Junkyard Find: 1993 Dodge Colt Coupe

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Chrysler began importing Mitsubishi Colt Galants for the 1971 model year, and Mitsubishis bearing Dodge (or Plymouth) Colt badging streamed across the Pacific Ocean and into American dealerships for the following 23 years.

I spotted this vibrantly decorated ’93 model in a Phoenix self-serve yard earlier this month.

The hatchback Colt disappeared after 1992, and most of the 1993-1994 seventh-generation Colts were four-doors. You could get this car with Eagle Summit badging through 1996, but the Neon replaced the Colt for 1995. It was sort of an anticlimactic end for the Colt Era.

Not quite 200,000 miles on the clock before its demise, but close enough. Colts didn’t hold together quite as well as Civics or Corollas, but they were more reliable than members of the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon family, which lasted all the way through the 1990 model year.

All the Dodge Ram vinyl decal badging seems out of place on a Mitsubishi, but at least the red leopard-skin interior makes sense.

Some Mirages had marker lights here, so Chrysler saved a buck by filling the holes with plastic badges bearing Dodge emblems.

Power came from the fuel-sipping 1.5-liter 4G15 four-cylinder Orion engine, cousin to the powerplant used in the early Hyundai Excels.

“Colt’s multi-valve engine is a great way to get your kicks.”

Pump up a kei car in Japan and you get a Mirage!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Delta88 Delta88 on Aug 01, 2017

    The only thing worse than those gawdawful decal graphics is the dealer badge over the trunk keyhole. That would't last 5 minutes on any car I'd own. In fact, I peeled a dealer decal off a friends car with my fingernails when they weren't around. Am I sick or not? Feels good... I'm really struggling to remember seeing these on the road. I remember lots of identical Mirages. Pretty much the same demographic that drives the current generation (tired of getting stranded by 13 year old BHPH lot cars they got themselves a car with a warranty but again at 18% interest)

  • Felix Hoenikker Felix Hoenikker on Aug 17, 2017

    I bought a 93 Plymouth Colt new. It was a four door with the 1.9L DOHC four valve engine and an auto four speed gear box. It was a fun car around town which is what I bought it for. On the highway, even in OD, the engine revved too high for my tastes. Only money I spent on it over 11 years and 120k miles was routine maintenance. The tranny was getting funny at the end and required manually turning of and on the OD button before it would shift into OD on the first shift. Once you did this , it shifted normally. THe car met it's end when my then 17 year old son lost control in the rain and hit the car ahead of him. No big loss as it didn't owe me anything by then.

  • Jonathan IMO the hatchback sedans like the Audi A5 Sportback, the Kia Stinger, and the already gone Buick Sportback are the answer to SUVs. The A5 and the AWD version of the Stinger being the better overall option IMO. I drive the A5, and love the depth and size of the trunk space as well as the low lift over. I've yet to find anything I need to carry that I can't, although I admit I don't carry things like drywall, building materials, etc. However, add in the fun to drive handling characteristics, there's almost no SUV that compares.
  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars