YOU know it’s a StarQuest. WE know it’s a StarQuest, but FunkyPhil in west Texas runs into people who probably think his Mitsubishi-built Chrysler will travel through time once it hits 88mph. Must be one of those uber-rare 2JZ-rotary-GLHS option packages installed by the dealer.
What’s your real name? (What’s your screen name?)
Phillip Kinsley (phinko)
What do you do for a living and where do you live?
I am a Jet Engine Mechanic in the Air Force, and currently live in West Texas working on the B1 Bomber!!
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
’87 Chrysler Conquest (aka: Mitsubishi Starion). Purchased this particular one in 2005. Had a few before it.
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Mitsubishi?
Just to be an all around awsome street performance car. Original goal was to build a street car geared towards autoX and road racing, but unfortunatly I had to relocate for the military and now live in the land of drag racing. Its been a setback, since alot of the suspension tweaks I had done for road racing worked against me when I started to drag race.
How often do you use it?
I live on a gravel road, so as long as it isn’t muddy out, I try to take my car.
What originally attracted you to the Mitsubishi? What keeps you going today?
Actually, [I] always loved the Porsche 944s and RX7 turbo IIs, so when I came across my first Starion in the UK, it was more an attraction thing. Took it for a test drive and was hooked. I’m real comfortable working on these cars. So I guess that’s why I stick with em. Plus they look freakin’ bad ass!
Got a favorite story about your Mitsubishi?
You mean other than being referred to as an RX7/Supra/Daytona/Delorean? HAHAHAHA!
I guess my favorite memory is when I bought my first Starion it had already been molested and someone painted all the plastic trim pieces red. So one of the guys at work went for a ride in it. I was griping about the painted trim and he made the comment, “I dig the interior, its FUNKY!” You had to know the guy. He had a Clarence Carter/Isaac Hayes personality. From then on, he always called me Funkytown, and it became FunkyPhil.
What are your goals for your Mitsubishi and how close are you to achieving them?
A reliable low- to mid-11 second street car. I’m close, I have the power. Just need the transmission that’ll allow me to put it down.
What was your favorite modification and why?
Multi-Port Fuel Injection. Opened the door to much much more power and reliability.
Your mod list:
FIP Hurricane Intake Manifold
Megasquirt Engine Management by Elutions Design Bureau
TimC 292 Banshee Cam
Precision SC6062 Turbocharger
Spec 3+ Clutch
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
The yearly Branson meet. See, I love to talk shit. Don’t know why, I just enjoy it. So when we can all get together and get a shit talking party going without keyboards, it’s a great time for me. But I’m just having fun. I have the most fun when everyone settles down and we get to make fellow SQ owners’ rides run better.
Tell us about a time something broke and what it took to fix it.
Well, it was actually a weekend event. Went over to Dallas to prep for Import Faceoff in ’09. Went to the magic house of RX7 tuning God, Steve Kan in Fort Worth to get on the Mustang Dyno. My car left there with well over 400whp and more ready than ever. The next day, we rolled into the Texas Motorplex in Ennis to make some attempts at some decent times. Well, regretfully, 2ft outta the burnout box my forward U-joint grenaded, taking the shifter housing with it and damaging my trans tunnel. I loaded the car up with the help of my buddies from 26liter.us and moped my ass back home. The next night, yanked that trans and threw up another, thanks to Dan Brewer, and my car was back on the prowl!
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi owner? The most challenging?
I don’t really think this applies. The majority of Mitsubishi owners are all about their DSMs and 4G63’s, and half of them don’t even know what my car is. I know it’s a Mitsubishi, but since it says Chrysler, it kinda puts me in left field to anyone that isn’t a real car enthusiast. I know the car’s history, and how it ties into all the following Mitsubishi’s, and thats enough for me. Everyone else is just missing out.
The most challenging is getting the quick cars around here to race. All the muscle car guys think its just another import tooting a BOV.
What excites you about the coming year? (Your Mitsu and your community)
For me, Im hoping I’ll have my new tranmission and the car ready to roll. I intend to compete at all the Texas Import Face Offs. Maybe get the car in some spotlight. Kind of a “Hey! We’re still here” type deal. Never know, may get some more product support out of it other than engine swap garbage.
For the community, looking forward to see what these guys come up with. In the last few years, these cars have come a long way! The throttle body injection (TBI) cars are making more power than ever. And people are coming up with all sorts of tidbits to make the car itself better overall. That has always excited me the most. I’ve got my fingers in some other projects that I’m looking forward to seeing come to life.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person?
Really, only once a year. Gary, the ring leader over at 26liter is lazy and wont set anything up! HAHAHA! (J/K Had to take a jab at him.)
Your thoughts on those who part out otherwise salvageable cars?
It’s a shame, but I cant blame all of them. Not everyone has the time/money/skills to bring them back. Anything is salvageable. Just how much can someone spend is the question. I definately don’t beleive in the crusher, but people have to do what they have to.
But then again, I’d rather someone share the parts with the community rather than hoard easily restorable cars. I’ve seen plenty of complete cars forgotten about, only to have the environment destroy the interior/paint/seals/etc..
How do you feel building a Mitsubishi compares to building a Mitsubishi community?
I feel it is strongly connected. The better you build the car, the better you represent the community. And it works both ways. Which is why these cars get so much flack for being unreliable garbage. People turn the boost way up on too small a turbo/not enough fuel/120k on the clock and blow these cars probably once a month if not more. The guys building the reliable ones are the example we should be following. Rob @ Baltimore Tint was running 10’s for years on the same engine. Same as Super Dave in Nebraska. Both guys pushing near 500whp, running 10’s and 11’s for years. That alone is a testament to the strength of these engines.
How has your Mitsubishi build benefited from your involvement in the community?
Access to hard to find parts. These cars are hard to find outside of the community, especially OEM parts.
What’s next for your Mitsubishi?
Transmission swap and hopefully some paint.
Who has helped you the most along the way with the car? Any mentors?
Roman C. in the UK, The cats on the Starion/Conquest sites, Rob at Baltimore Tint for being a badass and owning/building one of the most ferocious street ‘Quests. His car proved that these cars can freakin’ move!
Special thanks to my wife Bobbie for all the support. And being an all-out Sugar Momma Babe!
How have you paid this forward and mentored others?
I try to as much as I can. I think its more a pride thing for most. The guys are just too proud to accept any help. But that’s with any car.
Is there a particular shop you’d like to recommend?
Steve Kan in Fort Worth Texas / www.kantuning.com for all your performance needs. Complete builds/tuning with an in-house, AWD Mustang Dyno.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Phil. The car looks great. Let us know when you can arrange a race between your car and a B1 on the airstrip, okay? ;)