Some cars are so drop-dead gorgeous in factory form, they don’t need a whole bunch of radical mods to make them stand out. Of course, it helps that the Starion came out of the factory as a widebody bruiser with on-point rims and a shouty turbo…
Urban legends have provided amusing cultural currency for generations. Everyone knows a story that’s clearly untrue but they like to present as fact, simply because sometimes it’s fun to believe that there’s weird stuff going on in the world. History is studded with daft conspiracy theories: for example, that Paul McCartney died back in 1966 and no one’s noticed that the Paul we see is an imposter. That the moon landings were faked. That Princess Diana was assassinated by MI6. There are urban legends about Roswell and JFK, of fluoride in tap water and the death of Tupac, McCarthyism and the Illuminati, 9/11, chemtrails… The madder it is, the more people seem to want to believe it.
Now, you may or may not be aware of the urban legend connected to the Mitsubishi Starion. People always used to scoff and chortle over how the car was meant to be named Stallion, in response to the Mustang and all the macho animal-based names coming out of Detroit. But it sounded more like ‘starion’ when pronounced by the Japanese execs at Mitsubishi.
This, of course, is kinda racist. There’s a foundation to the idea, given that the brand had also used the name Colt (a young male horse) and Eclipse (named after an unbeaten 18th century racehorse – seriously). But still. It’s a bit far-fetched, no?
Mitsubishi themselves seemed a bit confused. At first saying it was a contraction of Star of Orion, then saying it was named after Arion, an immortal horse in Greek mythology. Whatever. The story’s pretty crap, as urban legends go.
What isn’t crap, however, is the Starion itself. It’s a magnificent little turbocharged sports car with oh-so-’80s styling and, with later models, brutal factory widebody styling. And if that segue wasn’t tortured enough for you, try this: there’s a big annual show in Poland for modified cars such as this. It’s called Raceism. And this car is also from Poland. See how neatly this all fits together?
Rafal Kotysz is the fella jangling the keys and, as you can imagine, he’s looking pretty chuffed with his low-slung retro creation. “I had to buy myself a Starion, because I just fell in love with this sexy wide body, pop-up headlights and the original edged design,” he enthuses, barely able to tear his eyes away from the thing as it sparkles in the midday sunshine. “It’s a very rare model these days and you don’t see them often at car shows, especially with air-ride. So I had to make it happen.”
Fair enough, really. And Rafal has very strong form with this type of caper. He’s owned around 40 cars and quite a lot of them have been…