Digestible Collectible: 1988 Mitsubishi Starion ESi-R

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 1988 mitsubishi starion esi r

I try not to repeat manufacturers too quickly in this series of digestible crapwagons, save for last September’s Wolfsburg Week. I know I get bored writing about the same OEM, as I’m sure you like the variety. However, when I finally find a clean example of a car that has been on my wish list, I can’t help but feature it, no matter how recently we’ve seen the badge.

I never expected Mitsubishi to be the quickly-repeated marque.

Last week’s Eagle-badged DSM was an interesting car, certainly, but one does not find a stunner like this 1988 Mitsubishi Starion ESi-R every day, so it was a lock for Digestible status. With less than 42,000 miles on the odometer, there can be few better “Starquests” — the catchall term for the Starion and the Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge Conquest stablemate — left on our roads.

The styling of the ’80s is distinct and dated, with sharp edges and hidden headlamps dominating everything. The Starion/Conquest stood out with the option of a wide-body, with stunning flares covering wheels up to nine inches wide out back. Really, has any car ever sported fat box flares better than this?

I know that the price is outrageous. The seller is clearly trying to capitalize on the booming market for rare Japanese sports cars, but $20,499 is well beyond. $15,000 might be more realistic, though I think $12,000 is the right price for this wide-body beauty.

I ashamedly recall discouraging my dad from buying a new Starion when I was young, in favor of yet another Nissan Z. I probably used some choice terms to disparage the four-cylinder powerplant and four-seat configuration, as opposed to the superior six cylinder, two-seat Nissan. I regret it.

Starquest, I’ll come calling someday.

Chris Tonn is a broke classic car enthusiast that writes about old cars, since he can’t afford to buy them. Commiserate with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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  • Pb35 Pb35 on Feb 17, 2016

    My dad was a Chrysler salesman for most of the 80s so we had plenty of these in the driveway as demos. My 17 yo self was very happy cruising around in one of these. Girls loved it. This appears to be a nice example.

  • Fred Fred on Feb 17, 2016

    This car was on my list when I bought my first new car, back in 1986. But both the Mitsubishi and Dodge dealers were less than helpful. So I bought a Mustang SVO.

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