1987 Dodge Colt Vista - Project "Rosie"

Discussion in 'Member Builds' started by TheDirtyGoatee, May 13, 2013.

  1. TheDirtyGoatee

    TheDirtyGoatee New Member

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    So to give you a quick background of this car.

    It began it's life in Japan being built in November 1986. Dodge, in their infinite wisdom, decided to import the Mitsubishi Chariot for the American market and rebranded Dodge. Enter, the Dodge/Plymouth/Eagle Colt Vista. It made it's way to Lawrenceville, GA Hayes Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth/Jeep dealership.

    The story from here goes like this: My grandmother owned a 2 door Caddy. In late 86 she started watching a 2 year old me. The Caddy was paid off but a little older and at the time her husband had passed (my grandpa) so she didn't have a lot to spend. Enter... Rosie the Colt Vista (or just Rosie). Early 1987 a Dodge Colt Vista with 5 miles on the odo was purchased and picked up by my grandmother. A three row compact car. This car essentially is the first crossover/SUV. It's the size of a Chevy Cruze length wise but seating capacity is 7. These cars did come with option 4WD and 5 speed MT but my grandmother couldn't drive stick so she paid money to have the luxury of a 3 speed AT. (oh dear Lord)

    So... fast forward to 2006. My grandmother had just passed. She still owned the Colt Vista and drove it daily. It was then given to my father for safe keeping. I went to my father to request that it be sold to myself. My father being a proud parent of this moment tells me that he couldn't see it any other way and sold me the Vista for $1 in 2008. I subsequently drove it for a year but the problem was that it had a very bad issue of not starting randomly. The starter was brand new, brand new battery... not too sure. We moved into our new house. The Vista huffed and puffed it's way there where for the next 3 years, it would sit in the garage collecting no miles and lots of dust.

    Fast forward to January this year. The IRS finally got it's head out of it's ass and my IRS check from 2010... (not a typo... they are dumbasses) for the amount of $5,500 finally got approved. My wife had told me when we realized it was finally coming in that this money was solely for the purpose of getting Rosie roadworthy and to have fun with her. The ideas started flowing. So, to this day, she is now running full steam again (took her to a mechanic who used to work as a Mitsu tech for Mitsubishi in the 80's). I've got a little left on the budget but I'm trying to get her back to pristine shape before I go throwing crazy shit on her. She'll never be a sleeper like I wanted (mostly because even at 80 mph it's a scary feeling ride). So, she'll be a show car. I'm currently in the process of getting lowering springs made because the aftermarket support for this car is terrible. I think there might be 25-30 of these in the states in known running condition. There's maybe a handful in Australia running. Everywhere else... God only knows.

    So, without further hesitation... here come the pics!

    This is 3rd quarter last year before I knew the check was coming.
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    Here's the original window sticker (I still have this, all maintenance documents, and even the original sales ticket).
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    Here's me driving her for the first time in over 3 years from the mech to my house. She is running now better than ever.
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    A little dirty but now she's got her swagger on.
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    26 years old? Old enough for antique plates!
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    2.0l of 4G63 SOHC goodness. A crazy 98 hp!
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    The C-Pillar needed some TLC.
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    So I showed it some TLC with fresh paint.
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    It rained the day for so the dirt was washed away. Still needs a bath though. Yes, this is Struggleville, USA. Actually, Struggleville, GA really exists and I'm really parked in the town at this sign. It's unincorporated but really exists.
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    Just visiting some of my favorite photo spots.
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    Who is John Galt anyway?
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    Lastly, a YouTube video. Apologies for the wind but it was pretty windy yesterday.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hupyYgX-_Zw&list=UU4BnbUfOjbVJZj-Z57gq8WA&index=1

    Hope you enjoyed reading about my little project car. Purchased to tote me around when I was 2. Now, I'm 28 and the proud owner of a very good condition low mileage Colt Vista.
     
  2. cramersec

    cramersec Member

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    Ray Magliozzi would be proud of you. :top:

    Steve
     
  3. BSP06XRU

    BSP06XRU Old Member

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    My room mate back in the day had an '84(?) Colt with the twin stick.
    Little thing was a blast to drive!

    What did the mechanic say was wrong with the Vista's start-up problem?

    Good luck getting Rosie to where you want and hopefully getting another X! :top:
     
    #3 BSP06XRU, May 14, 2013
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  4. 05xrunnerx

    05xrunnerx New Member

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    I have never heard of or seen one of these before. That's pretty rare to only have 25-50 out there
     
  5. TheDirtyGoatee

    TheDirtyGoatee New Member

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    I had to look up who Ray Magliozzi was... sadly. I assume he's still living in which case I should contact him and let him know of my gem!

    Turns out it was something to do with the fuel system (they suspect) but since I let it sit for so long, they couldn't be absolutely sure. The engine was overhauled with all new fluids, belts, gaskets, and thoroughly cleaned. The entire fuel system was replaced (except the tank which was cleaned and refinished inside and out). So not 100% sure but I am anxiously awaiting the day I return to the XR community officially.

    05xrunnerx: I'm just saying that I know of about that many. I know there's probably a number of them running that are unknown because the fact is, this isn't an enthusiasts car or even a collector item.... (yet). So it's one of those cars that you'll see, think to yourself "That's odd," and go about your day.
     
  6. nick_gz1

    nick_gz1 Active Member

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    you should start with the front license plate mod and paint over that green and orange haha jk!
     
  7. TheDirtyGoatee

    TheDirtyGoatee New Member

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    Nah... I think I nailed that mod. There's also a green and orange Ibis mod on the back glass. lol
     
  8. cramersec

    cramersec Member

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    He's only been on the radio every Saturday morning for the last 25 years or so. I'm sure he'd be glad to hear from another DCV owner.

    Steve
     
  9. TheDirtyGoatee

    TheDirtyGoatee New Member

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    Now I really feel like an out of the loop jackass.
     
  10. TheDirtyGoatee

    TheDirtyGoatee New Member

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    Here's a few more from today. Got a new rear view mirror. The donor car was a 1997 Honda Accord :D.

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    Woot!!!
     
  11. TheDirtyGoatee

    TheDirtyGoatee New Member

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    Added some foglights to the old girl.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Torspd

    Torspd Moderator
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    When is the boost coming?!?! ;)

    But seriously. What kind of MPG does she get?
     
  13. TheDirtyGoatee

    TheDirtyGoatee New Member

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    The MPG is hard to rate because I've not been able to get a good way to check. The claim is like 28-30 mpg's but the gas tank is small and I think those numbers were inflated. I can get around 300-320 miles on a tank but it only costs me like 35 bucks to fill (I think 45 so far was the max).

    She's fun to putt around town in. She turns heads because people are like "Is that a Japanese import?" They have no clue what it is. I love it. My buddy's boss (he works at Bavarian Motorsports in Atlanta) saw us working on it in the shop a few weekends ago and said "Man what kind of car is this?" This came from a guy who owns a BMW Isetta.

    Boost? Not anytime soon. I'll need an extensive budget before I throw boost in. If I did, I'd need also a rollcage, racing bucket, 5 point harness, new suspension, and maybe a few other bits just to feel safe enough to drive this thing to the speeds boost would provide. It's scary enough riding in this thing at 85-90 mph.
     
  14. justin13703

    justin13703 Active Member

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    Just divide how many miles you go on a tank by how many gallons you put in. Do it a couple times and then average them together to be more accurate
     
  15. Torspd

    Torspd Moderator
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    BMW Isetta? I have to look that up.

    How many gallons is the gas tank?
     
  16. Execelon

    Execelon New Member

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    I'd love to see a 4g63 swap In this thing!
     
  17. Edgeman

    Edgeman Member

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    It's the Urkel car.
     
  18. TheDirtyGoatee

    TheDirtyGoatee New Member

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    Urkel car is correct. I've been doing the calculations but what I mean by that is it's been in the shop here and there and they usually top it off for me so the numbers are gonna be way off. I'll calculate them this time as there should be no intermittent times between fuel ups. I want to say it's claimed in the high 20's low 30's but that was when the numbers were super inflated. The tank should be in the ballpark of 10-12 gallons. The only time I would've been able to know I actually ran out on the side of the interstate because the gauge is horribly off. I wasn't able to calculate how much was put in to get me to the station.

    At any rate, I've dreamt of getting the 4G63 in it but this car would need A LOT of supporting mods both in transmission and suspension before that happens and stock parts are hard enough to find, let alone aftermarket support. Everything would have to be custom.

    It does have the 4G63 SOHC anyhow, mated to a 3 speed A/T. She runs like a champ now though.
     
  19. Sebax07

    Sebax07 New Member

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    It is looking good!
     
  20. TheDirtyGoatee

    TheDirtyGoatee New Member

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    As you can see the dash shot, the dash is made of that old school leather. Some of it is cracking. Anyone have tips on how to fix this before it becomes unsightly? It's got a few inch long cracks here and there.
     

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