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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.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.