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Mint Narrow Body: 1983 Mitsubishi Starion

The Chrysler Conquest / Mitsubishi Starion twins are rare to find in any form these days, but particularly so in the earliest iterations like this 1983 turbocharged example. Known as “narrow bodies” for coming before the widebody-look fender flares that graced the later examples, these are among the toughest cars to find in good condition and the right spec. Find this example here on craigslist in New York for a very reasonable $3,500.

These cars really ticked all the right boxes for being a child of the 80s: those crazy flat-face wheels, “Turbo” graphics, and taillight lenses carved into a checkerboard grid. The seller says there’s just over 100,000 original miles on this example, which features the turbocharged 2.6L four-cylinder. These svelte coupes were effectively another chapter in Mopar’s alignment with Mitsubishi to bring re-badged cars to the states, but in this instance, we’re glad they did.

The sport bucket seats are another vestige of the 80s, and unfortunately, are quite dried out. That’s a shame – and surprising – as the rest of the car is so honest and the New York location would typically mean sun damage to leather seats would be unlikely. Of course, given how it’s also unlikely that a car with such clean sheetmetal is in the Northeast, there’s a good chance this Mitsubishi has been relocated from a sunny, dry climate.

The Starion is said to be completely stock, which is a rarity for these tuner-friendly cars. The 2.6L that came stateside packs plenty of torque, but doesn’t necessarily deliver the visceral thrills like a high-strung Honda motor. For bringing to Cars & Coffee and confusing the techs at one of the few remaining Mitsubishi dealers, this turbocharged Starion looks to offer lots of smiles per dollar.

Comments

  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Are you purposely trying to torture me, Jeff?!..

  2. Cameron

    Ad photos show the seat bottoms are pretty beaten up. Otherwise it looks like an amazing example of ’80s techno styling

  3. Bob c.

    Is this the same “hemi” engine Chrysler used in their mini vans and k cars during that time?

  4. Mike B

    Ah yes, one of the points of light at the end of the malaise years tunnel.

  5. matt Member

    There is a red Conquest on South Dakota Craigslist right now, its a bit rough. Has a 5 speed though, so it might make a fun beater.

  6. Vincent

    The first picture at the top is unfortunate.

    If you look quickly, you see: AMC PACER !!! 😂

  7. Chuck Foster Chuck 55chevy

    Kind of looks like a Toyota Celica hatchback, I wonder why. My 85 GTS had those pop forward headlights.

  8. Rustytech Member

    Love the narrow bodies, and this one looks great. These things were fast! I had a five speed 83 back in the day, it would blow the doors off any contemporary Camaro or Mustang, maybe even Corvette.

  9. Kent Morris

    Bob c, yes, to some extent. The G54B 2.6 liter four started life as a forklift motor and while the rest of the world got the 2.0 we here in the States had to work with this large four-banger. But, it has its attributes and once intercooling was introduced in 85.5, things improved dramatically. It was used in other Mitsubishi engined vehicles from Chrysler, including minivans.

    For those of us in the StarQuest family, the hassles are worth it for the wonderful angles and unique driving experience.

  10. Miguel

    Finally a decent car at a reasonable price.

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