21,000 Miles: 1991 Plymouth Laser RS

I remember going to the local auto show as a youth and being absolutely consumed with this car, which in my opinion was a better-looking twin to the boy racer icon, the Mitsubishi Eclipse. The Laser seemed slightly more sophisticated by comparison, and escaped the over-zealous modifications the Eclipse was subjected to. This example here on craigslist is said to have just 21,000 miles and remain in excellent condition.

As is typical, this example is equipped with an automatic transmission. However, it seems that’s the only way a member of the Talon / Eclipse / Laser family can survive in condition like this, especially when equipped with anything other than the base model engine. This Laser does have the mid-tier DOHC engine, good for a respectable 135 b.h.p.

The Laser came with a few styling cues on the outside to set it apart from its siblings, including a color-matched targa-style bar between the cab and the rear hatch glass, and a smooth plastic trim piece between the front marker lights on the nose. The cabin retained the trademark “jet fighter cockpit” all of these cars shared across the platform.

Although the manual-only turbocharged engine is the trim most enthusiasts want, those cars are often abused heavily by young and old owners alike. This one appears to have escaped that fate, although it looks to have a cheap cone filter air intake installed. Still, the colors are perfect for a 90s sports coupe, and I love seeing any of these cars survive in condition like this.

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Comments

  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    WOW.
    Two cars in a row to trip my trigger, recalling the 1989 One Lap race/rally around the USA. 10K miles in 10 days. Seriously, that is what it was in those days. Long beach to Long beach, with Sonoma, Coeur d’Alene, Billings, Detroit, Indy, somewhere in VA, Sebring, Dallas, Hallett, Pike’s Peak, and Las Vegas in between. Yep, there were other stops too, and it’d take a prybar to the head to make me remember them.

    Our steed was a Red 1990 Laser RS Turbo with a 5-speed. One of our team members insisted that Plymouth had inserted a performance chip before we took possession, but I didn’t have any way of checking. It was FAST.

    This car is very cool, but would be underwhelming from a performance standpoint. I’d be tempted to DD it, at least in nice weather. There can’t be many left which look this nice.

    4
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Actually, I can’t forget Ascot Speedway, one day before the end of the journey. Heck yes, I remember Ascot, pretty much like it was just last week. My only time on a dirt oval, and thinking of it brings a huge grin to my face, along with maybe a tiny bit of moisture to the corner of my eye.

      One thing is for certain: The BEST advice I ever followed was there in 1989. When a local says “This is what you do”, Believe It, and follow to the letter!

  2. Dr.Nick

    Ah man, I remember my friend’s red Mitsubishi Eclipse AWD turbo in high school. Haven’t seen a Diamond Star car live for years.

    1
  3. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I traded an ’85 Xr4ti for a ’91 Eclipse with the same engine as this one, but manual transmission.

    After the Merkur disaster (recently mentioned in a previous thread), this was a breath of fresh air!

    • Jusitn

      Ah don’t forget there was a threesome when it came to these cars. There was also the Eagle Talon which in my opinion was the best looking of the three. Way more aggressive looking.

      1
  4. CanuckCarGuy

    Perfect car for this old dude to relive his youth…my bad knees and back would welcome the automatic, but my heart would yearn for a manual. I drove one new in ’91 when I was car shopping, along with the Celica, CRX and Integra…I went with the Integra, but to this day I still want a Laser.

  5. Mike

    The airfilter assembly in the photos is factory stock.

    A friend of mine in school picked up a 91 talon tsi. Completely unmolested white w grey insides. Granted this was 15 years ago, but they were still hard to find in clean shape.

    It was a gorgeous car with 103k on it. I think he had it a month until it was rear-ended by an f150. Was a sad day.

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