Mark Wade (Burton)
What do you do for a living and where do you live?
Owner of Burton’s Customs. I do custom body and paint, detailing, window tinting, vinyl lettering, and custom car audio installation. I also offer a few Starion/Conquest related parts such as fiberglass hoods and fog light covers for sale to the online StarQuest community. I am located in Seguin, TX.
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Mitsubishi? How do you use it?
Generally, my build philosophy and goals are the same with my own cars as the cars I build for other people. I like to use quality products in my builds, and also like to take my time and make sure the job is done right. I will admit, it’s hard to keep the same levels of patience and perfection in my work when I’m not getting paid for it, but I try to do my best. My Starion was my daily driver and logged over 30,000 miles in the 2 years before my build, but it currently gets used very little. I take to some local shows and cruise-ins, and sometimes run errands in it on nice days, but that is about it. It’s currently living a much more pampered life than it was before.
What originally attracted you to the Mitsubishi? What keeps you going today?
My father got a 1986 Starion ESI-R new when I was 13. I had always loved cars as a child, but when he brought that car home I was instantly in love. A love I haven’t been able to shake. I think the thing that keeps me going the most today is not only that love, but also the people. My wife and I have met many great friends because of these cars.
My favorite story is the one about what this car means to me. I previously had a 1989 Conquest TSI when I lived in MI with a well-built drivetrain, but the car had serious rust issues. I found a clean southern car to transplant the drivetrain into and I headed to TX to pick up my Starion. At the time, my uncle was dying of cancer, so I made sure to stop by and see him one last time since I found the car close to where he lived. He was one of the few family members of mine who showed much interest in my obsession wit
h building cars, so I dedicated the build in his memory.
I am fairly content with where my car stands now, but we all know a car is never really “done”. Cosmetically and audio-wise, it’s pretty much done, but even tho It has dynoed 240HP/335TQ, and been known to see high 13’s and l
ow 14’s at the track, I wouldn’t mind getting a little more get-up-and-go. Future plans include an upgrade to 3 inch exhaust, and some fuel system upgrades with some bigger injectors, Walbro fuel pump and FPR. Eventually, I’d love to see it break 300HP, but that is a long way off.
Being an audiophile, my favorite mod is my stereo, but as far as performance mods goes, it would have to be the electronic exhaust cutout, and mainly for it’s coolness factor. When you open that flap up, the open exhaust makes the car sound like a semi-tractor on steroids.
Your mod list:
Clearwater non jet valve head
AJUSA head gasket
ARP head studs
16G turbo set at 16PSI
Intercooler hard pipes
RFLblow off valve
Manual boost controller
MSD Blaster II ignition coil
ACT Street clutch
Stedbani short throw shifter
Electronic exhaust cutout
Custom 2.5” exhaust
Lots of port and polish work to the intake and exhaust manifolds
Tokico front struts
Mookeeh rear struts
Tokico strut mounts
Cosmo front strut tower brace
Cross drilled/slotted brake rotors
Ceramic brake pads
Stainless steel brake lines
Clarion Pro Audio7770 head unit
Clarion Pro Audio 920 EQ
Clarion Pro Audi 6 disc changer
Precision Power electronic crossover
2 Rockford Fosgate Punch 100ix 2 channel amps
Rockford Fosgate Punch 60ix 2 channel amp
Rockford Fosgate Punch 200ix 2 channe amp
6” Polk Audio components in the rear
6.5” MB Quart components in the rear
6.5” MB Quart components in the front
2 12” JL Audio subwoofers
15” Orion Cobalt subwoofer
Fully sound deadened
interior neon and LED lighting
Auto Meter boost and air/fuel gauges
Digital voltmeters throughout
Burton’s Customs Fiberglass cowl hood with Trans Am GTA hood vents molded in
Ultra honeycomb wheels with polished lip
1984 style black/grey cloth front seats
Custom header panel and grille
Custom shaved rear plate trim
Custom rear bumper with molded in front airdam
My wife and I were event planners/organizers of the 2007 Starion/Conquest National meet which was held in conjunction with the anual “MetroCruise” car show/cruise in Grand Rapids, MI. We had a great time, had 38 Starion/Conquests show up, and also got our cars and online community featured on the DVD produced by the MetroCruise organizers, and featured on their website. Our cars and online community were also seen by the tens of thousands of people who went to the MetroCruise that year.
The best part are the people we’ve met because of these cars. The most challenging is finding parts, especially aftermarket. Luckily, many people within the community have talents and connections that allow them to come up with some cool parts and products from time to time. It seems that due to the great people, finding parts is getting less and less challenging.
I am very excited for the coming year.There are some cool meets already planned, and certainly more to pop up throughout the year, which is great for our community. My business has been picking up more and more, which should allow me to actually be able to afford some extra money to go towards my car. I hope to get my car more “done”, as well as take a little time to give my wife’s Conquest a freshening up as well.
I try to make it to one or two big meets a year, but I also like to hang out with my local car buddies at least once a month, whether just stopping by for a chat, or meeting at the local show and shine.
I think the only reasons a car should be parted is if it’s severely rusted, has title issues or been wrecked. And even then, I hate to see a few parts get pulled and the rest gone to scrap. I see too many rusty cars full of good parts or rust free cars with good donor panels that could be saved if the people took some time to strip the cars that do have to be sacrificed. Unfortunately, some must die so that others may live. It’s the ones that die in vain that break my heart.
The simple answer-They both are challenging but well worth the reward. As a moderator on a Starion/Conquest enthusiast site, and former organizer of a National meet, I can attest to the fact that building a community can be as difficult if not moreso than building a car. That being said, for some reason these cars tend to have really good people drawn to them, which not only makes for a great community, but also gives you a slew of people willing to help when you run into challenges building your car.
If it weren’t for the great community of Starion/Conquest owners and vendors, my car would be nothing today- Simple as that
It will recieve a few more mods here and there, but mostly it will be kept up to show worthy shape and taken out to various shows and such. I love taking my car to all the spots and see the reaction it gets. I really enjoy being able to educate some people about the cars and the community too. Many people know nothing about them, and a few have never even seen them before.
Whats the current state of your Mitsubishi?
Looking pretty. Ready to drive anywhere, any time.
There are a number of people I need to thank for all their help with the car. First and foremost, my wife, Kate, who puts up with all of the hours I spend on my hobby, and who jumps right in and helps out sometimes too. Matt and Luke Tainter have also been a big help, as they were the ones who built my motor that is still alive and kicking after almost 50,000 fairly hard miles. Jimmy Ainsworth for his help in swapping all my goodies from my old rusty car to this one. I also have to thank the Tainters, Jimmy, Scotty, Greg, Dave, Sully, Gary, John, Mingo, and the rest of the crew who have helped mentor me and teach me many of the ins and outs of working on these cars.
I have tried to return all the help and favors I have recieved by helping to organize meets, and trying to help educate people about the cars and the great community we are a part of. I have also done many writueps on some of the mods I have done, as well as written a 21 chapter online body/paint/detailing manual for people who might be interested in taking on some of those projects themselves.
Most of the work on my car was done by my own shop- Burton’s Customs, but I have received parts and help from great vendors like: Star-Orion, Mookeeh, www.enginemachineservice.com, and Mickey Shorr Mobile Electronics
I can be contacted through my website: www.burtonscustoms.com. I am also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/markewade?ref=profile, and: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Burtons-Customs/118873224796624