1974 Dodge Colt a Very Car-Like Little Car

·1 min read
Photo credit: Dodge Division, Chrysler Corporation
Photo credit: Dodge Division, Chrysler Corporation

The Colt was the first Mitsubishi that Chrysler rebadged and sold in the United States, and the 1971-1978 rear-wheel-drive Dodge Colts did a fine job competing for sales with the likes of the Toyota Corolla and Chevy Vega. These cars were cheap and simple, emphasis on cheap, and the copywriters who worked on this magazine advertisement for the '74 Colts seemed to have trouble coming up with convincing praise for their subject matter.

Photo credit: Murilee Martin
Photo credit: Murilee Martin

Let's look at the selling points listed here:

  • Better fuel economy than Vega and Mustang II: Well, sure, since the Colt weighed 2010 to 2150 pounds, versus the Vega's 2219-2402 pounds and Mustang II's 2620-2866 pounds. The Vega and Mustang also had much larger engines than the Colt.

  • Front disc brakes: By 1974, just about every new car sold in North America had front disc brakes (with the notable exception of the Volkswagen Beetle).

  • Four-speed transmission: Yes, you could still buy new Detroit cars with three-speed manuals until 1981, but the four-on-the-floor manual was considered a relic of the previous decade in 1974 small cars.

  • Adjustable steering column: Now we're talking! Not many subcompacts had this feature in 1974.

  • Flow-through ventilation: Nearly every car had this by 1974, probably due to fear of carbon-monoxide lawsuits and/or federal regulations.

  • Reclining bucket seats and hidden radio antenna. OK, that's worth bragging about.

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