Orion's GT: 60k-mile 1988 Mitsubishi Starion ESI-R

The Starion was named by Mitsubishi as a contraction of the words "Star" and "Orion".

I like these things a lot. They were produced from 1982-1989. There were so many cool compact 2-door coupes coming out of Japan in the eighties, of varying performance ability, but all seemingly marketed to flashy young people and thus styled accordingly.

Power came from four cylinder engines and was directed to the rear wheels.

The Starion also did double duty as the Chrysler/Dodge Conquest, in a sly move by Lee Iaccoca.

This is the top-of-the-line ESI-R trim. The engine is a SOHC Astron G54B 2.6-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. Horsepower was probably close to 200, decent for the time.

The seller states it is a two-owner vehicle and they seem to be selling it on behalf of their uncle, the second owner. The list the odometer as reading 60,700 and say it is original miles.

Styling is more chiseled and angular than the typical Japanese designs from the era, but it still looks sharp, especially with the original alloy wheels. Both interior and exterior colors on this example flatter the design.

Mechanically, they say the engine, transmission, air conditioning and radio all work well.

Cosmetically, they say the driver's seat has some wear and there are scratches on the body but nothing major, although the rear bumper looks pressed in on the driver's side.

Find it here on ebay in Roselle Park, New Jersey.


  1. Discounting those horribly evil motorized mouse belts for a moment, the Starion was considered all kinds of cool in the late 80's. Right up there with the 2nd gen RX-7 (which I'd still prefer over this). 80's angular design worked well (perhaps a bit more in black or red), and those deep rim alloy wheels remain sharp looking even today. The interior design was also very 80's, but that look has not aged well at all. Yuck. And the motorized guillotine seatbelts pretty much kills it for me.

    1. Yeah I forgot to mention those seatbelt contraptions, people hate them!

  2. I'm thinking something was up with the bidding. Private auction, winning bidder at $3500. Now relisted by same seller.