Curbside Classic: The Last Mitsubishi Cordia Still On The Street?

(first posted 4/16/2012)    As is all-too obvious, I have a particular soft spot for older Japanese cars, especially the more obscure varieties. So when I walked into this Cordia on a trip to the Bay Area a while back, I just had to stop and shoot. I haven’t seen one since moving to Oregon, but then the Cordia was hardly a big seller, and Mitsubishi rolled out its US presence bit by bit. Now if I could just find its companion sedan, the Tredia…

…I’d have a complete set of the Mitsubishi trio. By the early eighties, Mitsubishi wanted more of the action than just wholesaling cars to Chrysler, and pissed off its partner by going into business in the US by itself. Since the Colt and Space Wagon were tied up by Chrysler, Mitsubishi began by sending a trio of the more stranger-named cars just about ever to hit these shores: Cordia, Tredia and Starion (CC here).

The Cordia name was explained as a combination of cordorite, a lustrous mineral, and diamonds, Mitsu’s logo. The Tredia (above) was supposedly named after the three-diamonds logo. And the Starion? Well, we took that on in our recent CC.

Anyway, Mitsubishi started out with a small dealer network, which was in California and…California. Well, actually, a few east coast markets were technically also part of the slow roll-out, but damn if I ever saw one of these Cordias out east. And if any were sold, they’ve obviously long since succumbed to the oxide god.

The 1982 and 1983 Cordias came with a 82 hp 1.8 L four, and the 1984s with an 88hp 2.0 four.  The real gem among the Cordias is the 1984 turbo, which had a 116hp 1.8 four. Hot stuff, for then. (Update: CC Cohort Charkle the 2nd found this one)

Well, here’s the Cordia; so are there any early Mitsubishi fans out there? Does anyone care? But before this obscure box completely leaves our collective memories, it deserves its fifteen seconds of fame. Consider it done.