Hatchbacks! From disco to New Wave, these “econoboxes” were the suburban second cars that ran errands in addition to the Estate Wagons.
These days, cars with lift-up rear doors typically don’t come with fewer than four side doors. But let’s step back in time to when the norm was two.
Pause for a second to admire this Colt’s pivot-out rear windows. You’d crack the fronts and pop the backs – or even just open the dash vents feeding those rear openings – to feel quite refreshed on a drive through a cool night.
This generation of Colt Hatchback bridged a gap. It debuted in the 1979 model year, when Carter was president and Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” topped the charts…
…and it lived most of the way through 1984, just before Reagan was re-elected and Prince sang about doves crying.
It was replaced for the 1985 model year for the super-boxy model that fit in with its super-boxy competition.
This Colt probably saw its first spark of life on the drawing boards in 1977.
It is 3.1 inches shorter than the 2015 Honda Fit.
There’s a purity to this Colt’s triangularity that makes it seem so right.
Back when tires were stupidly skinny, the contemporary road testers called them “rim protectors”. These would fit that characterization.
There’s a memory of test-driving a 1980 Colt RS that had a pile of miles on it, and its torque steer had to be managed, especially since it veered to the left toward the center line and then toward approaching cars. Its high mles precluded seeing it as a built-in behavior, but the way that Colt heaved toward oncoming traffic resonates to this day.
This Colt probably does not have that RS’s unpredictability, but the miles are undisclosed, so we don’t know.
Looks like this late first-gen Colt is not a Twin-Stick, and it’s got only four speeds in its manual. But still it’s a tempting snap-up for $1K. Don’t you think?