Readers Rides>>’86 Mitsubishi Starion

Sure the air dam is cracked to hell. Ok there’s no grill. Yes that’s gaffers’ tape over the fog lights. Does any of that matter?

No. Nothing matters except the joy that comes from daily driving it, drifting it, jumping it, racing it, and thrashing it.

Every dent, scrape, and spray painted quarter panel has a story.  Each bit of the 2.6 liters of turbocharged intercooled mayhem provides for a never ending supply of fishtails and late night canyon runs.

This is my car, and it is my connection to the car culture. It is my vision of everything I love about cars.

The photos are by my good friend and automotive fanatic Robert Jesse during the course of an evening in Monterey, California.

Clay Payton



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we need to see the engine bay! pop that hood man


love the graffic on the air dam :P


Bro thats all you need you dont need some nasty car with perfect body, all you need is a car that you enjoy driving. Car has great potential i like it. Keep it up.


loving cars with a history


Engine please....................


DD are great features Mike..Awesome job!

Nice Starion Clay!!


jumping it??


Chillin is right. Keep it simple and enjoy your ride.


we don't need pictures of every piece of shit out on the road just because the owner really likes it that way


First glance i knew this was in monterey, how wierd. you have the right mindset.


"Nothing matters except the joy that comes from daily driving it, drifting it, jumping it, racing it, and thrashing it. "

Awesome. Its tiring to see people for whom 80% is all about "hella fitment", "rad aero" "ultra tite jdm parts" or being on the latest drift hypes or trends, and then only 20% is enjoyment.

enjoy your car 110% and forget about fads, fashion, hipsters, and superfluous things.

Mad Max would be proud


Is the body stock?


Used and abused


II like your spirit, thats the same rule i go by!


I wish it wasn't so hard to find a Starion.


Haha, love that RWD Mitsubishi. If you didn't know already, Forza 3 will feature the Starion among other classic rides in an upcoming downloadable car pack.


I LOVE widebody Starions! This car is hot...never sell it.




reading this made my day!

F all the B.S., enjoy your car


Nice Clay. Hope to see you at the KDM meet this year


Starions the mad max look any engine picks?


Fucking gross.


OMG a Starion!!! You should have posted shots of the motor!!! Nice car!!!


still wanting to buy one of these.

but all the tlc worth it?



GORGEOUS! its stuff like this that gives me hope for my car one day making somewhere like here. my 88 mr2 SC has some dings and dents, a few little rust spots....and is 3 different colors :P


I love this car for one reason.

A RWD corrado was made with its rear, well...and... a lot of custom work.


Starion: the car that Consumer Reports said looked like it was going to transform into a robot. Love em!!!


wish I had a daily driver like that...


I have an old Starion. Same model year, too. Mine's in red, and its just the buisness. The pure joy of driving it during a track day is just beyond words. If you have an oppertunity to buy one it is highly recomended that you do. Its just amazing. Clay, i can totally relate.


Nice Clay I hope I can get a READER'S RIDES ariticle on my starion soon.


Enough with these shitty features. Thanks


Good shit brutha. Love those old Starquests.


I'm realy enjoying these posts about real cars, especially quirky ones like this beast. All you grumpy folks who don't like it can request a refund, start your own blog, or... uh, keep doing what you're doing and complain. It's a free country :)


thanks guys for the support, I appreciate the feedback. engine bay is cleaned up stock, everything blacked-out and extra stuff removed. right now i'm working towards a 1uz-fe swap within the year, or build another g54b.


Nice work Clay. Us SQers are finally getting a little spot light. Now I can only hope I get an article. Maybe we can do a Starquest G54b article with a few cars together


Great pics of a beautiful ride-nuff said


very underrated car...nice ride!


you my friend have found what owning a car is all about! Love the guards on these...


Yeah, this IS a car. Smelling fuel. Just bad.


daym i love this car it looks so used love it !!

i just dont like the wheels on this one but its sexy !!


Y34H!!! It really, really rocks!!!


love these car, they are getting pretty rare now, need to see more and some drifting yo


There is a 1988 Mitsubishi,Starion,Conquest, Black on Ebay right now for around 500 dollars................needs engine work, just search for Mitsubishi Starion and you will see it!


There is one for sale in Ottumwa Iowa on Craigslist, it runs but has a vacuum leak that caused the guy to start tearing it down, it is complete and in decent conditon.......only 600 bones too.


Makes me wish I'd never sold mine. Even though something was always breaking on it, it was still a fun car and worth the fixing crap all the time. They have such a cool retro-dash and everything still worked on mine.


YES - I feel the same way about my Conquest! 11yr owner and VERY proud. I love these cars!!!!


to those of you considering buying one of these, they are a lot of fun, but, you really have to be dedicated to them. probably one of the few cars out there that are solely supported by other enthusiasts. there is almost no aftermarket for these cars. the online support from helps keep these cars on the road. this car is definitely a labor of love. if you want something easy and with plenty of bolt-ons, just get a 240sx. starions are idiosyncratic angular throw-backs to an era when america was first getting a taste of japanese muscle cars. you have to prepare yourself to own one of these. if you have the time then by all means, keep one more alive and on the roads.

and to the few people who dislike my car and this feature, remember, it is readers month, and you're more then free to submit your car to show how much you represent the car culture.

my car isn't about ordering flashy parts from a catalog. it isn't about looking as cool as possible to impress a bunch of people. it's not about being new, or shiny, or having a big price tag.

it's just a modern hot rod. it's a car built cheap and fast. it's built to abuse, repair, and abuse some more. it's from my favorite era of automobile, and it embodies the most amazing vision of it's time. displacement. turbo. intercooling. adjustable shocks. limited slip. negative offset. this is a car from 1986 and it's still kicking the hell out of most new cars.

and in the end, if you don't like my car, and moreso, don't like what this car means, then you're a poser. you are just riding on the car culture, trying to look the part. trying to be something through negativity. but all you do is detract from what hotrodding has built. the culture didn't get this far and create so many outlets for people's passions by being negative. we got this far by building on the positive. by building our strengths on good ideas. by moving forward with our passions and our joys, not our hatred and dislikes.


This Starion matches my S13 hatch in every way....and I fucking love it.

Huge props to you Clay, this car is used and abused as it should be. Besides, why buy and own it if you arent going to drive the fuck out of it?

Too many people get caught up in the hella flush, uber JDM TyTe, hard parking bullshit to actually enjoy their cars, and they would just rather try to dump haterade on cats like us who beat our cars up and enjoy every millisecond of it.

Like some old hot rodders used to say "CHROME WON'T GET YOU HOME"


thanks redevil. I appreciate style, and yes there are some very nice looking cars that are within whatever current trends there are. I love to see a hellaflush car on airbags with a show worthy paint job. I think they are amazing things to look at. I just don't love driving a car like that, because it's not really a car. it become a decoration. an accessory. something whose use is reduced in pursuit of making it something it's not.

wish i could edit my earlier post a bit, because i realized that some people have difficulty with reading comprehension.

so, to be more specific.

you can dislike my specific car. that's understandable

but if you dislike what the car embodies, then you're a poser in the car culture.

i hope that clarifies it for the 'haters', assuming they know what 'embodies' means.


Well said!

Very good spirit, and glad to see that some people can realise what I dream.

Perhaps some day, with a few money, time, and nobody to love...


hahahaha you can love somebody as long as they love your car too! <3


Love the Starion! Even named my first dog starion years ago. The next dog will be Conquest once it's time to have one worthy of the name! The 4G63 swap is huge now a days for these.


Used and abused is always fun!


Eeerrr, I mean... knowin' me, and how cars built this way make me -hum- "drive"...

Havin' someone you love eventualy waiting for you...

Very bad idea!



why would they be waiting for you. they should be sitting shotgun.


Representing the Starions in the 831


Ha ha ha! OK, no arguments left, perhaps there will be one bad night ride in here, in a few years, with cheers from France ^^

Keep rockin' with your starion!