Junkyard Find: 1991 Dodge Colt Vista 4WD

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1991 dodge colt vista 4wd

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.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.

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2 of 33 comments
  • Vistaphreak Vistaphreak on Mar 10, 2014

    I have one and love it. I need spare parts out of this!! What junk yard in Denver is this in??

  • Leaver11 Leaver11 on Jul 04, 2014

    My '88 Colt Vista is still going strong with about 85,000 miles, auto trans, air conditioning died late last summer. It's got rust in the usual spots. This is the 5th Vista I have owned. Most didn't last more than 115,000 miles or so. One needed major trans work. A couple were burning oil. Never got high mileage or mpg others claim. Usually about 21-24. On trips we were so weighted down and with a carrier on top that mileage was beat down. Color is antique rose with maroon interior. It's my snow car with good snow tires on the front it goes almost anywhere. I guess I might sell it for the right price.

  • ToolGuy "Mr. President, no government agency, no think tank, and no polling firm knows more about the automobile customer than us. We talk to customers every day. As retail automotive dealerships, we are agnostic as to what we sell. Our business is to provide customers with vehicles that meet the needs of their budgets and lifestyles.”• How many lies can you fit into one paragraph?
  • Spamvw Three on the tree, even Generation X would have a hard time stealing one of those.
  • ToolGuy This trend of cyan wheels needs to end NOW.
  • Kwik_Shift Interesting nugget(s) of EV follies. https://x.com/WallStreetApes/status/1729212326237327708?s=20
  • SaulTigh I've said it before and I'll say it again...if you really cared about the environment you'd be encouraging everyone to drive a standard hybrid. Mature and reliable technology that uses less resources yet can still be conveniently driven cross country and use existing infrastructure.These young people have no concept of how far we've come. Cars were dirty, stinking things when I was a kid. They've never been cleaner. You hardly ever see a car smoking out the tail pipe or smell it running rich these days, even the most clapped out 20 year old POS. Hybrids are even cleaner.