Technology

Yes, There Was A Mitsubishi Starion With Gullwing Doors

For a couple weekends, I’ve been posting Sunday content here on Jalopnik in place of Max Finkel, who is currently away from the keyboard documenting weird cars in undisclosed locations.

It’s been a huge pleasure and a great opportunity to share some content from the deepest nooks of my brain matter, where I keep all the unconventional wheel bolt pattern data and Fiat Multipla trim combination know-how. Since Max should be back on track next weekend, I figured it would serve you readers well if I signed off with one of my favorite TV series intros of all time. It’s the one with the Gullwing Starion.

The late-‘80s Japanese TV series, Gorilla: Metropolitan Police Squad 8 was produced with promotional vehicles courtesy of Mitsubishi. This meant there were the odd Pajero/Montero and whatnot, but also a Debonair V and the frankly subzero cool Gullwing Starion, complete with an interior full of Toshiba gizmos.

As the story goes, there were two tricked-out Starions built for the show by a Mitsubishi subcontractor that made five of these cars in total. The reason for needing two cars wasn’t just because shows usually use multiple identical hero vehicles, but because the power door setup was so unreliable they had to have at least one set of functioning gullwing doors to use in filming while the other vehicle was attended to. The powertrain remained stock, with the 2.6-liter four-cylinder turbo as seen in the GSR-VR top specification model.

It’s actually quite interesting that a show produced in 1989-1990 would still have the Starion as a hero car, as 1989 was the last year for the 1982-introduced rear-wheel-drive coupe. Not long after, the Starion was replaced by the Eclipse. Perhaps the show could be considered enough of a send-off for the Starion, too.

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