By on December 21, 2009

CC 70 071 clue

Ok, this may be way too easy and obvious. But in keeping with CC Dead Brands Week, I couldn’t resist. So if you know it, just say it gently; no CAPS or Bold necessary (just kiddin’). Last week’s steamy Bobcat was one of the tougher stumpers; but Hank, one of our repeat winners, came through again with the win.

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18 Comments on “Curbside Classic Clue...”


  • avatar
    Bergwerk

    My guess is the Dodge Colt or Plymouth Champ circa 1979 or so.  The clue is the duel range transmission.  Power or economy in any gear!

  • avatar
    thirty-three

    Bergwerk, I think you got it on the first try.   I guess that is a picture of a Plymouth Champ, seeing as Dodge is not dead (yet).    I think Chrysler only sold these as Dodge Colts in Canada, and I haven’t seen one on the street in a very long time.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Arggggggggggggggggggggg.  Google images is no help!  Everything I find looks like the old shifter lever on a Subaru with selectable low range.  But this is DEAD brands week!

    Plus this is clearly an economy/power mode selector!

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    I agree – its a Colt.  My wife’s first new car was an 83 Plymouth Colt.  I thing that the only difference from a Dodge Colt was that she bought it at a Chrysler-Plymouth dealer.  Anyhow, the twin stick transmission is a givaway.  An 8 speed manual, if you move your right arm a lot.
    So, with the dead brands clue, it has to be a Plymouth Champ or Colt.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    1983 Dodge Colt with MMC’s Twin-Stick Transaxle

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Agreed. It’s a Champ or a Colt circa 1980.
     
    I bought one to drive in SCCA Showroom Stock C. Bad choice. The car had gross understeer. The faster you went, the less you could accomplish by turning the steering wheel. The transverse engine bounced around so much in the engine bay that it regularly fractured the exhaust pipe. I fixed that with a foot of flexible pipe.
     
    The twin stick transmission was the car’s one neat feature. It gave you six usable forward speeds. Start out in 1st gear, low range. Shift to 2nd. Next, use the other stick to shift to 2nd gear, high range. Moving both sticks together, shift to 3rd/low. Shift to 4th/low. (3rd/high was almost identical to 4th/low so there was no point in using it.) Finally, go to 4th/high.
     
    By 65k miles, oil was fouling the spark plugs. The car met its end when an inattentive teenager ran a red light, caught the rear end, and converted its plan view from a rectangle to an irregular pentagon.

  • avatar

    Charon’s boat? With that skeleton head, you’ve got your ideal Styx shift.
    You ever going to do a ’57 Plymouth? a Corvair? A Valiant? A ’64 Chevy?
     

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Coming: not quite but almost ’57 Plymouth; Corvair: yes; Valiant: yes, but not your favorite ’60-’62; ’64 Chevy: still looking. I know where’s there a nice beater ’63 though. Patience; so many cars, so little time. I’m now pumping out a full CC five to six days a week. I’m not used to working so hard!

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Yeah, wack that 20-year-old 4 speed in there and put a dog-overdrive-gear on it. Sell it as “new” or “improved”. Sounds like Chrysler/Mitsubishi.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    Since it’s Dead Brands week, I’m 100% positive it’s a Plymouth Champ. I remember the E/P (Economy/Performance) lever in there. It may be because I’m getting older now, but I don’t remember the chrome skull shift handle being an option…???

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Mitsubishi Colt (As sold Down Under)

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    Plymouth Champ, gotta be. I still remember those sad little pods cruising around.

    • 0 avatar
      UnclePete

      Sad little pod is a great name for one of these things Jack! This was the first time I recognized a picture straight off. I agree with the others, must be a Plymouth Champ.

      I had a friend who had bought one of these new. The only thing I remember about it was it was gold/tan and bog slow. He hit a deer in his neighborhood; since it was a low speed collision, the deer just slid up onto the hood. It then proceeded to do a tap dance there while making her escape, improving the visual interest IMHO. Since it happened near Christmas, he told his neighbor’s children that one of Santa’s reindeer landed on it by mistake.

  • avatar
    izzy

    Drove  the Dodge Colt version  in the late 80’s.   The acceleration was scarily slow.  Taking freeway on ramp was an adventure.  Shifting into “P” did not do any good.

  • avatar
    cmus

    1981 Plymouth Champ.  Folks had one.  Awesome little car, a blast to drive and beat on.    I love the dual range transmission…it teaches a valuable lesson about having to choose between power and economy :p

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    So did mine.  My dad declared (since he was in his early 70’s) it would be the last car they would ever own.  Turns out a 2003 Chevy Malibu was the last car he ever owned after having a Ford Escort. 

  • avatar
    TonUpBoi

    One more for the Plymouth Champ.  Might as well run the full article already.

  • avatar

    I can be very happy with a ’63 Chevy. I had one once, and love the styling.

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