All-Original: 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo 5-speed


I'm not sure if I've ever seen one of these on the roads. If I did, I probably didn't know what it was. But given that I'm in the northeast, were salt and snow destroy cars over time, it's probably a good bet to say I've just never seen one.

The best place to find obscure Japanese cars of the late '70s and '80s is in out west, especially California, Oregon and Washington, all along the Western seaboard and closest to the island of Japan. These cars were first imported to those states and they managed to survive there, thanks to an agreeable climate and communities of enthusiasts. This car is located in arid and dry Arizona.

This biggest selling point on this is the apparently all-originality of it. No cheesy aftermarket mods, no over-sized chrome wheels, LED taillights or racing stripes.

Instead, we have the essence of the car still intact.


The Cordia was a compact hatchback produced by Mitsubishi from 1982 to 1990, and sold here until '88. It was a front-wheel drive platform. Four-wheel drive was also offered in '84.

It was one of the first cars sold here without Mitsubishi's then-partner, Chrysler.

This is a front-wheel drive model.

Engine-wise there were a 1.4-litre,1.6-litre, turbocharged 1.6, 1.8-litre, and turbocharged 1.8, all four-cylinders.

This is the turbo model. The seller states it's a 1.8-litre turbo, but some sources tell me the 1.8 was introduced in 1985 onward. The 1.4 turbo produced 112hp and the 1.8 turbo produced 135hp.

It also has a 5-speed manual, an extra bonus for driving enthusiasts.


Styling wise, we are treated to a prototypical early-to-mid '80s Japanese hatchback, ready for the set of Blade Runner. A boxy, angular shape, clean flat sides, quad-square front headlamps, bulging bumpers and of course black plastic louvers covering the rear hatch window. Also note the squared-off rear wheel wells. It's all quite charming now, as we know in retrospect, with fwd and only 100-something-hp, that it's not the rocketship it looks like and wanted to be, but is instead an aggressive looking, reliable street bomber, nothing more or less.

I also like the factory mudflaps, half-body color molding and half black rubber with "Corida" printed in white on them.


Note the off-set Mitsubishi logo for a little bit of quirky Japanese zen that you never see anymore.


Inside we have a Citroen DS-like single-spoke steering wheel, and the usual box-housed instrument cluster. It's all grey-plastic business but it's extremely functional and has aged just fine.


The hatchback body provides great space with the rear seats folded down.

Cosmetically, vehicle seems fair to poor. In keeping with the all-original nature, everything seems worn from 28 years of use. Exterior paint and plastic trim is faded. Inside, the cloth seats are stained and torn.

The seller mentions the front plastic air-dam is gone, a common missing piece on older '80s cars as most are damaged from hitting parking curbs and usually discarded.

The seller states the car is indeed all-original except for some upgrades to keep it going like metal air intake tubes, and HELLA headlights.

Mechanically, they say it starts and runs fine, but may need new struts as the existing ones feel soft. They also say the a/c doesn't work.

They state the vehicle has only had one adult lady owner. They also say it is mostly rust-free (above all their photos they state "RUST FREE" but then below the photos they say "90% rust free, so I would definitely demand an explanation). The odometer in the pictures displays 189,819.9 miles, which is high but somehow comforting to see it still going.


This car would be great for either continued daily driving as-is or a full-restoration back to original glory, as long as you get it for under $5,000.

Find it here on ebay in Tucson, AZ with 6 bids at only $676, reserve not met and 2 days left.

1 comment:

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