Weekly Motor Fix: we found a 1983 Mitsubishi Cordia GSR Japanese time capsule

9 July, 2015


We have heard the term, ‘owned all its life by one lady owner’ and thought, ‘yeah, right’ plenty of times before …

Well folks, this unbelievably original and immaculate 1983 Mitsubishi Cordia GSR time capsule is literally a low-kilometre, genuine, one-lady-owner-since-new vehicle. What’s even more exciting is that it’s currently on the market, and with the steady interest in classic Japanese cars on the rise, it would surely make a sound investment for an astute buyer.

Sadly, the owner has passed away, so the car has been offered for sale. When Betty purchased the Cordia, it was brand new from the Todd Motors factory right here in New Zealand. This example has been stored in a garage since 1983, and has been lovingly cared for, with protective blankets covering the rear seats, and sheepskin covers protecting the front. As you can imagine, it’s like stepping into a time machine, taking you straight back to the early ’80s — it’s like new.

Being the factory turbo example, it has ample grunt to propel the Cordia around quite nicely. The gearbox is the factory four-speed manual, and has a power- and economy-override lever. There is no power steering in this old girl either, but if an elderly woman can handle it, then it can’t be too arduous on the biceps.

There certainly wouldn’t be too many examples like this left anywhere, and it’s more than likely one of the most original Cordia GSRs in New Zealand — complete with the original warranties for both the car and stereo, service-care plan, and original registration papers.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.