I’m hitting the road tomorrow to check out a possible project car for my dad and I to get to work on. It will be our first such project and want to find something interesting to do up. Not a show car by any means, just a nice, cool driver.

I found this ‘73 Colt/Cricket (Mitsubishi/Dodge & Plymouth) online and the seller wants $2000 CAD or best offer. Seems a little steep to me but with so few of these out there it’s a hard one to put a good value on.

The car has apparently been parked since 1978(!) for some reason which I know is a pretty big flag but could also be a bargaining chip. It was primed in “the early ‘80s” but clearly never finished. I’m told it has been indoors its entire life.

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It comes with an 1800cc engine installed but also with the original 1600cc. The original motor apparently had low compression so was swapped out. Everything appears to be intact in the engine bay (besides the battery missing front right) and the seller claims that it actually runs! I guess I’ll find out tomorrow for sure...

My one major concern - obviously - is rust. The driver’s side front quarter and sill might need some work but it’s hard to tell from the blurry pictures and the red primer (also I haven’t seen the passenger side at all). The bottom is pretty shabby which I guess is to be expected of a car that has been sitting this long and I’m tempted to say that if I poke around at the frame and things seem solid enough that most of this will likely be remedied with disassembly, a wire-wheel, lots of patience, and some good stone-chip paint. Am I crazy to think that? The one chipping frame rail has me most worried but it could be okay underneath. Leaky diff. too, but that’s okay.

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Other than that the body looks surprisingly tidy for an old Colt with the only obvious bad rot on the truck lid and a few holes in the trunk floor. It does however look nice and straight in there which says to me there haven’t been any major (or even minor) hits.

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Same story with the front. It appears to be nice and straight. Good bumpers is always a plus too, when they are likely next to impossible to find in good condition.

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My favourite thing though has to be the awesome condition of the interior. It needs a wipe, sure, but other than that it looks to be in great shape. Bonus for the great looking grille being in there!

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My dad and I don’t have much experience with body work but I know the basics and he is a decent enough welder. I think my biggest worry is going to be scarcity of parts, especially body parts, if needed.

So, as someone looking for some advice looking at a first project to tackle, what are your thoughts? And yes, I know that being a Canadian car this is actually a Plymouth Cricket but there are no doubt more American readers with more experience with these cars which are Colts down there. Thanks!