Last Of Its Kind On The Streets Outtake: 1978 Plymouth Sapporo – Should It Have Gone Into a Museum In 2006?

A while back I started a series of what are almost certainly the last of their kind still on the streets here. While there’s always a good chance there might well be another one (or more) on the ones I’ve done so far, I’m mighty certain this is the one and only Sapporo hereabouts. And it has been since I first shot it back in 2006, one of the first cars I ever shot, several years before starting my CC series at the old site.

It was in pristine condition then, but since it is a genuine daily driver (I see it regularly), it’s obviously not immune to the forces of entropy. Still, it looks pretty good, like a well-kept ten year old car, which it essentially is. But maybe it should have gone straight into a museum instead.

Here’s how it looked back in 2006. I was pretty blown away when I stumbled into it, as it was so well preserved. I assumed it had to have been an old-person’s car that hid in the garage for several decades before being discovered. And I was right. I ran into it when the owner was arriving, and he confirmed it. He bought it about seven years ago from the classic old lady type: only drove it to church on Sundays; literally. It had 24k miles then. That explains the pristine interior. But it’s become a daily driver since then, probably the only Sapporo in the world in that capacity, or it least in this kind of shape. A true Curbside Classic; no wonder it inspired me to look for more, and more, and more….

It still looks pretty good, at least form this angle.

But obviously, the vinyl top is showing the effects of its re-introduction to UVs.

Actually, it’s getting pretty bad.

Here’s how it looked in 2006. I rarely say this, but this car might have been worth putting into a museum after it was bought in 2006, as where else is one going to see a pristine Sapporo in 2067? Maybe there’s a Mitsubishi museum in Japan, but if so, they probably don’t have the Plymouth or Dodge branded ones. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the finest example left in the US in 2006. It may still be, despite the deteriorating vinyl.

At least he has seat covers. Hopefully he put them on a while back.

Here’s how they looked in 2006. Good luck trying to restore these with the right fabric.

Ouch; the MCAJet badge on the trunk has melted away, or something like that. Or maybe it just fell off.

Here it is in its 2006 state. It’s a bit sad to see it slowly falling apart. yes, just yesterday I was extolling honest patina. But this car was so well preserved and is so rare. Apples and Hassaku oranges.

Coincidentally, a very nice (restored, no doubt) Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser was parked next to it. I only got one shot, but you know what they look like. If not, head this way.

My CC on the Sapporo is here.  It’s titled “Stayin’ Alive”, which turns out to have been rather appropriate.