YORK, England — Remember the Dodge and Plymouth Colts of 1971 through 1994? The Colt name stayed alive after that on Mitsubishis sold elsewhere in the world, and I’ve found a 21st-century example in a self-service wrecking yard near York, England.
This generation of Colt served as the basis for the Smart ForFour, so (as promised) I’m following up a ForFour Junkyard Gem with this article about its sibling in the same knacker’s yard. Like the ForFour, this car was built at the NedCar assembly plant in the Netherlands.
Mitsubishi began using the Colt name in Japan back in 1962, then killed the name at home in favor of the Mirage when that car debuted in 1978. Export-market Mirages got Colt (or Champ, or Lancer and many others) badging at that point. For 2002, the Colt returned to Japan with a brand-new platform, and that’s the generation we have here.
The engine here is a 1.5-liter Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel, rated at 95 horsepower and 155 pound-feet. A 148-horse turbocharged gasoline-burning Mitsubishi 1.5 was available in the UK as well.
The transmission is a five-speed manual. A six-speed automatic was an option.
It’s a small car but not microscopic; its wheelbase is just over 98″ and its curb weight is about 2,500 pounds.
The tall roof gives it great storage capacity, a trick often seen in kei vans.
This generation of Colt continues to be sold in Taiwan through the present day, as the Colt Plus. In Europe, an all-new Colt based on the Renault Clio was launched last year.
It was cheap.
In Japan, cuteness was played up in Colt commercials.