VIDEO: The Starion, a Mitsubishi that didn’t just race on dirt

Mitsubishi Starion Australian racing

While most Japanese automakers battled it out on Suzuka and Fuji, Mitsubishi took a different tack. From 1970s Lancers on the Safari Rally to the WRC Evos of the 90s to the Pajeros reigning supreme over Dakar, Mitsubishi has always loved to get dirty in the dirt. For a brief moment in the 80s, though, they could be found swarming the tarmac thanks to the wedge-tastic Starion. Australia is where they flourished, and so once again we turn to the excellent video series by Shannons Insurance to explain why you should seriously be looking to add a Starion to your garage. 

Mitsubishi Starion JD Australia

As a result of its racing provenance, the Starion has a strong following in Australia. The second act profiles a couple who are the original owners of a turbocharged, intercooled 1987 model. Curiously, the flaresided versions never made it to Oz, which got only the flat-siders, but the example is gorgeous nonetheless. Watch the video below and gain even more appreciation for an already impressive machine.

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14 Responses to VIDEO: The Starion, a Mitsubishi that didn’t just race on dirt

  1. Andrew says:

    I actually prefer the flat body cars.

  2. Power Tryp says:

    I love the Starion/Conquest. While everyone compares the Porsche 924 and 944 to the RX7 I find it a sort of unfair comparison where as the Starion is more suited to that discussion. Either way you look at it they are awesome cars in their own right but even more awesome when a guy named John gets his hands on one.


  3. Kevin San says:

    I think the flareside Starion was never a contender for Australia.

    By 1986, the flatside Starion was looking very dated and expensive compared to the new fwd Celica, MA70 Starion and FC RX-7. Even the Z31 300ZX made it look old, and sales tanked big time from 1985.

    The 2.6 Turbo that came with the flareside was also not certified over here, and it was probably not a great business case to do so.

    • David Cox says:

      The widebody cars were not sold here because of cost, the JD Starion only sold 50 cars in 86/87 because they were up around 50K due to the super yen. Mitsubishi didnt bring the wideys over as they would have been likely even dearer. Btw the euro spec wideys had the unleaded 4G63 til part way through 89.

  4. bellett64 says:

    There’s at least one that didn’t race at all…because it didn’t exist.

    Back in the 1990s, my mother was seeing a fella who had a bit of race history, having competed in the Bathurst 500 back in 1966 and the one-make Ford Laser series against the likes of Mark Skaife (future Australian V8 Supercar champion and Bathurst winner).

    Anyway, he worked out that for some reason, CAMS were not requiring people to present a competition log book for the Group A race supporting the inaugural 1985 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide, South Australia.

    So they entered a Mitsubishi Starion, with a driver name TBA, then paid their few hundred dollars worth of entry fees. Entry also included extensive corporate facilities worth several thousand dollars to book through the regular means!

    I didn’t know him in 1985, but I have the program from that year and his name, race number and vehicle appear.


    Loophole closed for 1986 though.

  5. Anthony says:

    um, the Starion DID race on dirt many times and was VERY successful…..

  6. damn, i didn t know these events exist in Finland, its only like 80 kilometers over sea, i have browsed the Finnish car sale pages, i knew its possible to buy a nostalgic Japanese car from there, but i never thought there was a club. In here it feels like people don t even know that japanese made cars before 80 s

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