The Mitsubishi Cordia was one of the first Mitsubishi-badged cars to be sold in the United States (prior to that, US-market Mitsubishis were Chrysler captive imports). They didn’t sell in huge quantities, and we don’t remember the Cordia as well as the Starion or even the Mighty Max, but I still see the occasional example in California wrecking yards. There was this ’83 Cordia Turbo (from which I obtained the amazing digital instrument cluster), this ’84 Cordia, and this ’87 Cordia Turbo, and here’s this well-worn ’83.
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.
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.
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.