HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: '83 Plymouth Sapporo, a captive import in prime...

Pick of the Day: ’83 Plymouth Sapporo, a captive import in prime condition

The Mitsubishi-derived coupe has been driven just 13,500 miles and looks like new


Some cars of the past are best forgotten, and today they are “rare for a reason.” But others are good cars, even cool cars, that have fallen by the wayside, such as the Pick of the Day, a 1983 Plymouth Sapporo 2-door coupe.

This Sapporo is in sparkling original condition, having been owned by a single family and driven a paltry 13,500 miles, according to the North Royalton, Ohio, dealer advertising the apparent time capsule on


“This has to be the nicest 1983 Plymouth Sapporo on the planet,” the dealer says in the ad. “Stunning all original Beige Crystal Coat paint. All original paint and body! Beautifully detailed from top to bottom! Immaculate undercarriage! Newer tires and batteries.

“Just recently serviced and in excellent running condition.”

The Sapporo was a so-called captive import, spawned in an alliance between Mitsubishi and Chrysler, which sold quite a few of the Japanese automaker’s products with its own branding.  The Sapporo and its near-twin, the Dodge Charger, were based on the Gallant Lambda (yes, Chargers were for a time built by Mitsubishi), and sold in the US from 1977 to 1983.


These were sporty, good-looking cars that sold in decent numbers, but they are mostly all gone and long forgotten, aside from such anomalies as this.  They were designed to be driven daily and used up, as most were.  Why was this one essentially never driven but stashed away like some pricy exotic?  Weird, but there it is.

The name Sapporo, by the way, comes from the Japanese city on the northern island of Hokkaido, in a region famous for its beer and winter sports, serving as the site of the Winter Olympics in 1972.

But this Sapporo has never seen a winter day or any other kind of inclement weather, according to the dealer, and is “a true cream puff” in near-perfect unblemished condition. 

“Meticulously cared for since day one. extremely clean inside and out,” the dealer adds.

The Sapporo is powered by Mitsubishi’s sturdy 2.6-liter inline-4, an engine used worldwide in a variety of applications.  The engine is hooked up with a 5-speed manual transmission, definitely the best setup.

Some pictures in the ad show the coupe wearing its original steel wheels and hubcaps, while others show it with custom rims.  Both sets come with the car, the dealer says.


This very unusual survivor is priced at $21,900, and whomsoever buys it should drive and enjoy.

To view this vehicle on, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. Couldn’t disagree more with your last statement, “… should drive and enjoy”. This car should become a trailer/show queen for all to enjoy such a time-capsule. Every mile put on her will devalue her… until all you have is another disposable import.


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