1977 Dodge Colt: Easy to Own?


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These little Mopar/Mitsubishi experiments ran rampant in the ’70s as Chrysler attempted to compete with the Japanese in the economy vehicle class. While no one will ever mistake a 1977 Dodge Colt like this one on eBay for a Civic beater, the ones that remain on the road seem like solid candidates for an easy-to-live-with daily driver classic. Even today, Dodge still sells a rebadged Mitsubishi in the form of the Journey crossover vehicle, so clearly this relationship has been useful to the two automakers. This Colt is fresh out of long-term ownership in Washington State and while not exactly sporting, is a time capsule example of a period in history when fuel economy dominated the conversation. What would you pay for this clean Colt and its “silent shaft” engine technology?

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  1. Brian CMember

    Was this the equivalent of the Mitsubishi Challenger?

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    • AlphaRoaming.com

      I don’t recall any Mitsu Challenger. There was a larger Mitsu-built Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Sapporo starting around ’78

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      • Tony

        Yes there was A Dodge Challenger til 1981 I think, with a 2.6 liter engine

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  2. Barry T

    I bought an 1988 Dodge Colt hatchback and although I liked the style of the little car and the gas mileage there were build issues with the quality and I was happy to trade it in for something else in 1992. Namely a 1992 Mazda MX-3. Now that was a great car and I kept it for almost 18 years.

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  3. HoA Howard AMember

    These were great little cars, except, in the 70’s, American’s, me included, were still grappling with the idea of a Japanese car, with a respected U.S. name like Dodge (or Plymouth) on it. Can’t be happening, we all said. But happen it did, and people that were brave enough to buy these, found out, Asians made good, dependable, ECONOMICAL cars, ( remember, this was the 70’s, and people were still driving gas guzzling Imperials, and such) and the rest is history. Terrible rusters in the Midwest, so it’s unusual, for me, to see a car like this in this condition.

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  4. Moparman MoparmannMember

    I bought a 1975 Colt, and I didn’t care for the looks of the ’77 downsize. The 75 lasted until 1991 w/o any problems other than standard maintenance; unfortunately, it was wrecked by a cousin (RIP). As an aside, I made extensive measurements to see if a 318 c.i. engine would fit (IT WOULD!) but. alas, I never acted on this dream project! :-)

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  5. ron tyrrell

    The early early Mitsubishi had one of the poorest safety records in the crash test that they had ever seen. It led to a saying you will be injured just the extent of your injuries, if you live, will be determined later. The 2 liter engine was a head cracker and gasket blower and it got to the extent you couldn’t find a used head any where so you would buy a used engine frow Japan for about 150 bucks to take care of the problem. In the eighties in Tacoma there was a company that imported engines from Japan and it was a great source for Mitsubishi parts. Enough said

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  6. Steve

    Journey a Mitsubishi product? Made in North America with the Damlier engineered V6

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  7. Paul B

    This could be good to own. But Mitsubishis were several cuts below Toyota and Honda in reliability and overall sturdiness. And the culture of the company that made them? Just read back and you’ll find all sorts of horror stories from defect coverups to maltreatment of employees. I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy one of their products aside from one TV. Others may feel differently. One thing I’ll give this car: it was better looking than its Toyota counterparts of the day. But that is merely my own personal opinion.

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    • AlphaRoaming.com

      I was quite happy with my 1985 Mitsu-Dodge Star-Quest (Dodge Conquest). Sold it at 150k miles and had very few repairs. Much more affordable than a Supra or a Z car.

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  8. MountainMan

    Had one if these in yellow. It was one of the least reliable cars I’ve ever owned. Looked like a lemon and it played the part very well. This was while I went to high school mind you. Needless to say this little red jewel doesn’t grease my bearings

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    • Utahhiker

      I drive my 1978 Colt EVERY day and its been reliable as any toyota, nissan or honda. It even ran like a champ all 650 miles from Utah to Cali for JCC 2016! Not to say there aren’t lemons in every vehicle pool, but anything could happen anytime to ANY vehicle. Some people take generalizations to far. Mitsu’s are my cup of tea and I would be thrilled to own this red specimen here!

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  9. Mike

    I got a 77 showed a picture of it sometime ago, it has been through me 3 teenagers and is currently being driven by the oldest son. It is still mine, and it has a little 250,000 miles on it, yes the motor has been rebuilt, but it is a good running car, for trips back and forth to work in St Louis, about 72 miles 1 way. As soon as the boy gets him a new car I get it back. Change the oil, keep them tuned up, routine repairs and they will last forever or at least mine has so far!!!!!

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  10. Blindmarc

    Sold for $8500

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