BF EXCLUSIVE: 1983 Plymouth Sapporo Technica

The ’80s were a wild time for American car manufacturers. Between emissions and fuel prices, cars had shrunk in size and horsepower numbers had pretty much lost their marketing power. To compete with all the foreign options and Ford and Chevy’s captive imports, Chrysler formed a partnership with Mitsubishi, which gave us cars like this Plymouth Sapporo. And to lure over buyers that cared more about technology than brand names and fuel economy, they introduced the Technica, which added all kinds of cool tech. The biggest selling point being that the car “talked” to you. It might not sound that cool these days, but in 1983 it was pretty trick! Reader Tyler D has decided to part ways with this incredibly low mileage Technica survivor, so if you’d love to own a pristine and rare piece of the ’80s, message him via the form below.

From Tyler – 1983 Plymouth Sapporo Technica with 9,400 miles that has been sitting in a garage under a cover for the past 25 years, though the service has been maintained on the vehicle and it runs great. The car speaks to the driver instructing them to close door, remove keys, etc. The interior is spotless and actually smells brand new on the inside. I have all the original documents that came with the vehicle including the bill of sale when it was bought new.

We honestly wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t ever heard of a Sapporo Technica before, there really weren’t many of this variant of the Galant Lambada built. You might recognize the body though, as it is essentially the same as the Dodge versions, the Challenger and Colt. This Plymouth version was more luxurious with a well appointed interior and just about every creature comfort you could want.

By the time this Sapporo was built, the 2.6 liter 4 cylinder engine was a standard feature. It might not be a V8 or even a V6, but this little 4 was quite robust and was rated at 105 horsepower. That might not be a ton of power, but at the time it was quite respectable for an economical compact. With so few miles and having been maintained over the years, this one’s engine should have tons of life left in it!

Valuing a car like this is a challenge. It’s cool, rare and there can’t be many left in this nice of condition, as a result there’s no historical data to go off of. Tyler is asking $12,000 for this one, but we really can’t weigh in on if that’s a steal or not. Where will you ever find another one this nice with so few miles though?

If you have questions about the car or would like to make Tyler an offer, be sure to message him via the form below. Our special thanks to him for listing his Plymouth with us and we hope we can find a good home for it! If you have a low mileage survivor that needs a good home, please consider listing it here on Barn Finds!

Location: Lenoir, NC
Asking Price: 12,000
Mileage: 9,400
Title: Clean

Contact The Seller

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Comments

  1. Jeff Lavery Staff

    So freaking cool. I Iove it. Thanks for listing it here.

  2. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    What a neat car! I love the interior! We had three StarQuests in the family when I was younger, I wouldn’t mind having one now…

    • Billy 007

      I think I liked the earlier dash boards better, but this one is pretty nice. Whats with the carb? A Weber, or just that odd air cleaner? Would seem strange for a sub 10K mile car to not have the original air cleaner.

  3. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    That is nice! They say to always buy the best example that a person can find, and it looks like this is it!

  4. jimbunte jimbunte Member

    Really an awesome and one-of-a-kind Sapporo. Used to see tons of these in Los Angeles, but no more. $12K is a big ask but to the right person, I’m sure there’s a deal waiting. Hope it finds a great new home!

  5. redsresto

    Cool car! Shifter handle is about twice as tall as it needs to be though.

  6. ed the welder

    I was in my twenties when these things came out and I just now realized how much they look like a notchback mustang of the same vintage …

    • Ryan Shanahan

      The resemblance is uncanny!

  7. Dwilson

    I had one of these in the Dodge version. It was a great car. I drove the wheels off of it and then gave it to my cousin and they drove it until they ran over something and knocked a hole in the oil pan but it had 350000 miles on it and just kept on going and going all of the neat gadgets made the car super fun.

  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    Good cars, I think their biggest downfall was trying to get American’s to accept Asian cars and their language into our culture. A Sapporo, what the heck is that? Some kind of Chinese beer? HA, HA. Not so funny now. I never heard of a “Technica”. But I had to chuckle. Jerry Seinfeld did a standup about Asian car names ending in A. “What is it with these Asian cars? A Maximum? No, A Maxima. An Integrity? No, an Integra.” And now, a Technical?,,No, a Technica.

    • Scot Douglas

      Funny you mention the beer name, Sapporo, as this car was built by Mitsubishi. What’s funny is that Mitsubishi owns Kirin – a competitor to Sapporo beer.

      (Yes, I know Sapporo is also a city in Hokkaido :) )
      (And that Mitsubishi’s cold test facility is in Hokkaido)

    • Papa Van Twee

      “Technica” was a trim that got you the Black/Silver/Red color scheme (although a black roof in the summer was a bad idea), a digital dash, and I believe the talking dash was an exclusive, too.

      I owned one in 1988. It was like having an underpowered pony car. I’m not complaining about the power, I’ll take the MPG and lower insurance over being able to accelerate faster any day. Mine had a 5 speed, and I remember it being pretty fun to drive. The stereo was pretty awesome, too. The frame was beginning to rust away, however, and I wound up selling it after a year’s use.

  9. ccrvtt

    The 1972 Winter Olympics were held in Sapporo, Japan, so there was some residual name recognition. Jerry Seinfeld’s observations notwithstanding I think most car names are created by American marketing types for the local market.

    Doesn’t explain “Camry” however…

  10. AJR

    The engine bay compartment DOES NOT represent a 9400 miles car. Too dirty…incorrect carb?, missing factory air cleaner assembly, hose connection from exhaust shield missing, looks like the engine has lots of oil stains, oil leaks, looks like someone took a spray bottle with oil and sprayed the engine bay, broken part attachment for tripmeter knob on dash… just doesn’t add up to a 9400 mile car….

    • Richard Head

      Yep that’s exactly what happened here. They said ahhhh.. little low on oil let’s get a pump up sprayer and just soak the whole engine bay. Second off do you have any experience with the stock carb on these. They were garbage. Lastly just ask the guy if he has the original cleaner and carb. Answer would probably be yes. DA

    • Concinnity

      Age, not just mileage contributes to the grime. It is 24 years old.

  11. Car nut from Wpg Member

    I had a 1982 Sapporo, not Technica, 5 speed for three years in the mid 1980’s. Was a good car for a few years but sold it to get a 1985 Prelude. Prelude felt 20 years newer.
    I would be interested if this was not auto, but not at $12k.

  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    the nice thing about seeing the Sapporo version of this car: not having to see 3/4s of the posts dissing the use of the Challenger name.

    These are nice cars in their own right, but the Challenger comments got old several years ago.

    This is most likely the nicest one you’ll find.
    GLWS.

  13. Maestro1 Member

    I’m not sure about the price but I think it’s still a buy at that number. Someone enjoy!

  14. Mark P

    105HP, Not bad for a 4 cyl at the time. The 258 in my Hornet was only good for 110 and the much drooled over 5.0 / 302 Mustang GT had less than 150 at the time. Torque was another story.

  15. John D

    I often had Sapporos for my demonstrator and sold quite a few of them, especially to friends who came looking for the TC3. The build quality was so much better. Performance was pretty good. The car accelerated well and with the 4 wheel disc brakes, it stopped even better. Balance was near 50/50, so its handling was noteworthy with a fairly easy-riding suspension. I particularly loved the creature comforts, like the stretchy web nets on the front of the seat cushions and the hard to see storage shelf under the dash, in the passenger foot-well.

    The price, IIRC was in the $8500 range, so the $12,000 being asked by the seller does seem steep compared to the ‘as New’ price. Given the higher value of a mid-eighties dollar to today’s dollar, you can make a case for this amount, given the low miles claimed and the over-all condition. I would still want to personally inspect it to verify the engine compartment, the odometer vs wear and tear and so on. These engines had a complicated valve train and needed oil changes often.

  16. TD

    I am the owner of the Sapporo. I have the original air cleaner and carburetor. On the price, there are not many out (let alone in this condition) to compare it to,
    the price is OBO. Any other questions, just let me know. Thanks

    • Papa Van Twee

      I was an owner of one of these in 1988. Mine had a 5 speed, and I had raised white letters on the tires. My 18 year old self wants this car so bad. My wallet is laughing hysterically at me, however. Practicality is telling me I don’t have the garage space, and the kids need the extra doors on my current daily driver.

      If this were 10-15 years down the road, I could see buying it. While the automatic would be a good thing for my old age, I’d miss that 5 speed. I of course would test your depths, but paying somewhere near what you have it priced at is not out of the realm of possibility, if you find the right person.

      • TD

        I am the owner. The Sapporo is still available. Now priced $9000.

  17. Mark-A

    My Neighbours used to have a 2000 TURBO version in the UK between 84/88 but I’m really surprised that nobody has mentioned that the Mitsubishi Lancer Turbo engine is a straight swap even though it’s only a 2.0 compared with the 2.6ltr? Probably wouldn’t actually do this Modification to this car at least until I got a Manual transmission & LSD rear end. Station Turbo, Cordia & the original 3box Lancer parts are all interchangeable.

    • John D

      When I had long drives, I would think about modifications to the cars we sold. Like swapping a turbo Shelby Charger drive train to the rear of the same car. One that I wanted to build was a Plymouth 2.6l FireArrow with the Plymouth Conquest TSi drive train. I was certain that the home market bumpers had to be better looking than what was sold here.

    • Papa Van Twee

      If I had this car, it would be hard not to at least swap in a 5 speed. But the 2.6l is a Hemi, and has some good torque down low. A Starion Turbo 2.6l is tempting, though.

  18. Rich

    Nice car, I had this model but in a 5 speed and drove great, paid $11,200 out the door at the time.
    The original carb was a Mikuni so not sure why someone would want to change it and air cleaner at such low miles.
    This engine had a recall for the rubber oil galley plug at back of cylinder head which involved putting 2 part epoxy on so did not fall out and trash the engine from lack of oil.

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