Live Auctions

Stored 35 Years: 1978 Dodge Colt

Based on the Mitsubishi Lancer, this 1978 Dodge Colt looks like a hidden treasure. This one would have been mine a couple of years ago in my quest to own several garages and storage units full of vintage Japanese cars. It can be found listed here on Facebook Marketplace with an asking price of $2,500 and it’s located in Scranton, South Carolina, about halfway between the beautiful capital city of Columbia and the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to SlantSixSwinger for sending in this tip!

Whether a person likes Japanese cars or not, it’s hard to argue with the condition of this stored Dodge Colt. This is a third-generation Colt and they were made from late-1976 for the 1977 model year through 1979. They had about a three-inch shorter wheelbase compared to the previous second-generation Colts and were nicknamed the “Mileage Maker”. They were known as the Plymouth Colt in Canada and the wagon version was based on the Mitsubishi Galant Sigma rather than the Lancer.

This car appears to be in amazing condition. It has been stored here in this garage since the mid-1980s, and the seller’s father-in-law apparently won it at a country fair! That’s a great story. In case the listing goes away, I saved it and you can see the listing here. The seller says that there’s no rust which is the best news ever for a vintage Japanese car as they typically didn’t last long in regards to rust. There is a dent on the roof which I wish they would have shown a photo of, but if that’s the only problem with the body, hopefully, that can be fixed without looking like a fix – if that makes sense. It will not be easy to try to match this 42-year-old silver paint.

The interior is appropriately dusty and dirty after being stored for so many years and air-conditioning would have come in handy in South Carolina for sure.  The only other interior photo is one showing the speedometer and odometer and 84,695 miles. That’s a lot of miles so this car has been driven in the seven years or so that it was on the road. This car was around $3,400 when new, about $13,600 in 2021. Good luck with finding a new car for that price today. This one has a 4-speed manual but an automatic would have been available.

The seller doesn’t say why it was put into storage or if the engine turns over. I’m hoping for the best and it sure looks good under the hood, doesn’t it? This isn’t a monster engine but it looks original and tidy. It’s Mitsubishi’s 4G32, a 1.6L inline-four with just under 80 horsepower. There’s no word on if it runs or even turns over but hopefully, it at least turns over. I’m sure that with 45-year-old gas, and everything involved with a car being in storage for that long, there’s a fair amount of work to do to get it on the road again, but it sure looks good. Have any of you owned a Dodge Colt of this generation?


  1. PeteL


    Like 9
    • John Cee

      yes it was a steal! I just sold mine, not quite as good for $5000. Hope they leave the old boy original.

      Like 3
  2. Jim in FL

    A friend of mine in high school had an optician for a father. They had four of these. One for each parent, and one for each kid. He was an early adopter of bulk buying I guess. His driveway looked like a small dealership.

    These were sewing machines with am radios and very simple. I remember my buddy Charlie’s running rough and we tuned it up with plugs and wires, filters, checked the timing and adjusted the carb in about an hour. Cool find for a low price. These were disposable at the time, so probably won’t see yourself on the street. Whoever gets this will have a lot of fun getting it going and tooling around.

    Whatever happened to low powered economy cars with manual transmissions? Made the most boring car somehow fun to drive. Another friend had a Datsun B210. Objectively a cheap boring car. But he loved to push it to the limit with the little four speed and manual steering.

    Like 6
  3. David Zornig

    Customer of ours at our Texaco bought a used one after a friend told her Dodge were good cars.
    She brought it to us afterward for an oil change.
    Pulled the plug and slowly out came the oil, with the distinct smell of 90 weight gear lube…

    Like 9
    • Skorzeny

      I saw some heavy weight oil get put into a Civic like that once. Boy did I think THAT was unethical…

  4. Roscoe Conway

    The front clip reminds me of a Pinto!

    Like 3
  5. Steve Clinton

    “1978 Dodge Colt, Stored 35 Years.”
    Who cares?

    Like 3
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      I thought the same thing, but this time decided not to say it.

      Like 2
  6. JIm

    My cousin had a ‘73 GT automatic. Later on we bought a ‘76 Plymouth Arrow,
    much better looking car.

  7. Skorzeny

    I had a friend in high school that had one of these with bias ply tires on it. That car was frightening to ride in. I think Mitsubishi quality was pretty decent then, but I know their carbs (or whomever supplied them) were not real great.

  8. David ulrey

    A day late and a dollar short. I would have been on this one. I had one in the mid 80s. Wasn’t a mint condition, pampered one either. Not beat to death by the previous owner but not pampered. Nothing outstanding about it overall but an absolutely dependable little car that was easy to work on. Took a 5000 mile road trip to from Arizona to Northern Wisconsin, no issues. Another trip from Arizona to Northern Idaho, no problems. All over Arizona many times. A basic no frills car but one of the most enjoyable cars I’ve owned. Power wasn’t it’s high point but had no problem keeping up with traffic while getting good gas mileage.

  9. MitchRoss Member

    These cars handles nearly perfectly. No reason to expect it by looking at the specs but like MK1 Escorts, they just were so well balanced. My sister had one in HS and it was more tossable than my mom’s 510 or my Cortina GT

  10. chrlsful

    A storm of our shores (preceded by the VeDub Big 15 yrs earlier) that went more successfully (I think the falcon, etc beat europe, no response 4 this one). I liked “the next thing” they brought us better. This model had the 2 shift levers (econo, regular) in the Vista. I liked them as the pre-mini van revolution (2 AWD/4WD wag0van, corolla; the colt vista, eagle summit, mitsu MVP, nissan Stanza, etc).
    This is a good’un tho.

  11. Bob Deveau

    I drive a 76, 80K. A few rust spots but a survivor. Why can’t I show pictures?

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