KIDNEY, ANYONE? Mint chocolate 30k-mile Colt Vista Wagon

The first-gen Mitsubishi Chariot is one of those cars that people forgot ever existed. In the US, it was extra hard for it to gain any recognition, because it was sold under the Dodge brand and called the Colt, a model name it shared with everything from Mirages to Galants. Plus, they were eminently functional and affordable, meaning every example was pretty much used, abused and discarded. So when a 30,154-mile example shows up, and it’s a brown manual wagon, we take notice. 

Not only is this a rare surviving example of an obscure car, the seller is both knowledgable and hilarious. We’re certain he or she would be a shoe-in for QotW winner if they wanted to lay down a reply. You can see the ad for yourself on Craigslist Detroit. When making the point it has never been driven in snow, the seller says, “You saw more salt on your eggs this morning than this car’s seen during its entire existence on this weird planet.”

The reason it survived all these years appears to have been due to it being stored for 25 of them. Fear not, though, as the ad claims that the fuel system has been cleaned and the brakes and tires replaced. The seller also rebuilt the carb and installed a Bluetooth-compatible stereo.

As you can see from official Dodge-Plymouth ads of the day, the car was marketed for its highly configurable three-row cabin. It certainly lived up to the name it used in some markets, Space Wagon, as its overall length is identical to that of a modern Porsche 911.

The only flaw we see in this example is that it didn’t come with one of those snazzy two-tone 80s paint jobs. Otherwise, for $2,500, how can you go wrong?

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12 Responses to KIDNEY, ANYONE? Mint chocolate 30k-mile Colt Vista Wagon

  1. Aaron said:

    Mitsubishi Nimbus here in Australia – I cannot for the life of me remember the last time I saw one. Contemporary with the Nissan Prarie (Stanza Wagon), equally as scarce.

  2. Nigel said:

    I was just looking at the advertising for this machine in an old Road and Track from 1984, this one needs a good home.

  3. BlitzPig said:

    Ummm… They were awful cars when new.

    Why would anyone want one now?

    • For a start due to Mitsubishi’s profound laziness conquest 2.6L turbo engines and 4G63s will swap in with reasonable effort, they look awesome and through the lens of time it’s a great example of pre-minivan weirdness.

  4. Rick Moore said:

    My parents bought one of these in 1985. After 6 months, my dad stuck 2 lemons in the dashboard-mounted cupholders as a sign to what this car really was.

  5. Scotty G said:

    What a great-looking car, not to mention one of the best ads that I’ve ever read on CL! It seems like I’ve seen parts of that ad before, I remember the “smart and handsome” part.

    If it had AWD it would be coming to another salty-road state (Minnesota) to continue its tradition of never touching those salty roads. It would look great parked next to the ’86 Stanza 4WD 5-speed wagon.

    • DallasD said:

      It’s great to see one of these in such good condition. This car, in silver, was the 1991 replacement for my father’s 1983 Stanza hatchback. Both of those cars took us from Toronto to most of the states, on countless road trips, sometimes planned, and sometimes on a whim. We had some of the best times of our lives in those cars; some of my best memories. Sleeping on the windshield at a rest area because I liked the breeze. Getting stuck in morning rush hour in Detroit. Listening to Casey Casem and wishing that we could hear his radio show in Canada. I even learned to drive manual in the Colt Vista, and my father eventually gave it to myself and my wife, as he moved on to a pristine 1985 Nissan Pickup from California. The Colt Vista met its untimely end when I hit a very large deer in a patch of fog, pushing the entire front end in.

      Sadly, although I could readily go and get this car, I don’t have space for it, so we’ll buy a third car only if/when it’s absolutely necessary. Nice to see an old friend, though.

  6. Nathan said:

    The wit is nice, but I would expect much of the rubber, including weatherstripping and bushings, will need replacement, as is the norm on such a car, and given its age, new suspension components. It’s not quite as simple as the seller puts it, and given sketchy reliability, the car won’t offer good bang for the buck after taking into account the difficulty of finding certain parts, so whoever buys this JNC needs to be an oddball enthusiast with substantial passion for this car. Otherwise, a museum that occasionally exercises its collection, such as the Lane Motor Museum, or Mitsubishi’s own collection, might make a good alternative home.

    An old pedestrian model Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, or Mazda is not unheard of, even if rare, but due to their initial cheapness and the brand’s reputation for being so, a Mitsubishi survivor that isn’t a more “iconic” model is almost unheard of.

    • Scotty G said:

      Very true, Nathan. I’m into the 1986 Stanza 4WD 5-speed wagon for almost $7,000 – an almost laughable amount given that it’s probably worth $5,000 for a museum-quality example. But, there’s something that just feels good about saving these vehicles for me. If I hunted or fished I would spend a lot more money on those hobbies with no option of selling my game or fish when I’m done with them, but with old cars, even if I lose a grand or two, I can always sell them and at least get semi-close to my monetary investment back. Not to mention the mental investment and love for these vehicles and the enjoyment of owning them, even if it’s just for a short time in order to fix them up a bit. This is actually a pretty inexpensive hobby if a person thinks about it that way. Or, that’s how I justify it to myself. Plus, every one that gets saved is another one for future generations to enjoy.

  7. DallasD said:

    It’s great to see one of these in such good condition. This car, in silver, was the 1991 replacement for my father’s 1983 Stanza hatchback. Both of those cars took us from Toronto to most of the states, on countless road trips, sometimes planned, and sometimes on a whim. We had some of the best times of our lives in those cars; some of my best memories. Sleeping on the windshield at a rest area because I liked the breeze. Getting stuck in morning rush hour in Detroit. Listening to Casey Casem and wishing that we could hear his radio show in Canada. I even learned to drive manual in the Colt Vista, and my father eventually gave it to myself and my wife, as he moved on to a pristine 1985 Nissan Pickup from California. The Colt Vista met its untimely end when I hit a very large deer in a patch of fog, pushing the entire front end in.

    Sadly, although I could readily go and get this car, I don’t have space for it, so we’ll buy a third car only if/when it’s absolutely necessary. Nice to see an old friend, though.

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