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.

  • ToolGuy VW (marque not group) and Tesla very nearly switched positions on a YTD basis.
  • RHD Inexpensive gasoline appears to be a thing of the past. ILO is correct - we have enough sunlight, wind and emerging ocean wave energy to power the entire country and then some. Clean air is nice, and being free of the whims of OPEC, geopolitics and hugely profitable oil companies will do all of us a world of good.
  • Raymond Segura Can you tell me where I can get the rear bumper for 69 impala?
  • Art Vandelay some of the crazy numbers I get. Percentages look bigger with any fluctuations with low volume makes and brands leaving the market will see massive month over month changes. But what’s with Buick? I still see the occasional ad on TV and yet the drop is disproportionate even compared to all the other GM brands.
  • Master Baiter "There is no mandate for consumers to buy EVs, not in any country or state. That’s made up."Right. And you are not mandated to purchase a toilet that only uses 1.6 gallons/flush. You could choose to not have a toilet--just go in the woods, like the bears do.
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