Nicest One Left? 1971 Dodge Colt

Talk about a time capsule: this 1971 Dodge Colt has been in long-term single family ownership until just recently, and is practically an artifact given how few are left in any condition – let alone nicely preserved like this example is. The Colt is a re-badged Mitsubishi of the same name, and was imported to help Chrysler Corp. provide a compelling fuel-sipper for customers feeling wary about buying yet another land yacht in the days of the energy crisis. The trouble is, most of them rotted away in short order, so if you’re looking for this vestige of captive import, you’re not going to find much out there. This Colt is said to have 60,000 original miles and been repainted once; the seats have been reupholstered. Find it here on craigslist in Salem, Oregon for $7,650.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Matt H. for the find. It seems like the Pacific Northwest never disappoints as it relates to forgotten classics still tooling around like any other daily driver. This Colt has led a charmed life, seemingly avoiding all the typical pitfalls that classic-era economy cars tend to be affected by, from uncaring owners to being left out in the elements for years at a time. Mostly, their best chance of survival is in the hands of an elderly owner – which this Colt enjoyed before being passed along to the grandkids. Amazingly, the younger offspring appeared to take just as a good of care of the Colt as their forebears did, which is why it still presents as well as it does today. The chrome bumpers are in great shape and it retains its original hubcaps, too.

The Colt is equipped with an automatic transmission, which likely ensured it was never driven in anger by the younger folks. What you notice right away here is the effect the repaint had on the original finish. It honestly looks like two different cars, with this photo standing out as showing the paint to be much brighter in tone whereas the other shots reveal it to be more orange in color. Regardless, this could just be a trick of the lighting, as every other photo shows it with an orange appearance. The interior is in great shape, with the upholstery work breathing new life into the cockpit. The original black vinyl roof was removed during the respray, but the roof was still painted in tribute to the original appearance.

The engine is a humble unit, featuring a 1.6L Mitsubishi four-cylinder fitted with a single Weber carburetor and an aftermarket air cleaner assembly. The original owner’s grandson addressed a few different maintenance items with the car, including rebuilding the brakes, sourcing a new exhaust system, servicing the transmission, and flushing the cooling system. The suspension was also supposedly freshened up, but details of the exact work completed are not included in the listing. The seller, Denwerks, is well known in vintage car communities for selling awfully nice examples of cars you rarely see in survivor condition, so I’d feel pretty comfortable following up on this one if you’re interested in adding a rare captive import to your collection of oddballs.


WANTED 1988-1989 Chrysler Conquest TSI Wanted. Prefer Red. Will travel nationwide for vehicle. Contact

WANTED 1966 Pontiac GTO Must be Maroon, BLK seats, 4 sp, exl con. every thing else is a plus, Money in hand. Contact

WANTED Caterpillar Any Wanted Caterpillar , in any condition running or non running for restoration project parts machine Contact

WANTED 1994/95 Dodge Dakota 4X4 Looking for a nice ’94/’95 Dakota 4WD in nice shape.Want a V8. Contact

WANTED 70 71 Chevrolet MonteCarlo Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    This Colt has been around the Internet more times than Jennifer Aniston’s fake nudes.

    Like 20
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    Why do you guys keep re-featuring cars like this?

    Like 5
  3. alphasud Member

    Looks like they might have done the rust repairs that were shown in the May listing as well as dropped the price. Cute car but I think the car being a Mitsubishi is going to be a hard sell at that price especially with the automatic transmission. Might help if it was a Toyota Corolla or a Corona.

    Like 6
  4. jerry z

    Car needs a hemi!

    Like 3
    • Joe

      And helper springs to jack up the rear.

      Like 2
  5. Stevieg Member

    Not only probably the nicest one left, the only one left. I haven’t seen one of these in decades.
    As a young kid, I thought they were kinda cool in a nerdy way. I question the build quality, since you see more Vega’s & Pinto’s than these.

    Like 2
  6. John C.

    1971-73 Dodge Colts are rare in good condition. I have an all original 71, low miles, no rust from Cali, (I’m in Pa.), bought it 10 years ago for $1600. Garage kept, a friend told someone about it and they called me, offered me $6000. without even seeing it, I turned it down, it’s not for sale at this time. This one listed will sell.

    Like 3
  7. Joey_2

    Should have been turned into either a Sox & Martin or Ron Lyles tribute car already.

    Like 1
  8. EoinDS EoinDS Member

    Australia got these with the Mitsubishi branding… the 1971 model also came in hatchback and very popular 2 door coupe.

    Like 1
  9. Wildfire

    I had a colt in the 80s that had a Nissan drive train and a 4 speed Trans It was supposed to be my then wife’s car but she could not drive it
    I taught her how to drive it and that car was indestructible at least the drive train , it took me 6 months to teach her to drive it and with all that abuse the clutch and transmission never gave a bit of trouble ~ I did have to replace the front fenders due to rust believe it or not there were 3 at a wrecking yard near Cleburne Texas and not many parts were gone from them ~ but all did have rust issues in Texas ! ~ I know her brother took it from her after we split , dunno what happened to it ~ but there was a serious issue with the paint and rust on every one I ever seen ~ never saw one with automatic tho

    Like 2

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.