39K Mile Flat Body: 1985 Dodge Conquest

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Just like the discovery of a long-lost car in an outbuidling gives you faith there are still barn finds to be found, a survivor-grade example of a rare car ignites hope that not every hard-to-find model has been lost to the sands of time. This early example of the Chrysler Conquest / Mitsubishi Starion twins here on eBay is in impeccable condition and has a Buy-It-Now of $6K.

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This early example of the joint-venture hot hatch is known as a “flatbody” because of its slimmed-down sides, as the later cars received significant fender bulges to create sort of a widebody appearance. I’m not sure which look I like better, but the purer body lines do reveal that this was an attractive car at its core, and you really can’t go wrong with whichever look you choose.

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The Conquest was said to have been owned by an older, mature couple, and although the automatic isn’t exciting, it does likely play a role in the local drift king not getting his filthy mitts on it. The oxblood interior is handsome and the factory sport seats remain in excellent condition. This car came with the Technica package, which adds some pizzaz to the interior as seen below.

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Digital dash! Straight out of the 1980s for sure, and it appears to be working just fine. That, along with other features like the power antenna and six-way adjustable seats are also said to be fully functional, with the only “dead” item being the FM tuner. That’s impressive for a car of this age that was loaded with 80s tech eye-candy, and is fitting with this Conquest’s survivor profile. Would any of you consider parking this in your garage?

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Comments

  1. AMCSTEVE

    The desirable model is the wide body. Auto kills it

  2. MathieuB

    Theses were not sold in Canada, at least I never seen one.
    Very nice car!

    • Glen

      I was about to say the same thing.

    • CarNut from Winnipeg Member

      I remember Mitsubishi Starion Turbos in Ottawa Ontario Canada in the 1980’s.

  3. CelestialGryphon

    Narrowbody isn’t terrible. Not amazing either, but I like the way it looks tbo. A neat spoiler would be cool.

  4. DVS

    I heard an amusing story that when the Japanese spokesperson for Mitsubishi announced the “Starion” to the US media, some of them were confused and thought the car was actually going to be called the “Stallion”. Don’t know if it’s true of not, but it always gets a chuckle out of me.

  5. Jeffro

    A friend of mine bought a Conquest TSI right out of high school in 88. It was black on black. 5 spd. Nice car. He never would let me drive it…hmmmm, was he really my friend then?

  6. Skip

    I saw one of these cars back in the early ’90s parked near a friend’s house. It was solid black and looked like it would run! It eventually disappeared, so I don’t know if the people moved or if it had been sold; but I would’ve loved it myself.

    BTW, was there also a Plymouth version?

    • The Walrus

      Yup. All Plymouths were narrow like this car. It was marketed as a Plymouth (and Dodge) during the early years (’84 to ’86). It became exclusively a Chrysler in ’87 through ’89.

      The rationale was that Plymouth already had a history with imports (Cricket, Colt, etc) to that point, however Chrysler didn’t. Most dealers in the network were either Chrysler/Plymouth or Dodge. So Dodge dealers had the Conquest and Daytona from ’84-’86 and Chrysler Plymouth dealers had the Plymouth Conquest and Chrysler Laser. When the Chrysler Laser was killed for ’87, they moved the line upscale as the Chrysler Conquest, all of which were highly optioned cars wide cars. Basicallyo all that are badged as Chryslers are wide bodies. Some ’86 Dodges were wide bodies (before the switch), but most Dodge Conquests are narrow (all Plymouths are).

  7. PaulG

    Having owned a couple of widebody’s, these cars can run. The last one I sold a couple of years back was built with 14# boost, great acceleration.
    These cars have quite the following, I sold both on ebay, and they were shipped cross-country. Doesn’t hurt that I live in the dry desert.
    This car is in great shape, and should fetch a premium; auto or not.
    To answer Skips question, there was a Dodge version, a Mitsubishi version, and a Chrysler version.

  8. Mark

    The closest I ever got to owning one of these was sitting in a brand new 89 Tsi at the local dealer. It seemed so futuristic at the time. Unfortunately, too expensive for me. Still is, lol. All and all, the styling has aged very well.

  9. Nova Scotian

    Hey its “Back to the Future” time! Does the Huey Lewis cassette come with? Nice car. Love the model with the pop up headlights.

    • Jeffro

      I actually miss cars with the pop up headlights!

  10. Jeff

    I had a 1987 Starion when I was stationed in Germany in the early 90s. Shipped it back to US when I returned here. That car was a blast to drive on the Autobahn.

  11. Kent Morris

    StarQuests are indeed wonderful cars and have aged well despite never meeting a curved line they liked. For those reminiscing over the ’88 black-on-black model, here’s my 40k original SHP example:

    Like 1
  12. '63 Lark Daytona ragtop

    I owned a 1985 mid-year transition model Dodge: Narrow body and intercooled engine. 150K mostly-flawless miles. I am tempted, but not enough time to go through with it and no garage space. (Yes, they came as Plymouths too, but much scarcer. The only difference is the rear badge) I had no problems with mine except faded paint and a wiring flaw near the battery. 30 year old tangles of vacuum hoses could be an issue.

  13. Tom hetrick

    my brother in law had the starion and my dad had 2 conquests. they eat turbos! dad had his in western Mass. useless in the winter had to back up the street in winter.

  14. nessy

    Oh wow, I had an 85 Starion in this exact color combo, red metallic they called it. Mine was the LE model 5 speed which came standard with the leather/digital package. The only option was a sunroof which my car had. They also had an ES model that year with larger tires but a cloth interior and a non digital dash. I also had a first year 83 Starion. When these cars first came out, nobody knew what the heck they were but everybody loved them. I also had the final year 89 Starion ESIR while a very improved car over the early flatbody models, I still liked my 85 the best. That digital dash was above the rest. The Conquest called their digital dash option the Technica Package, Starion called it the LE. The only difference was that the Conquest Technica talked to you while the Starion LE played a complete song everytime you opened the door, turned on the lights, put the key in and then another song when you turned the key on. No other car played this many songs, ever. My 85 played 4 different songs, so did my 83. I liked the songs better than the talking voice. Very different than the simple beep beep you hear today when you start your car. I never had a problem with any of my Starions. What a rocket these cars were in mid to high range passing on the highway. I wish I had my 85 back most of all.

    Like 1
  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I just saw a beautiful Starion drive by the other day – you definitely notice these now.

  16. Jim Kaufmann

    For the 85 Conquest/Starion. For the flatty you want the 1985 1/2 in the 5-speed version with the Intercooler. Much lower production numbers. I know for I have one. I have not seen another one like it. Has the duck tail dealer option spoiler. And the batwing Aussey front spoiler. To put this into perspective all StarQuests are rare. The rarest of the rare is the 1989 ESIR Starion. Only 146 made if memory serves my correctly. Cheers SLim JIm

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