Jewel Box! 1977 Mitsubishi Colt Lancer 1600 GSR

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This is undoubtedly the world’s finest 1977 Mitsubishi Colt Lancer 1600 GSR. I know that to a lot of people that’s like saying, “this is the world’s finest pair of tube socks”, but for us vintage/nostalgic Japanese vehicle lovers and collectors, this is a holy grail car. The painful part is that this jewel is in Basingstoke, United Kingdom, between London and Southhampton where it can be found on eBay. The even more painful part is that the price is £20,000 ($24,380)!! Or, I guess a person (me) could always make an offer.

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This car is truly better than new, having undergone an extensive, and expensive, full nut-and-bolt restoration. There aren’t many photos included, which is weird for such an expensive auction, and there are no right-side photos at all and no underside photos, but the ones that are shown leave me gobsmacked, as they most likely say in Basingstoke, United Kingdom. The seller has supposedly lost his or her storage space which is why it’s for sale. I would have to undergo some serious hardships to ever sell a car like this, unless I got it for £10,000 and I was a car-flipper. The Mitsubishi Colt Lancer 1600 GSR was sold in the UK and Europe and this actual car was shown at Mitsubishi’s 40th anniversary bash and it not only won for being the oldest UK Mitsubishi, it won best car overall! Yeah, it’s that nice. Of course, most of us remember when Chrysler imported these to the US under the Dodge Colt name, and Canada got them as the Plymouth Colt.

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Dang is this thing nice! It’s literally a car that a person (me) could have in their living room (drawing up plans as we speak) on a velvet turntable as an objet d’art, as they most likely don’t say in Basingstoke, United Kingdom. The previous owner had this car restored with absolutely no expense spared, back to bone-stock original specs and it’s a knockout! He even had an original roll of vinyl top material in the boot that the restorer used here. Gorgeous. The 1600 GSR, or A73 Lancer, was famous for being Mitsubishi’s rally winner and when they took yet another 1st place at what was maybe the most grueling rally on the planet, the 1975 Safari Rally in Kenya, Africa – 6,000 km over five days – the stage was set.

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Just as you would expect, the interior is Fabergé egg perfect. This car was found in a barn by the previous owner, amazing. I dream about finding a car like this and having the means (i.e. money) to nut-and-bolt restore it to this concours level. Someday..  This is a 5-speed and as you can see, you’ll need a solid weekend to get used to shifting with your left hand if you’re not from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, etc.

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Good grief; I could, and would, eat off of this engine! This 110 hp, 1.6L 4G32 single-overhead-cam inline-four with twin two-barrel carbs has been gone through like like a jeweler goes though.. a jewel.. or somethin’. It’s not only drop-dead perfect to look at, restoration-wise, but it was balanced and is supposedly as smooth and powerful as Cordell Walker taking down a perp with a spin kick. These cars had great, light steering and crisp handling, not to mention rear-wheel-drive and impeccable build-quality. It’s a shame that rust-proofing wasn’t as meticulous or seemingly-important of a factor as it should have been. That makes a car like this worth this much because there are a tiny fraction of them left in any condition, and most very, very few if any others in this condition. This car will take a special buyer, and it’s not on everyone’s top-10 let alone top-100 list, but it’s sure on my list!

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Comments

  1. MSG Bob

    Not on my list – I’d be too afraid to drive it! When you get down to it, isn’t that what cars are for? Beautiful condition. though.

  2. Tirefriar

    Take it easy Scotty. Don’t want you to pop a coolant hose or something. From your level of enthusiasm I thought you discovered the Gmünd Porsche #47?that was wrecked at Le Mans.

    Yeah, it’s a nice condition Mitsu but over here these were Dodge Colts. I don’t care how clean one is, they are still not worth even £10k for a freshly minted one over here. I personally like the Plymouth Arrow with a stylish hatchback profile.

  3. Robert Van Der Heiden

    Who on Earth would even think about a nuts and bolts restoration of a car like this?

  4. Bruce Best

    Robert the condition is known as obsessive compulsive syndrome

  5. Alan (Michigan)

    The versions found here have been really popular among the “stuff a great big engine in it and head to the strip” crowd. Certainly not cars that survived well after being driven in the rust belt of the USA. I would not expect to find a stock/restored one in the States. A really clean one would be someone’s toy, with personal taste modifications to (radically?) improve performance.

  6. Yellowjax Member

    Nice write up and review.

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