Junkyard Gem: 1977 Dodge Colt Mileage Maker Coupe

The rear-wheel-drive Colt was the original Chryslerbishi. Here’s one in Colorado.

While Ford and GM each had the sources to establish their very own Michigan-designed subcompacts for the dawn of the 1970s– the Pinto and also Vega, respectively– Chrysler could not manage the significant cost for such a job. Rather, Chrysler’s European operations were tapped for a couple of versions that marketed all right beyond of the Atlantic, giving us the Plymouth Cricket (called the Hillman Avenger in the UK) as well as the Simca 1204 (aka the Simca 1100 in France). American vehicle customers gave those 2 models the cold shoulder, but after that Chrysler discovered authentic sales success by making a deal with Mitsubishi to market the Colt Galant with left-hand drive. This ended up being the Dodge Colt, with sales starting in the 1971 version year. Though the 1971-1978 rear-wheel-drive Colts were once as commonplace as Corollas or B210s on American roadways, they have just about went away today. That makes today’s Junkyard Locate, uncovered in a Denver-area backyard last week, specifically interesting.

This cars and truck reveals indications of having been in the hands of a speed-crazed fanatic owner, including an aftermarket guiding wheel as well as one-piece auto racing seats with slots for five-point harnesses. The primer-gray paint is another hint.

The rear-wheel-drive Colts were sensibly fast for their time, and they could be made really quick with standard engine upgrades. This Mitsubishi Saturn four-banger has a tube header, hot-rod ignition system, and a two-barrel (Mikuni-made) Solex carburetor. We can think there’s most likely some sort of cam upgrade under the shutoff cover, too.

The shifter is gone, yet the original transmission in this cars and truck was either the base four-speed or optional five-speed guidebook. A three-speed automated was readily available for $270 (regarding $1,275 today). Later, front-wheel-drive Colts (and also Mitsubishi Mirages) could be acquired with the Twin-Stick overdrive gear, which offered vehicle drivers 8 onward rates and also the possibility to make Twin-Stick beer faucets.

The 1977-1978 Dodge Colt two- and also four-door sedans were based upon the Mitsubishi Lancer as well as were a bit smaller sized than the 1971-1977 autos, while the wagon version relocated to the Galant Sigma system.

The build tag shows that this vehicle started life as the most affordable 1977 Colt version, the “Mileage Maker” two-door sedan (Dodge dealerships called it a sports car, to make sure that’s what I’m calling it in the title). An appropriate hardtop coupe (the Colt GT) was readily available in 1977, but it cost $3,988 versus the Mileage Maker two-door’s $2,984 price (that’s about $18,855 and also $14,110 in 2021 bucks). At the same time, the cheapest possible Toyota Corolla provided at $2,788 and also a Datsun B210 Honey Bee set you back $2,959.

The ashtray contained change, which implies I was among the first consumers to get to this automobile after backyard employees positioned it in the rows.

I extracted a handful of pennies as well as found that the latest ones were produced in 1992 as well as still great as well as shiny. That tells us that this vehicle probably got parked nearly three decades ago, when it was just about 15 years old.

It appears unlikely that a cars and truck would rack up simply 34,593 miles throughout 15 years when driving, so I believe this Colt had 134,493 miles when it completed its profession. I presume this car might have originated from the collection of the late Costs Good, a Denver innovator as well as Colt racer that passed away a few years back. A close friend of mine ended up with a pair lots of his Colts, however handled to locate excellent homes for simply a handful and also needed to ditch the remainder.

For the 1979 design year, the Colt (as well as its Plymouth Champ sibling) mosted likely to the front-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Mirage platform and also never recalled … up until the Neon replaced it in 1995. Mitsubishi started selling its automobiles under its own badging right here beginning with the 1983 version year, which implied that the Dodge and Plymouth Colts needed to take on nearly-identical Mirages for greater than a decade.