By on May 21, 2015

10 - 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

We’re following up a week of Volkswagen Junkyard Finds with 21st Century Junkyard Finds (don’t worry, we’ll go back to Junkyard Finds arranged in whatever random order strikes my fancy soon enough). On the heels of yesterday’s ’02 JuggaLambo, here’s a not-even-a-decade-old fourth-gen Mitsubishi Eclipse that showed up at a Denver yard last week.
17 - 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

You don’t see many cars this new in self-service wrecking yards (unless you’re living in the five-year period following the debut of an excruciatingly bad car), and the ones you do see tend to have been involved in fires, strip-and-dump thefts, or high-speed wrecks. This Mitsu falls in the latter group.

06 - 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The final owner of this car appears to have been a fan of Drunk Pedobear.

15 - 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Many stickers adorned this Eclipse. That’s what made it so fast.

08 - 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Did the speedometer stick at 60 mph at the moment that Mitsubishi steel hit the concrete?

18 - 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

This one has the 162-horse 2.4 with variable valve timing.

This ad is for the previous generation of Eclipse, but it tells us a lot about the car’s target demographic. Are you in?

The ’06 was driven to thrill.

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38 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse...”

  • avatar

    This car looks like it was used as a chew toy for a Transformer.

  • avatar

    My sister bought one of these new and in the first year for this style. She was coming off an Acura RSX lease and still wanted a two door car. It was that iridescent orange they all seemed to come in, so I nicknamed it the Kabocha (Japanese for squash or pumpkin). She did have them remove that aluminum/billet ugly fuel door and replace it with an orange one. Her’s was a GT with 18″ wheels, even though my brother and I told her not to get 18″ wheels because she’d balk at the cost of replacing them. It did look better with the 18’s though and she did complain about the cost of the tires.

    The V6 had plenty of go, but that was about it, but it wasn’t the least bit efficient. The interior was uncomfortable, even in leather. The Rockford Fosgate sounded fine, but the sub took a lot of cargo space. Very loud inside, lots of road and suspension noise. In short, it lacked the refinement, seems to be a hallmark of Mitsubishis.

    No one was sad when she traded it on a 2010 Hyundai Tuscon.

    I can see how these appealed to the boy racer demographic, how does this generation do on the track? (if anyone knows) . It seems the driver might have been OK in this wreck. Good thing it was the 4 and not the V6.

    • 0 avatar

      After the 2nd gen eclipse their track performance sucked. There’s a reason you only see the 1st and 2nd gen eclipses embraced by the tuner crowd. Starting with gen 3, no more turbo motors and pork heavy weight gain killed their performance.

      Always had great style though.

      • 0 avatar

        I had a 2nd gen GS-T (turbo). Awesome car, able to dust Mustangs of the same year. The turbo boost was so much fun. But it was all downhill after that. The 3rd gen was the ugliest of the bunch with the Pontiac “ribbed for her pleasure” side cuts in the doors.

        • 0 avatar

          A friend bought the first generation, the 16v version. Nice car, good handling, decent power (the move was to avoid the 8v version IIRC, the 16v got you better tires and suspension too, but without the boy racer style of the two higher versions)

          Later, another friend got the all bells and whistles AWD Turbo Version. My first AWD fast car drive…pocket rocket.

          I have no idea what happened later to Mitsu. The 16v was later traded on an e46 Vert, and the AWD version was killed by NYC streets and an incompetent mechanic.

    • 0 avatar

      I always thought the 3rd and 4th gen were hideous given how nice the 2nd gen looked. The RSX was a better car in almost every way.

      The drunk pedobear sticker right by the driver is a great touch, though. Johnny Law must have loved that walking up (as he likely did, many, many times).

  • avatar

    If you guys are hard up for reviews, I can write something or drive/video something for you!

  • avatar

    I remember the 1st commercial vividly… you couldn’t escape it. Chappelle’s Show did a hilarious spoof.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember it as well. And as a kid of 17 around that time, thought “That car is COOL AF.”

      • 0 avatar

        The eclipse was in my mind a cool car until I realized that the 3rd/4th gen was blasphemy to many Fast and Furious fans. Many people who considered this gen eclipse back in 06 are probably in BRZ/FRSs now probably the biggest winner of the loss of Japanese performance cars was VW.

  • avatar

    “Many stickers adorned this Eclipse. That’s what made it so fast.”


  • avatar

    The eclipse (like Mitsubishi itself since around 2000, except for the EVO) was quite junky and uncompetitive compared to many sporty cars at the time. I’m anyways surprised to see a car this new junked though I haven’t seen a Mitsubishi of almost any kind especially an eclipse in a while out here in the west. I do remember seeing one at a Daly City, CA dealership in late 08, that’s it. Mitsubishi isn’t even popular in the Pinoy and Latino communities where it once dominated, been replaced by Hyundai and to an extent Kia

  • avatar

    Today’s Rare Ebay Find: Something else from Mitsubishi. A very rare and very luxury-wow Galant Sigma from 1988, in pretty excellent shape. It’s even got an impale-me-now ludicrous turn signal stalk on the crazy Japanese steering wheel.

    Never seen one in real life. More pics of model found below.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I loved that first ad back then.

    This particular car is a metaphor for Mitsubishi’s fortunes in the US, although I’ll admit they’ve enjoyed a little rebound lately.

  • avatar

    Justin wanted to make an impact.

    The alarm went off again, and was promptly silenced. He was supposed to be at work in 5 minutes ago. He groggily rubbed his eyes, and grabbed the Samsung off the nightstand cluttered with his unused bongs, and Red Bull and Jager empties. He entered “FLOSSTRADAMUS NIGH” into the search box on Youtube for the 40th time, then clicked on the first video that came up as “WATCHED”. The video concluded, and the trap music must have stirred something in the boy. He finally got out of bed.

    The “ILL!” fitted ball cap was retrieved from the small collection on the closet shelf. Justin examined it for any stains. He checked the crispness of it’s flat brim, and insured the sticker was still properly adhered. He put the cap on his head, sliding it backwards for “prpr” fitment at a 45 degree angle with gratuitous forehead exposure. Then, he put on his pants.

    Justin started the Eclipse. The four buzzed annoyingly enough to garner his ire every time he started it. It should have been a V6, but his mom didn’t “play that”. His jittery hand glided over to the volume knob to drown it out with some Madeon-Finale. The silver finish on the plastic trim looked so ratchet. The ease in which it had come off in streaks after he wiped down the interior for the last 4G meet startled him. Now he was content to just let the dust settle, and throw more squash Air Spencers under the seat to give it that JDM smell. He sniffed out the aroma to insure it did not need replacement. After blowing his loose income on the 18 inchers from Sears, the air fresheners were all he had left in the budget for vehicle improvements. Anyway, despite his aspirations, he knew this 4 cylinder Eclipse was his reality. Stickers would need to suffice, signalling to other motorists that here was a member of the subculture. He imagined himself whisking past Evos, leaving them impressed at what theoretically was done to the car. Justin would simply grin, slap the automatic shifter down into whatever gear was below, and floor it.

    Justin barked the Mitsu into a parking spot behind the “Homey Depot”. He put on his orange apron, and entered nonchalantly through the garden area. Rather than avoid his supervisor for his tardiness, he picked up some random item (in this case, a pack of light bulbs), and performed the illusion that he had been in the store the whole time. “Oh shit. I forgot to punch in!”, he would typically say in her presence.

    After his 7 1/2 hour shift of not helping customers, and avoiding responsibility in the massive store was over, Justin fired up the black ‘clipse for the final time. Rain fell on the windscreen in sheets. He called up his friend Jamie. Jamie had a prpr drifting machine. “Hey, let’s go slide Lookout (Mountain).” The Eclipse waited at the peak for the beaten 240sx to arrive. From his perch, the flatbrimmed boy watched the Nissan climb up the hill as he vaped and listened to more dubstep. It’s one HID headlamp flickered on the loosely-mounted retractable assembly. The white, unpainted, yet thoroughly-smashed fiberglass bodykit hung from zipties exuding street cred in it’s purest form. If Mom would allow the transaction to take place, he would trade the diamond star in for one of these bad boys. It was not to be, however. The Nissan pulled alongside, and the two cracked their windows. “Hey, you drift it, and I’ll just do a grip run behind you.”, said Justin gleefully, “I might take some footy too.”

    Justin watched the rear steelies of the 240 kick up spray in front of him. It’s tail twitched nervously as the driver cut his slides short at the sight of passing timber and rocks. Skrillex screeched from the speakers in the Mitsubishi, and Justin mocked his friend. “Come on, pussy.” He slapped the shifter down a gear and floored it on the downhill, passing the Nissan with ease. The drivers locked gazes and Justin gave Jamie the “WTF?” gesture to goad more impressive driving from him. The oncoming turn rushed to meet him. He grappled with the wheel, the rear lifted under the transfer of weight, and the tail of the Eclipse took a separate line from the front. It was somewhat accidental, but he had shown Jamie how to handle the mountain like a man. The surge of adrenaline got the better of him. He floored it down the straight section to leave the 240 in his watery wake, finally lifting at 70mph. This is when Justin ran out of talent. The Eclipse hydroplaned immediately. Justin got back on the pedal to save it, but it was too late, he was leaving the road to the right. Time slowed. “Oh shit!!” Justin pushed on the brake pedal so hard that it flexed like plastic. Nothing happened. “OH SHIT!!!” He was already hurtling through the air. The wipers swept across, revealing the majestic pine brightly lit by his right headlight. “OH SHIT.” The cone of light on the tree shrunk, and then met it’s source. The airbags slowly unfurled their canvas, and every window seemed to spontaneously explode. Justin took up the slack in the seatbelt and whited-out.

    “Hey man! Hey man! Fuck!”, Jamie yelled. Justin’s senses were rebooting. The first to return was his hearing. He could hear the rain pelting underneath him, which struck him as odd. The music had stopped, replaced by a distant siren that homed in from a distance. “Oh, that’s right, I crashed.”, he thought. His watery eyes flicked frantically to get a picture. “OHHHHHHARRRGHHHHHH! What am I-get me out of hereeee!” He caught a dim glimpse of his shattered, unrecognizable confines. “ARRRRGH!” The pain was now starting to surge, coming from his chest, ankle, left wrist, and face. “OHHHHHARRRRGH!” He urinated, and it soaked his shirt. “Don’t touch him. He might have spine injuries.”, a stranger said from outside. Justin reached for his head in search of something familiar. The hat was gone, and his face was slick. He repeatedly boxed with a long piece of plastic that fell back upon him. He then realized he was upside down in the seatbelt. “ARRRRGHHHH!”

    The white plastic over the window openings fluttered in the breeze. Justin took another picture of his handiwork with a shaky hand. Perhaps some day he might show them to someone. He wasn’t proud at the moment.
    “Is there anything? If not, then let’s go.”, said Mom, still disturbed at the sight of the Eclipse.
    Justin looked to the passenger floorboard, unrecognizable aside from some familiar grey fabric poking out.
    “I think my hat is down there.”

  • avatar


    Sam made some bad choices.

    The black Mitsubishi sped down the thoroughfare late on that December evening of 2014. Sam didn’t notice due to the worn steering, but the grip of the balled tires was weakened by melting slush. The latest album from the Mad Caddies played through the base Eclipse’s cheap sound system as Sam puffed the final drag from a lipstick stained KOOL cigarette and flicked the butt out of the crack in the driver’s window as ash dropped on her blue Best Buy shirt. The car slowed at the intersection and Eclipse’s brake pedal shook slightly as she eased into it. Sitting at the stoplight before the onramp to get onto I70, she noticed the Eclipse sat next to a mint black and well tinted Nissan 300ZX with its windows halfway down. The chilly wind kicked up as the two cars waited on an otherwise empty street.

    “Hey, cool car!” she yelled to the Nissan as she put the power window down in her Eclipse.

    The Nissan’s thirty something driver completely lowered his passenger side window and turned his clean shaven face to see her. His steel grey eyes met hers and he nodded in slight acknowledgement. Sam pulled her blonde and sprayed pink hair back into a ponytail and applied a scünci, oddly smitten with the stoplight stranger.

    “What you say we race, you show me what you can do?” Sam yelled in a slightly flirtatious manner with a s*it eating smile.

    The Nissan’s driver returned the smile and pointed his right finger forward like a gun just as the light changed. Sam floored the Eclipse and the front wheels spun in the slush as the car lurched forward. The Nissan smoothly accelerated behind her staying to the rear as they both made the sharp right onto the highway. Sam raised the driver’s side window to nearly closed and then held the wheel with both hands. She began to sing along to the CD as she felt a feeling of exhilaration of being on top of the stoplight stranger. The two cars pulled onto I70, and Sam watched as the Nissan sped past her in the left lane. She mashed the accelerator further and the Mitsubishi transmission attempted to shift into overdrive. The Nissan switched lanes and maintained a speed approximate her seventy miles per hour keeping a half a car length between he and her. She read his license plate “VENI VIDI VICI” and wondered what it meant. The Eclipse climbed in speed to eighty miles an hour but the 300ZX playfully kept even pace in front of her.

    “I’ll show him” she said aloud as she jerked the wheel left and attempted to pass him in the left lane.

    The cold winter air blew in her face from the window crack and she again felt a surge as the four cylinder Eclipse pulled ahead of the 300ZX. Her focus was now fixed on the road in front of her and she noticed the lights of the highway in her upper field of vision accelerate as the car approached one hundred miles an hour and freshly laid salt kicked all over the undercarriage. The Nissan switched into her lane and approached her from behind coming very close to the rear of her Eclipse.

    “Not today baby I like to be on top!” she said aloud but then looked down at her speedometer and tachometer “Sh*t”.

    The road ahead was changing, it split into three lanes with the left lane becoming the middle lane and another left lane opened to become an exit. Sam kept focus on this and in her peripheral vision noticed the 300ZX switch into the exit lane and accelerate to her car’s side still around one hundred miles an hour. Sam’s heart raced and felt a sudden pain come on while her body nearly froze. Fear entered her mind as the road turned left just after the exit, with her eyes fixed on the painted yellow lines and felt the brake pedal shake as she eased her right foot onto it. This wasn’t fun anymore. The worn car shook as it slowly decelerated and she exhaled a deep breath as the landscape in front of her seemed to slow down.

    The Nissan was already in her left blind spot taking the exit as the Eclipse slowed to sixty five miles per hour. Holding the wheel tight, she tilted it left and attempted to hug the curve after the exit as the road changed. Suddenly she felt the car pull right as she continued braking and headed toward jersey barriers on the right side. In the final seconds the radio played:

    Now that’s she’s gone, now that she’s gone, will anyone remember her name?
    Now that’s she’s gone, now that she’s gone, I hope she meets the devil with her lipstick on.

    • 0 avatar

      Great story man. Hopefully the air bag saved her even if she didn’t wear seat belts. Looks like most of the wreckage was on the pass side.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks. I wrote it in such a way the reader decides her fate.

        • 0 avatar

          When engineers at Caltrans were given CHP safety talks, we were told, “If you have your seat belts on and the airbag doesn’t deploy, you’ll likely survive. If the airbag deploys but you didn’t buckle up, you’ll likely be dead.” That may have been hyperbole, but it was effective hyperbole. The policy of a 3-day suspension for being caught in a state car without buckling up made it even more effective.

          • 0 avatar

            Interesting. You’ll get no arguments from me on seatbelts, I would be dead in 1997 without one.

            In the story Sam is already driving when it begins so there was no specific opportunity to tell the reader if she was wearing a belt or not. I neglected to add any in drive detail on seat belts, but based on her behavior the reader may draw his own conclusions.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m sure at least one earned income tax credit and Wal Mart customer is off the books here.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Both are good stories.

    I’ve seen stuff like this on eBay advertised as “light damage” and “rebuildable”.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Looks like the passenger compartment held up fairly well.

    Back when I had access to pick-and-pulls I was always astounded by the lack of blood stains in the cars that had been utterly demolished. It was really rare to see any evidence of bleeding. I realize that some cleaning has to take place in order to be able to sell parts and it not be a bio-hazard, but no stains on light colored upholstery? Did they just not release cars that were too gory?

    I remember the first time I saw one of this generation Eclipses. The Subaru dealer was also a Mitsu dealer and they had them on the lot when I went to look at WRXes. When I first saw it I thought it looked great, exciting. And after starting to notice the details my opinion completely changed. I can’t stand them now.

    • 0 avatar

      Salvage auctions usually label the really bloody cars as “Biohazard”. I would imagine a lot of pick and pulls probably avoid bidding on them (or putting them out) for liability reasons.

  • avatar

    That ’03 GTS was over $24K. That would be crazy even if it was on sale today.

    Also, that is the most 1998-ish commercial I’ve ever seen. In 2003. Mitsubishi, always looking ahead.

  • avatar

    These reeked of desperation to me. Yeah, let’s put a vaguely Audi TT-ish body on our middling sedan and call it a sport compact! Those racing-movie-watching, energy drink-ing, young ‘uns will line up a mile for anything called “Eclipse”. Who cares if the interior is cheap, the gas mileage poor, or the handling soggy? They will all get “triple zero”* financing, so they don’t have the right to complain!

    * Now that I think of it, what an ironic name for Mitsubishi to give their financing, given their history.

  • avatar

    I really enjoy the “last ride” stories. Thanks for writing them!

  • avatar

    First a Grand Prix, now an Eclipse.. these Junkyard Finds are taking me back this week.
    After my Grand Prix was totaled and I was looking for a new car there was a guy in town selling an 08, and wanted it so so bad(it was a dark time.. I knew nothing about cars). I’m thankful everyday my parents wouldn’t let me get it.

    Around here, we had tons of Gen 2 and Gen 3 Eclipse’s(impressive considering how far away the nearest Mitsu dealership is) but only a couple Gen 4’s. I probably haven’t seen an Eclipse of any age for a couple years now.

  • avatar

    The pick your part here in Sun Valley gets these occasionally, I just saw a white one a couple of days ago along with loads of other newer cars from insurance auctions. These had an issue with peeling dashboards, especially right over the passenger airbag.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Mitsubishi dealers are scarce and service and parts are harder to get than Toyota, Honda, or Nissan. I had a Mitsubishi Mighty Max truck and liked it but I would never buy another Mitsubishi product again because of the parts and service. There are better vehicles available for not much more.

  • avatar

    My GF has a 2008 GS Spyder. The only good thing is it reliable, other than that it is a horrid car. I avoid driving it as much as possible thought I did have to use it a few times when my car was in the shop. It has a wide turning radius for such a small car. It is sad when a city bus can out turn it. The interior is beyond the chintzy, hard plastics abound. On the Boston roads it jumps around on all the broken pavement. It is somewhat peppy for short distances but runs out of steam fast. The convertible top creates huge blind spots that can hide a semi truck. I can see why they discontinued it.

  • avatar

    Everything anybody needs to know about that car is written on the teensy rear brake rotor in the first photograph.

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