The Truth About Cars » Mitsubishi Cordia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 12 Apr 2014 13:30:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 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 » Mitsubishi Cordia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1984-mitsubishi-cordia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1984-mitsubishi-cordia/#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2012 13:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=438415 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.

21 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 16 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 17 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 18 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 19 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 20 - 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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When I Build My Spaceship, It Will Be Equipped With This Mitsubishi Cordia Instrument Cluster http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/when-i-build-my-spaceship-it-will-be-equipped-with-this-mitsubishi-cordia-instrument-cluster/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/when-i-build-my-spaceship-it-will-be-equipped-with-this-mitsubishi-cordia-instrument-cluster/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 18:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=424093 After seeing the intensely early-1980s-Japan instrument cluster in this ’83 Cordia in a Northern California wrecking yard a few weeks back, it gnawed at me that I hadn’t brought the tools to pull the thing on the spot. I kept thinking about the amazing big-nosed climate-control humanoid diagram, and the even-better-than-the-280ZX-Turbo “bar graph” tachometer.
Finally, I broke down and called a member of the LeMons Mafia who lives near the junkyard in question: “Please go and grab that Cordia cluster for me!”
Shawn, who races the fast-but-fragile Bunny With a Pancake On Its Head VW Rabbit in West Coast LeMons events, did the parts pulling for my Junkyard Nightmare Build Quality Challenge: Speedometers piece last year, so I knew he was the right guy to yank and ship my much-dreamed-about Cordia cluster.
A couple days back, a big box shows up on my front porch. I’m really impressed by the component quality and workmanship on this unit; it’s obvious that Mitsubishi’s consumer-electronics experience helped them a lot here. The only clusters of this vintage I’ve seen that look more solidly built come out of W126 Benzes.
Yes, the rest of the Cordia fell apart in a hurry, but I’m sure Honda and Toyota engineers were a bit envious of the car’s instrument cluster.
Even though it has a digital speedometer, the Cordia still used an old-fashioned speedometer cable to provide the speed signal to the cluster’s brain, rather than a solid-state sender at the transmission. This allowed Mitsubishi to use a mechanical odometer and trip counter, in addition to avoidance of designing too many new electronic components.
With all the analog processing and whatever else goes on inside the Cordia cluster’s black box, Mitsubishi decided to punch these snazzy louvers in the cover over the nerve center.
Did the JDM version of this climate-control diagram feature such a big nose, or is that just for us gaijin?
From a user-interface standpoint, only the locations of the “door open” indicators on the car-shaped diagram make any sense; the designers apparently thought “let’s pack the little car picture with all the idiot lights, so they don’t clutter up the Big Nose Climate Control Man’s area.”
I try my best to avoid being a crazy car-parts hoarder, especially with pointless stuff like instrument clusters. I’ve already got this 1961 Citroën ID19 cluster, pulled from this car a few years back. I’ve got several silly junkyard-parts-based projects in the works, inspired by the happiness my Junkyard Boogaloo Boombox brings me in the garage. There’s the big box with 50 car clocks, and another box with several hundred “Fasten Seat Belt” warning lights, and yet another full of car horns. Someday, these ambitious projects will join the Junkyard Boogaloo…
As for the Cordia and ID19 clusters, my plan is to frame them and hang them on the wall of my office, wired up so that the lights and gauges function. The Citroën cluster will be pretty simple, with just a clock and some lights to wire up (I’ll leave the speedo at zero, since a motor to move the needle would make irritating noise), but the Cordia unit is going to be a greater challenge.
I’ve bought the Cordia factory shop manual on eBay, which will give me the wiring diagram for the dash harness. Armed with that information, I should be able to get all the idiot lights and— probably— the Big Nose Climate Control icons to work. What I’d really like to do is get the tach and speedo cycling through their paces, and for that I’d need to spoof their inputs using simple digital electronics. I’ve always wanted to mess around with the Arduino microcontroller, and now I have an excuse!

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Junkyard Find: 1983 Mitsubishi Cordia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1983-mitsubishi-cordia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1983-mitsubishi-cordia/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 14:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=421661 Since December 7 always reminds me of the only Mitsubishi vehicle with a strong reputation for reliability, let’s look at this Late Malaise Era Mitsu I found in a California self-service wrecking yard a few weeks back.
I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with the Cordia/Tredia recently (though the Hyundai Scoupe may have taken its place in my heart). The Cordia was part of Mitsubishi’s big move to sell cars under its own marque, rather than as badge-engineered Dodges and Plymouths, and it wasn’t exactly a success.
You have to love the Cordia’s crazy, near-incomprehensible electronic dashboard.
Why did Japanese automakers abandon the spaceship-style interiors of the early 1980s? They had character!
The 116-horsepower turbocharged engine wasn’t available for the ’83 model Cordia, so this car had only 82 horses. Since this car only weighed 2,101 pounds, it wasn’t quite as slow as the power numbers would suggest… but it was still pretty slow.
I keep thinking I’ll never see another Cordia again, but they keep trickling into the wrecking yards.

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Future Classic or Crusher Food? Low-Mile Mitsubishi Cordia For $4K http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/future-classic-or-crusher-food-low-mile-mitsubishi-cordia-for-4k/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/future-classic-or-crusher-food-low-mile-mitsubishi-cordia-for-4k/#comments Sun, 16 Oct 2011 17:54:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=414942 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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Junkyard Find: What The Hell Is a Cordia Turbo? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/junkyard-find-what-the-hell-is-a-cordia-turbo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/junkyard-find-what-the-hell-is-a-cordia-turbo/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2011 13:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=387204
We all remember the Starion, with its TURBO badging on everything from the seat belts to the door handles, but who among us can recall ever having seen the other 80s hot-rod Mitsubishi in the wild?

Because TURBO emblems cost extra yen, the ’87 Cordia Turbo didn’t have quite as many as the pricier Starion. In addition to the usual decklid badge, there’s the one on the steering wheel…

…and the one cast into the valve cover.

Only the 1980s could have produced this door-panel insert fabric. The Cordia (and its sedan cousin) sank into North American obscurity rather quickly. Actually, they started out in obscurity, as Mitsubishi got off to a very slow start as it tried to branch out from its captive-import relationship with Chrysler.

Check out that post-Malaise-Era 140 MPH speedometer! 1987 car buyers were able to drive a new Cordia Turbo off the Mitsubishi lot for $11,329, about the same price as the naturally-aspirated Nissan 200SX hatchback. That got you 116 turbocharged horsepower… but if you went across the street to your Dodge dealer, you could get yourself a Shelby Turbo Z Daytona— with 174 screamin’ turbocharged horses— for $12,749. Worth paying nearly a grand-and-a-half more for an extra 58 ponies? Given the nowhere-near-Toyota-and-Honda build quality of Mitsubishi products at the time, you were probably much better off with the Dodge.

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