John has put lots of time and effort into his two 1988 Chrysler Conquests. The one featured here is John’s baby. He has gone through the drivetrain, interior and exterior, as well as upgrading a few things along the way. With more horsepower this car can put you in your seat and reveal those white knuckles as your brace yourself. What’s your real name? (What’s your screen name?)
John Ross (gofastredstar)
What do you do for a living and where do you live?
I work as a senior tech in the IT department for the FAA. This has been my current job of 12 years. I live in Fort Worth, TX.
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
I drive one of two 1988 Chrysler Conquests that were imported and re-badged from Mitsubishi Starions. I’ve had my blue Conquest for 4 years. It’s more for show and events. I have also had my yellow Conquest for almost 2 years and drive it daily.
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Mitsubishi? How do you use it?
My build philosophy is to set your goals before you make any changes from a stock running car, and stick with it. If you want big power, you may have to give up drivability, if you want show quality, you might not want to track it.
What originally attracted you to the Mitsubishi? What keeps you going today?
In the late 80s I was living in SoCal driving an econobox and kept seeing these bad ass Starions on the road. So I drove down to the Mitsubishi dealer and realized right away that I could not afford a one new. I picked up a used ’86, and was instantly hooked when I blew away a bragging Camaro owner. What keeps me going today, is knowing there is no other car out there that looks, runs, and performs like a Starion. Most people have no idea what kind of car it is and I am always being approach by people asking what it is.
Got a favorite story about your Mitsubishi?
My second Starion had a freshly rebuilt engine, a new ecu, and tons of other mods. Being unproven for reliability, but running good as it was I decided to drive it 17 hours from Fort Worth to Pigeon Forge, TN. I had my wife with me and she was encouraging but was worried. It made it there and back without a problem, although when I got back it had a noisy driver side wheel bearing.
What are your goals for your Mitsubishi and how close are you to achieving them?
My goals are to have everything about my car as perfect as possible. To make it look clean, inside and out, as good or better than when it was new. Performance goals are 350 hp and 400+ torque. I am close to achieving these goals since the bodywork and interior are mostly done (are they really ever?) and I have dynoed the car at 306rwhp/412tq.
What was your favorite modification and why?
My favorite modification is a toss up between changing the car from throttle body to multiport injection, or the thumping sound system that makes cruising so enjoyable.
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
We routinely get together for a some track time. While I do not always run mine, I enjoy watching other push theirs to the limit, and sometimes set records.
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi owner? The most challenging?
The best part is owning a car that is totally unique. I can drive the car for weeks and not see another like it, and if I do, mostly likely I know the owner.
The most challenging is keeping it running, since parts are getting hard to find, with a lot of parts no longer made.
What excites you about the coming year? (Your Mitsu and your community)
Our National meet, where we get together, B.S., race and drink. Also, fixing some mechanical issues that have been keeping the car in the garage more than it has been on the road lately.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person?
At least twice a year, sometime more.
Your thoughts on those who part out otherwise salvageable cars?
While I can understand a car that is “too far gone” to rebuild, I think some people don’t put in enough effort to keep these cars on the road. I have seen several in junk yards that are in good shape, but might need an engine rebuilt or a body panel replaced. As these cars age and get more rare, as many that can be saved should be.
How do you feel building a Mitsubishi compares to building a Mitsubishi community?
There certainly are similarities; the cars are unique and so are the owners but, there are those common elements; passionate about the cars and great desire to have great performance and looks that unites us as owners in the Mitsubishi community.
How has your Mitsubishi build benefited from your involvement in the community?
Definitely the info-sharing and commiserating!
Who has helped you the most along the way with the car?
Its hard to pick one person that has helped the most. Several friends have spent hours in the garage with me , others have driven parts out so that I can finish a project, and others have helped with tuning.
Who do you look up to in the Mitsubishi community?
There are too many to mention, but I can say that the group of folks on 26liter.us are all the best you can find for help. They’re always willing to lend a hand, get you a part and help diagnose a problem. Its a great community of people who share a common interest in Starions and Conquests and also make good friends.
Is there a particular shop you’d like to recommend?
I don’t usually take my car to any shops, but I can recommend KAN Tuning in Fort Worth for squeezing that extra HP out of your car and Burton Customs for making your car look good.
Are you on Twitter? Facebook? How can people find you online?
The turbo that John is using to squeeze out the 306whp is a Garrett 60-1 mated to a cast Turbonetics exhaust manifold. To get the correct amount of fuel John upgraded from the stock TBI (throttle body injection) to a more modern MPI (multiport injection). Reason for doing this is to get a better air to fuel mixture.
To be able to control the fuel pressure John installed an Aeromotive Fuel pressure regulator. Pumping the fuel from the tank is a Walbro fuel pump. To manage the fuel system a Fuel injector Pro management system was put in place of the stock unit. Keeping this thing screaming throughout the power band is a Screaming Banshee Cam. With this small mod list John was able to almost double the stock horsepower output.
John also upgraded the sound system to make cruising more pleasurable. Opening the hatch you will find two Infinity Reference subs. Also from Infinity you will find Kappa Speakers. Power Acoustik Amps help give this car a stereo system that you want to listen to. All of this is controlled by an Alpine head unit.
John also owns another one of these beauties, a 1988 Chrysler Conquest TSI.