling Mitsubishis and Simcas with Dodge and Plymouth badges in North America, and the Mitsubishi Galant/Lancer-based Colt line went through the most twists and turns. At first, Plymouth-branded Colts were sold as Champs, but by the mid-1980s both the Dodge and Plymouth versions were called Colts. The difference? Damn […]

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Chrysler spent a couple of decades selling Mitsubishis and Simcas with Dodge and Plymouth badges in North America, and the Mitsubishi Galant/Lancer-based Colt line went through the most twists and turns. At first, Plymouth-branded Colts were sold as Champs, but by the mid-1980s both the Dodge and Plymouth versions were called Colts. The difference? Damn if I can find one that goes deeper than emblems.

Imported for Plymouth! This generation of Colt has become quite rare on the street, though they seemed as common as Corollas and Civics when new.

While Japanese econoboxes of the 1980s were mostly pretty miserable machines, I do sometimes miss their weird, vaguely science-fiction-ish interiors. And remember when cars had interior space not completely used up by cockpit-style consoles and cup holders?

This is the bread-and-butter, non-turbo, non-Twin-Stick Colt, complete with 4G15 Orion engine. The Colt of this era wasn’t much known for reliability, but it was cheap and sipped gas. The entry-level Colt E two-door hatch listed at $5,372, or about 300 bucks cheaper than a new Chevette. The ’86 Subaru STD (yes, there was a car called the STD) could be purchased for $4,989, and the bottom-of-the-barrel ’86 Excel went for $4,995. The Colt was a far superior vehicle to the Chevette, STD, and Excel, and so was a pretty good deal at the time (though the much better Civic two-door hatch was just a C-note more expensive).

And now almost all of them are gone. I’d like to think that a few Colts of this vintage will stay with us, though I’m certainly not willing to rescue one myself.

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