Hyper Hatch: 1985 Plymouth Colt GTS Turbo

Pocket-rocket, hot-hatch, whatever a person calls this 1985 Plymouth Colt GTS Turbo, it’s one appealing car. Or, it is to me and a few million other fans of captive imports that are fun to drive. This turbo hatch can be found here on craigslist in Sierra Vista, Arizona and the seller is asking $3,995 for this little gem. Thanks to Rosko for sending in this tip!

I know that some folks are not into Japanese cars at all and they scoff at the idea of any of them being even remotely fun to drive or being worthy of owning. This car could probably change their minds if they were to give it a chance, but in today’s bitterly-divided society, that will probably never happen. That’s disappointing, but it just leaves more of these cars for those of us who are interested in them. This one looks like at least a 9 out of 10, condition-wise. I would prefer OEM wheels but that’s just a personal preference.

1985 is the first year for the fifth-generation Dodge Colt and by then, Plymouth shared the Colt name along with the mothership Mitsubishi Mirage. The Plymouth Champ became the Plymouth Colt for the 1983 model year and they seem to be rarer than the Dodge Colt although I don’t know the sales numbers. I can’t remember the last time that I’ve seen a 1985 Colt GTS Turbo, the 1984s seem to be much more common. This car looks flawless on the exterior to me, what a nice example. If I were still in wild-and-crazy car-buying mode this car would be heading to our house asap.

The only thing that gives me a little bit of the shivers is seeing the dash cover, which typically means that the dash is cracked. I know, it could also mean that the seller or the previous owner – there have only been two – wanted to keep the dash looking good so they covered it. There are no other interior photos other than the one above and one showing the passenger door but they say that it has a super clean interior. Speaking of the door fabric pattern, that is so refreshing compared to the boring black, tan, or gray interiors of today. Zzzzzzzzz…

This hectic hatch has Mitsubishi’s 4G32 turbo 1.6L inline-four with 102 hp. The seller says that the engine and clutch were both rebuilt in the late-90s and have acquired about 28,000 miles since then and they both work perfectly. It burns no oil and has never been in an accident – they also say that it runs and drives like new and it has always been garaged in Arizona. This really looks like a winner to me. Have any of you owned a fifth-generation Dodge or Plymouth Colt GTS Turbo?

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Comments

  1. mark

    Would be a great economical back and forth to work car. Probably worth the 4 grand if what the seller says is true.

    4
  2. angliagt

    I’d buy it just for the door coverings.
    The first thing to go would be the alarm system.

    2
  3. Miguel Member

    I loved these cars when they first came out. I was driving a 1979 Dodge Colt at the time and these looked so much weirder.

    I also had a Plymouth Champ with an automatic, which was nothing to write home about.

    2
  4. poseur Member

    didn’t these come with a hi/low range shifter next to the manual trans lever?

    • Miguel Member

      No, they didn’t use that transmission for the ’85 model.

      3
  5. Superdessucke

    I always had a soft spot for these though today, the design looks very much of its time. Put less elegantly, it looks like it should come with a set of leg warmers and a Sony Walkman.

    I didn’t think so at the time but now, I think the earlier models look better. I think the earlier design just aged better.

    Still, virtually impossible to find these in any condition, much less this nice. If this was closer I would seriously consider it.

    4
    • SebastianX1/9

      Don’t you miss girls with leg warmers instead of tattoos? 1985 Forever!

      12
      • Jeffro

        I miss my Walkman

        1
  6. Sandy Claws

    I drove one of these in 1990 from a dealer and the same afternoon drove a base Honda Civic with far less HP. Which was better you ask? The Dodge was zippier, though had awful turbo lag, the Civic while lower on HP, didn’t feel all that much so one the road. It also handled better and was more comfortable, plus as a base model, under seven grand as I recall. So far cheaper. No wonder Honda is today doing so well and Mitsu, well, not so much. But hey, they had their day, when Mr Honda was making bicycles, they were making Zeros, the greatest planes in the sky.

    2
  7. Bakyrdhero Member

    Cool car. I don’t remember a Plymouth Colt, just the Dodge Colt. That interior is 80’s terrific! With any luck the dash pad is a preemptive strike for the hot Arizona sun. Nice find.

    1
    • Sandy Claws

      One of the strange things Chrysler used to do once in a while. Sometimes Plymouth and Dodge acted like jealous children and demanded the same car for their showrooms when one of the other had a hit on their hands. Sometimes they just changed the name such as the Plymouth Scamp or Dodge Demon/Sport. Sometimes they didn’t even change the name of the car, the car either got a Plymouth or Dodge name in the rear end and on the title. I recall not only Dodge Neons, but also Plymouth Neons. Early on when these Mitsus were imported and rebadged as Dodges, Plymouth called theirs the Champ, but at the end of the run both divisions called theirs the Colt. Not sure why that was, a cost saving measure? Then, all the same parts, same rear end and tail lights, same grill, etc.

      1
  8. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    “Hectic hatch,” nice word-smithing there, Scotty, and another nice find. I had the earlier ’84 in this exact color combination. We loved it. I bought it as-is for $700, not running, and one $35 timing belt later it was purring like a somewhat angry Hello Kitty. With the Twin-Stick dual-range four-speed manual it was the perfect weapon for tight parking and squirting through small openings in Pittsburgh traffic. The manual brakes and steering communicated every sensation of cornering and braking. Most repairs could be made with a 10mm wrench. We joked about the “Mitsubishi Tool Kit,” a 10mm combo wrench in a velvet case. Thanks for the memories!

    1
  9. Jonathan

    Oh my…I’ve recently been thinking about this gen of the Plymouth Colt.

    My first car in 1994 was a 1987 base model Plymouth Colt 2-dr hatch in red paint. It was the auto with the anemic small 4-cyl. But it had good low end torque, was lightweight, and had surprisingly spacious interior hauling capacity.

    It was great for a 16 year old knucklehead teenage boy. I had it for 5 years before it blew a rod out the bottom of the engine doing 70mph on the freeway. That was the end of that car. Though, during the preceding years it looked great with my 14 ft kayak and mtn bike on top when I took it adventuring in northern MI.

    This car ad is giving me major nostalgia jonesing and I am trying to prevent a kneejerk reaction about heading to AZ to buy it sight unseen. This economical mid-80s hot hatch is really tempting. I knew my old Colt had good hot hatch potential and I’d love to test out a well maintained turbo version.

    Up top is a picture of essentially the car I owned (though it’s not actually it)

    3
  10. Bill

    My sister had the Mitsubishi twin of this, a Colt Turbo, for a year or so. It was an automatic, so that was a bummer, but once you got past the turbo lag it went like stink. A tiny little two-door hatch weighing 50 lbs. without any safety gear on twisty New York State back roads? It’s a miracle we’re still alive.

    2
    • Miguel Member

      Bill, did you mean to say Mirage, which was the Mitsubishi version of this?

      1
  11. Looped

    I bought a used ’85 Colt Turbo in 1992. Had about 50,000 miles on it at the time. Was very entertaining at highway speeds; the turbo made it quite responsive and it would happily zoom from 60 mph to 80 mph in the blink of an eye. Sadly, I soon figured out why the previous owner sold it: It had an intermittent problem that caused the engine to randomly stall. No one, including the local Mitsubishi dealer, could figure it out. Gave up and traded it off after spending about $1,000 chasing the problem. Was fun when it ran right though ….

    1
  12. John

    I had a 1985 Toyota Tercel 1.6L – what a fun car. Peppy and great gas mileage. Been looking for another but hard to find.

  13. Jay Barry

    I competed in the SCCA ProRally championship in an 84 Dodge Colt Turbo. I managed top 3 in class finishes competing against AWD turbo cars and put in 5th fastest stage time at STPR on I think the 5th stage. Unfortunately, on the next stage I lost the brakes and rolled the Colt into a turbocharged ball.

    2
  14. 38ChevyCoupeGuy

    Bought of these for my girlfriend,now wife of 23 years in 1997 for 60 bucks. Pretty cool and clean car, turbo action wasn’t impressive by any means, but fun to drive. Lol. I thought it was the weirdest thing I ever drove,for the simple fact that it had no trans tunnel, just flat floorboards. Crazy times. Car long gone, girl still loving and burning rubber, whether she’s alone or I’m in passenger seat! Life is awesome isn’t it…

    1
  15. Stevieg Member

    I remember leg warmers & walkman radios…don’t miss either of them. Much prefer a female leg with tattoos! As a matter of fact, most 1980’s style was pretty tasteless, in hindsight lol. I am just grateful I outgrew (figuratively & physically lol) my “Canadian tuxedo”. Acid-washed, of course lol
    Cool car though. If I thought I would still fit in it, I would maybe try to find the money to send to Arizona. I am just about done paying off the purchase price of the 1951 Pontiac convertible I mentioned a couple times in the past & that is leaving me broke. So I guess I just said a whole lotta nada lol. Never mind!

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