1979 Mitsubishi Colt Sapporo
Extremely rare UK-supplied Sapporo with 2.0 engine, 5-spd 'box showing just 62,000 miles; family owned since 1991 and off the road since 2000
A truly rare survivor, and likely unknown to many who read this and see the pictures. Badged in the UK as the Mitsubishi Sapporo, it was also known as the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda, Plymouth Sapporo and Dodge (Colt) Challenger to cite but a few, depending on where it was sold.
Named after the Japanese city Sapporo, due to its positive International connotations following hosting the 1972 Winter Olympics - the Sapporo was marketed in the UK as part of Mitsubishi UK’s model range.
Dating from June 1979, this late model first generation coupe (or, as the Japanese liked to deem it a ‘Personal luxury car’), pushed the boundaries of the usual coupe spec and featured frameless doors, a vinyl roof, velour interior and as many power gadgets as the tech dept could throw at it. Powered here by the 2.0 litre 4G52 4-cylinder petrol engine (although badged GSR, we do not believe it to be a turbocharged GSR model) driving the rear wheels via 5-speed manual transmission.
The car has been with our lady owner since July 2004 when she inherited it from her late father who purchased the car in February 1991. It has been off the road since 2001 and garaged, although started and run once every 6 months or so. It was presented for MOT locally to the vendor in September 2005 but failed on 9 points with 2 advisories largely relating to not having been used (see check-mot.service.gov.uk and enter the registration) since when it has remained in storage (as pictured).
The mileage in June 2000 was recorded on the sole MOT we have as 62,116 miles and 62,460 miles in 2005 and it currently shows 62,462 miles suggesting the car has covered only 300 miles or so in the last 21 years. Within the history file, we find only the V5C, old style V5, sole old MOT certificate and owner’s handbook.
Finished in grey with light grey velour interior, the car has stood up comparatively well, the interior all appearing to be as it should, the seats supple and comfortable. Starting promptly when we moved it around for these images, it's clear the brakes are binding and the exhaust blowing but considering how few miles it has covered, it is encouraging that the car runs and moves about as it does – the clutch and gearbox engaging as they should too.
It is clear that it wiil need a thorough recommissioning, maybe even restoration to some aspects, but that aside, it’s a great find - a rare UK supplied car from new (Gordon Moss Motors Limited, Mitsubishi main dealers of Evesham we suspect) with low ownership and low mileage. We all know what’s happened to the rarer Japanese cars of this era of late, values have sky-rocketed – consider the old Skylines, Supras, Corollas, Celicas etc which have all risen exponentially.
Definitely one to watch...
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