Stored 16 Years: 1987 Chrysler Conquest TSI

In the 1970s, Chrysler Corp. and Mitsubishi of Japan forged a partnership that would result in a number of Mitsubishi-made cars being sold by Chrysler in the U.S. for many years. One such car was the 1980s Conquest, which was a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi Starion, a two-door, turbocharged four-cylinder rear-wheel drive four-seat hatchback sports car. This stellar-looking 1987 Conquest TSI has recently come out of dry storage where it has resided for more than 16 years. The list of new parts installed is as long as your arm. The car can be found in Minneapolis, Minnesota and available here on eBay where only the opening bid of $3,999 has been met so far. There is no reserve to fret over.

The Starion would debut in Japan in 1982 and was one of the first modern Japanese turbocharged automobiles with electronic fuel injection. It was Mitsubishi’s version of a grand touring (GT) sports car to compete with the likes of the Nissan Z cars, Mazda’s RX-7 and Toyota’s Supra. Chrysler soon got its version of the car and the Conquest was available at Dodge and Plymouth dealers as well. There were both narrow- and wide-body versions of the car and the wide-body was called the TSI, like the car here. U.S. versions of the Starion were fitted with a turbocharged 2.6-liter engine that produced a minimum of 145 hp. About 17,000 of the cars were built for 1987.

We’re told this bright red Conquest has been in a dry, concrete garage since about 2004. Once the car was pulled out, a fair amount of work was done to get it running again and that mission was accomplished. The body and paint have held up well after 33 years with a few scratches and small — less noticeable – dents. The seller indicates there is some slight fading on the hood and driver’s side fender. The front valance has a crack on both sides and the rear bumper cover also has a crack. We’re told there is no evidence of rust, above or below.

The 2+2 leather interior looks to have been well maintained and the seller says it shows nicely after receiving a good cleaning. We’re told everything works in the passenger compartment except the air conditioning, which has been removed but will be included with the sale. There is a crack in the windshield, but the seller says replacements are available at reasonable prices. The odometer reading is just 1,345 miles away from turning 100,000. The car is well-appointed, with the likes of power windows, power seatbelts and a music system.

A ton of things have been done with the car mechanically to make it a capable driver for the new buyer. This extensive list includes – but is not limited to – the fuel pump, fuel filter, brakes, tires, all tune-up parts, belts, power steering hose and a bunch of suspension parts. The seller says it fires right up and runs with plenty of clutch life left. We’re told it will stumble sometimes under a load and there is a small oil leak. Also, there is a MAF error/stored code, so the MAF sensor may need to be replaced or rebuilt.

The Chrysler Conquest TSI doesn’t seem to have a big collector following, at least not yet. We found mostly used car prices online to compare and they seem to be in the low five figures. Considering the amount of time and money the seller has put into this car so far, the bidding will need to heat up.

 

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Comments

  1. Chunk

    Cool car. I always liked their looks, and a RWD manual coupe is always a good thing.

    Like 6
  2. Riddler

    These are great touring cars. Performance for the era was very good. Take this to a show and most people wouldn’t know what it is. It styling is contemporary, so in good shape, it doesn’t appear all that vintage considering it’s 33 years old. I am told there not that hard to work on compared to newer vehicles, but new body/interior parts as well as gas tanks, rear struts are not available. They have a cult following, Starquest club website where info on parts and repairs are discussed. Values rising recently for better examples, but most available cars poorly modified, used hard or worn out. Find a good one and you most likely stand out in the car collector/ racer crowd.

    Like 2
  3. Tom c

    The drivers side looks like all three panels are different colors.

    Like 5
    • Nick E

      Several pictures show that the hood, front bumper cover, left headlight cover, and left front fender all appear to be a lighter shade. I wonder if it was in a front end collision at some point.

  4. G Lo

    I had one of these-silver with a red leather interior. All of the clear coat was gone, and I mean all of it. Still, it looked very cool, shifted great, handled very well, great on long road trips, and had a ridiculously huge fuel tank, nearly 700 miles range. These cars were loaded with every available option at the time. I see this one has the antenna issue-supposed to be a power retractable unit. Also, the real issue with these was the infamous “black box” ignition component. These would just drop and leave you stranded. Had mine rebuilt and it worked great for the next few years. I think these look great in silver or blue.

    Like 3
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Many Mitsubishi products had the “black box” issue, primarily caused by capacitors which leaked and severed/corroded printed circuitry. There are fixes, some expensive if other parts were fried when short circuits happened.

      Like 2
      • AMCFAN

        Ha I have a 1G Eclipse with the same dreaded “Black Box” issue right now. One day running. Next day Not. Not digging it I must say.

        No DSport/DSM Shootout this year due to Covid. Would have been able to pick up another on the cheap. Plus see some great race action. Hopefully next year.

        Speaking of DSport Magazine they are the last tuner import car related magazine. Still in a magazine format. They have had some interesting recent articles on a Starian/Conquest build. Their motivation was to correct the issues from the factory and make better/more performance. Fuel management has changed since the 80’s. They achieve their goal. A great read.

        I mention this for anyone interested in the goings on in the import scene. I am sure DSport could use your support.

        Like 3
  5. Spanky

    I like the widebody but a bigger sinkhole than my 88 Toyota Celica 4WD Turbo.

    Like 3
  6. Philip Lepel

    Loved these cars. And was the perfect competition for the Mustang GT Turbo of the same time period with a similar engine making identical power. Though it may not have been what America wanted it goes to show Ford was attempting to build a world sports car to compete with Germany and Japan.

    Like 1
  7. Ken Jennings

    Who came up with the brilliant idea for those seat belts in those years?!! Man, what a PITA! Also, I do not remember these available in Dodge dealerships, only Chrysler Plymouth. Plymouth didn’t have a version of the Daytona/Laser, so as I recall, they got to sell these.

    Like 3
    • Riddler

      Yeah, only first year of the widebody (86) came without the auto seatbelts. But they had an their own version of fuel injection, which is incompatible with later versions and can’t be found (new) anymore. Widebodies tend to have paint issues when photographed, due to extreme angles and shadowing. Panels appear to be different shades, testament to the angular lines of the widebodies. Early WB’s were 176 HP with the last versions pushing 188 HP with better EFI. Also wider staggered wheels and adjustable suspension available on 88/89 models, making them better versions of the car. All years pretty rare though, as are parts in general.

      Like 3
  8. jerry z

    There is one for sale locally with a nice body that needs reassembly Same color too and cheap! Remember these new but with only a 4 cyl, couldn’t get myself to buy one.

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