Since starting this series, I've kept my weather eye open for 70s Japanese cars parked on Alameda's streets, without much success. They're important cars, historically speaking, but just about every last one seems to have been crushed by now; no doubt it just never seems worth keeping that Corona or B210 going once it's got 300,000 miles and something expensive breaks. So, when I saw this little Mitsubishi parked in front of the hospital, I had to run back home to get my camera.
These things used to be everywhere- you'd go drive somewhere and bright yellow Colts (was the yellow version cheaper or something?) would choke the streets, the way passenger pigeons once blackened the skies for days on end.
Sadly, just about all the rear-drive Dodge-rebranded Lancers are gone now; they were slow and sort of silly-looking but also harmlessly lovable.
During the period of Chrysler's Malaise Era decline, one of the few areas on the balance sheet that didn't cause physical pain to Chrysler execs ("Hey, how many Cordobas did we sell this year? What?") was the section devoted to their line of rebadged Mitsubishis. Maybe they lost money on them, but they didn't lose much.
The '78 Colt was the last of the rear-drivers; after that, the Lancer went front-drive. And hey, the Starion's engine is a bolt-in! Turbo Colt madness!
This interior is chock full of crazy-person paraphernalia, which seems oddly well-suited for a street-survivor Colt with disabled plates.
You could buy a '78 Colt two-door for $3354 new, just about the same price as a $3336 '78 Pinto. Which one do you suppose was the better bet to reach 200,000 miles?
Best of all, it's got the factory dog-dish hubcaps!