Live Auctions

9k Mile Survivor: 1986 Mitsubishi Starion ESI-R

Back when the whole import tuner thing was really big, the Starion was one of the hot cars to get. Unlike the Hondas that were so popular to soup up at the time, the Starion had rear wheel drive and a turbo-charged engine. It was actually built to go fast and many of them were used for that very purpose. That’s one reason we are so surprised to find this nearly perfect example with only a little over 9,000 miles on the odometer. It’s located in Ventura, California and is listed here on eBay where the auction is ending shortly.

If you think the outside looks eighties, then you should take a peek inside! The seller mentions that it looks like something straight out of Star Wars. Everything looks futuristic including the stereo and climate control buttons. Interiors from this era normally don’t age very well, so it’s a good thing that this car hasn’t seen much use. The seller claims that the previous owner bought the car new when he was almost 60 and then only put 9k miles on it. They suggest that since he was a antiques dealer, he may have known these would be collectible someday.

That may have been the case, but it’s probably more likely that he just got too old to enjoy driving it. Whatever the reason, it’s ready for a new owner who will appreciate and preserve this awesome time machine. The retro interior and wide body fenders are great, but that engine is the crown jewel here. It displaced 2.6 liters and was one of the largest four cylinders you could get at the time. Strap a turbo on it and stick it behind a 5-speed and you had a recipe for some serious fun!

These cars competed with the big boy Japanese sports cars. Everyone has heard of Toyota’s Supra, Mazda’s RX-7, and Nissan’s 280ZX, but few know about Mitsubishi’s Starion. That could be because it was also sold as a Chrysler Conquest on our shores or maybe just because they didn’t build as many. That does mean that parts supply is limited today, but even that wouldn’t keep me from wanting to have this in my garage. It would look great with a Back to the Future post on one wall and a Spy Hunter arcade machine in the corner!

Comments

  1. Jeffro

    Loved these. I wanted to buy one right out of high school. Of course, I was naive to think that I could afford the car/insurance, apt, hot girlfriend, and all the other big plans I had. All on an auto detailers pay. These styling on the cars is timeless.

    Like 1
  2. Nickhockman Member

    Love the looks of these.

  3. Moxman

    Wow…this car is absolutely stunning. I remember these as being a really fast 4 cylinder turbo car that handled pretty good too. These cars still have a cult following, to this day. Everything about this car looks great. Hope this one goes to someone who will appreciate it.

  4. Neal

    Thats a cool car and an uber-“classy” eBay ad. Big money, though.
    I thought that both Mazda and especially Nissan (Datsun) had turbo cars with injection before then too.
    Any worries that failures of fittings and o-rings, plastics, and electronics might be imminent?
    I guess if one can afford this now, you can afford to fix it too.

  5. Pa Tina

    Much better deal than a 1986 Corvette when new.

  6. Oldog

    Sounds like a true story, Roy the owner ran the Collectors Corner in downtown Santa Barbara for many years

  7. ccrvtt

    If a Starion is what you’ve been searching for, this is the one. Very cool car. Whoever gets it won’t be disappointed. We had this engine in our very first minivan. Reliable until something in the intake manifold burned up, but a better option than the 2.2 liter VW/Chrysler 4 cylinder.

  8. alan

    Beautiful car and great car to drive, too bad about the side moldings.

    • Pa Tina

      I didn’t notice the moldings until I read your comment.

  9. irocrobb

    I always loved them but rarely saw one.Looks like a beautiful car and the bidding is climbing. Kinda of reminds me of the Supra from around 1983. I had a family then or might have bought one.

  10. Superdessucke

    Wow, what a story! Today’s 60 year-old would buy a CUV, complaining that their knees and back are too bad to get into a regular sedan. And with automatic of course. It’s just too hard on the legs to have a manual with traffic.

    The Great Generation was truly great.

  11. russell spreeman

    Those 1980’s dashboards have not aged well. They all look like something out of a Voltron cartoon, bunches of squares, too much blank space, really no visual appeal. The gee whiz factor is long gone.

    • Pa Tina

      Each to his own. I’m tempted to put a quarter in the slot every time I start up my 1984 Corvette.

      • russell spreeman

        I don’t remember the actual hp over the years for the Vette but sometime around ’84 or maybe earlier? they got down as low as 165 hp. Imagine getting your Vette stomped by your aunt’s V6 Camry…

      • whippeteer

        Heck @russell. My 2008 Chevy minivan has 180 hp…

      • Pa Tina

        205 raging ponies under the hood of my 1984 Corvette. My 2007 Edge has 265.

  12. JohnD

    Bidding is at $17k. This is likely the nicest example left on the planet, so I’m not surprised. 80s rock!

  13. PaulG

    I’ve owned a couple of these (Chrysler Conquest Tsi variants) and this one is terrific. Many times I’d choose the conquest over several vehicles I owned when traveling any distance. These cars eat the interstate miles and are a lot of fun.

  14. russell spreeman

    Hmm, the ‘great generation’ for cars was 20+ years earlier. I actually did like this model when it was new, and I had a Dodge D50 (Mitsu) pickup with the 2.6 and the 5 speed – it was my ‘take home’ work vehicle and I thrashed the daylights out of it. I’m not a fan of much about this car but almost any car this age with so few miles deserves a close look. I’d take it over any Fiero, that is for sure.

  15. Rx7turboII

    I love how he says ” the first Japanese sports car featuring efi and turbocharging”… What happened to the 84 300zx turbo?? Lol. Newbie seller…

    • Neal

      I had the same thought.

    • Turbotimez

      These cars came out in 1983.

      • Rx7turboII

        Ok then…what about the 1981 datsun 280zx turbo? checkmate and win…lol

  16. nessy

    I just love the Starions. I had a first year 83 with that one year only hood scoop, nobody knew what a Starion was but everyone knew it was a wild car. Then an 85 with the full digital dash, that car played a 1 minute song when you opened the door, then, a last year 89 widebody. They were all outstanding cars. My favorite was the digital dash, music playing 85. If this silver beauty only had the sunroof option….

    • Billy

      ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  17. space GREGORY POLLACK

    I wanted to buy the conquest back in 1989 but ended up buying a 1989 LeBaron gtc turbo coupe 2.2 turbo 2 with a 5spd. I was able to top out the speedometer at 125 in 3rd and have 4th and 5th to go with no governor. Also do burn outs till you couldn’t see the car. I do have an 1988 2.6 liter for sale automatic block thats rebuilt for sale

  18. Rustytech Member

    When these ( or their sister the Conquest ) first started showing up at he the dealership I was impressed. I had seen and driven several Japanese imports and had no interest in owning one. The first time I test drove one of these I was hooked. Three years later when one of my customers traded his in I was in with the used car manager before it even made it to the back lot. Two days later it was mine! Looked just like this one. I had lots of fun with it over the next five or so years. When I sold it, it had over 140k which was a lot in those days, and it was still strong. They are rare as hens teeth today, especially in this condition. Great find guys!

  19. DonS

    I loved the heck out of my brand new ’89 Conquest. It looked great, drove great, had excellent power and a few quirks. The window frames of the front doors would be sucked outward above 120 (maybe 130) and create quite a roar. It was sold for a used ’90 Nissan 300ZX that I loved even more.

  20. california kimber

    I have 2 of these but only good for parts, make me a deal if really like em so much!

  21. Billy

    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  22. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Winning bid:US $17,400.00
    [ 28 bids ]

    • space GREGORY POLLACK

      That’s around the price when new

      Like 1
  23. Big Lee

    I had an 88 Conquest TSI, black on black back in 98. It was my 1st turbocharged car and I did a number of mods to it to improve performance, high flow head (stock head was a real restriction), larger upgraded turbo, intercooler piping, hi flow intake, turbo downpipe and exhaust, BPV, etc. It would hold its own on the highway
    Got it up to 145 once and it would run high 13’s at the track with crappy tires.
    I ended up parting it out as it was worth more in parts than whole in 2000. Once I stripped down the vehicle to the shell a guy drove from Ohio to upstate NY with his wife to buy it. He collected the things and had 5 already. It but it was the 80’s version of the 3000gt.

  24. Mark

    Pulling mine out of old cattle barn after a 20 year hibernation, after minor deer collision. Got my fingers crossed. Needed struts when it went in and new header panel, left headlight and pop up hardware damaged. Stock motor and plumbing W/74k showing. Wish me luck!

    Like 3
    • Mark

      Just a follow up to pulling my car from 20 year storage. It took replacement of all rubber, fluids. Total tune up with injectors cleaned flowed, re-soldered. Rebuild damaged intercooler, new used headlight motor/mechanism, repaired header and paint work. Good cleaning of mouse nests, luckily no wiring damage. About 6k with tires, gas tank cleaning, rebuilt fuel sending unit. Runs great, looks good. Going for cleaning/detailing by fall. Glad to have back on the road. Moral of the story is don’t let a car like this sit. Most painful problems were fuel related due to old gas. These are few and far between cars, this one never driven in winter, shedded out of elements. May not be perfect, but what is? Enjoy every nice day I get to drive it.

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