Often a Kidney Car is something that’s rare because it’s unloved, bizarre, some berserk homologation model, or a 1 of 15 limited edition. The Diamond Star Motor triplets, however, are rare because the chassis was too beloved. Today’s 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD hails from both the sunny shores of Jacksonville Beach, Florida and, in case you thought we were talking about a bird’s claw, a long dead arm of ChryCo. What it is, though, is a rebadged mechanical twin to the Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive It Car of 1990.
1990 was the first full year of the DSM, with a hair over 2,000 having been built in 1989. This particular example is a top-of-the-line Talon TSi, equipped with a manual AWD driveline and the legendary 6-bolt 4G63 Turbo mill under the hood.
Most of them had the life beaten out of them and were often considered disposable street racers, but in the last 10 years they have begun to disappear and those that are around are usually in pretty sad condition. The DSM featured here has been owned by the same family for 25 years, when it was bought new by the seller’s uncle and garage kept its entire life. As of now, it reads only 62,902 miles on the odometer.
The car knows nothing of external wastegates or E85 conversions. Both family members have kept every receipt of every service performed on the vehicle, the total of which adds up to $3500, a fraction of what most surviving DSMs have into them and about 40 percent of the Buy It Now price, $8,500.
For said repairs, they appear to all have been done from the factory with brand new-in-box Mitsubishi Heavy Industries products, and it shows. Not a panel is loose nor a bolt stripped. It still has the original factory black paint on the turbo manifold heat shield, which I personally didn’t know was even there originally.
The exhaust is beautiful, and minus a scrape on the mid-pipe near the rear differential, it is blemish free. The differential itself has been replaced due to a recall during the 1990s and it still looks phenomenal.
On top of the meticulous paperwork, this car has been babied on a level expected of a Porsche 911 or a C4 Corvette, not a $20,000 dream rocket for a high school student circa 1990. The rear bumper is completely free of waves, a common issue when the plastic starts to age.
Mitsubishi was never known for paint quality and Chrysler even less so, but the car’s deep purple two-tone shines like an amethyst. Also note the silver 25-year-old vinyl work along the bottom of the car is 100 percent in tact, not even yellowed by the humid Florida climate.
The flip up headlights, unique to the early 1990-1991 models, are in complete working order as well. They’ve even retained their original sealed beam bulbs.
Looking inside the car, you find such amenities as a headliner and interior panels, which, although standard at the time of purchase, have typically been removed by drag racers in the name of .0005 seconds off their quarter-mile times. If not gutted by an aspiring Paul Walker, the headliner usually either completely disintegrates, sags, or develops a small colony of microorganisms due to leaky weather seals.
The original premium stereo with built-in graphic equalizer is another rarity included with purchase, a rarity that requires a Bachelor’s in sound engineering to properly use it, but a rarity none the less.
For those who want to jump in on what is among the last original, unmolested, perfect-condition first-generation DSMs in private ownership, simply follow the link to the eBay auction.
Wow…I was 22 years old when these were new.
You sound stupid and will remain stupid for the rest of your boring, non productive miserable little existence.
One of my best (girl) friends bought one of the EAGLE Talon versions of this car new, and it treated her very well over the years, until she ‘matured’ and bought a less racy car. It was a great car to rip around in, for sure.
This one is a STEAL at $8500. A serious time machine.
I had a friend with one of these when I was a kid. Everyone loved muscle cars where I came from, so he was always getting crap. There was never a local muscle car who could catch him though. That Talon was stupid fast for it’s day!
It’s nice to see one in immaculate condition, as they are rare to find in anything but less than dismal state or needing a cylinder head rebuild because the timing belt let go. I have a 91 TSI FWD, same car in the same color lol, too bad it wasn’t AWD though.
My dad had the Laser version, I miss it. Nice to see one in such good condtion
Check out this 85 Celica Convertible with 19,000 miles!
drop dread gorgeous….. needs NOS though. otherwise perfect 😛
Sporty hatchback coupes are the best.
Best-looking of the generations, IMO.
Maybe if they had kept to this formula, Mitsu wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in.
Imagine a droptop version of this.
Great piece, Ryan. My dream car back in the day.
I would easily pay 8500 for this right now. If 8500 were easy to come by. Examples like this give me hope for what I may buy in the future, This was a nice read.
This is identical to the first DSM, and is the reason we have DSMs, eclipses, and EVOs throughout our family, and have since 1990. Is the car available to be looked at, started, drove around the block? Would be done by a master dsm mechanic, WHO built my last car, a 97 GSX with mild mods, he is the best. Any particular good or bad time to come by and see it? Please let me know, thank You!. I would LOVE to get another one of these..
Wow. I love it.
When I was in high school, back when Paul Walker was ordering tuna sandwiches, my dream was to import an eclipse to aus – just to be special 😉 Pretty sure one or two have made it down here but were always consigned to track work thanks to our bizarre registration scheme 🙁
I have one 1990 awd tsi iam 28 years old year is 2016
I know this is a long shot, but do you still have this?
I bought a Talon Tsi AWD in 1990 and loved every inch of it until it burned up in a fire in 2018. I have driven plenty of high performance cars and sports cars and frankly, the only car I found that was both faster and handled better was a Porsche 911 AWD. Mine was identical to the one in the photos except that the color was a champagne beige/gold. God could that car handle. I had it up to 135mph on two lane blacktop in the Mojave desert and it felt rock solid. I drove it across Utah on I-70 in cruise control at 100mph and it felt like it was standing still. I often drove it on Mulholland Highway early on Sunday mornings to see what it could do. It could do a lot! Man, I miss that car
Hi , I have two Eagles, one is a 5 speed and the other is an automatic I have had the 5 speed since ’96 bought it used and the automatic I bought out of state and had ot since 2015 and I can’t seem to part with either one of them.
Wow. I bought this model of car on January 2nd 1991. The only difference is the paint mine was black and silver. I was 19 years old at the time and my third car.
I loved it and would love to get my hands on another one. Especially in this condition.
Just wondering who owns this car now, if you know and if they might sell it? I bought one just like it new in 1990 and still consider it the most fun vehicle I’ve owned. Traded it for a ’93 300ZX and have regretted it since.