Junkyard Gem: 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse with Lambo Doors

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Front-wheel-drive sporty cars with wild body kits and eye-searing graphics became increasingly popular in North America during the 1990s, but it took the enormous mainstream success of the first Fast and Furious movie in 2001 to place bewinged sport compacts with giant tailpipes in every town from Nome to Naples. No doubt due to the narrative-enhancing role of the cop-purchased 2005 Mitsubishi Eclipse and its Robo Car Aero Armor body kit in The Fast and the Furious, the second-generation Eclipse (and its Eagle twin, the Talon) built by Diamond Star Motors in Illinois became the car to have by the middle 2000s… and the only way to improve on a full complement of flares, scoops, and wings was the conversion of the doors to use scissors-style aka Lambo hinge mechanisms. You'd think a car so equipped would be sufficiently desirable to stay on the happy side of the boneyard fence (Those are the doors of a billionaire, after all. -Ed), but such was not the case with this '98 in the Denver area.

As we all know, there's no point in going to the expense and trouble of installing Lambo doors in your Eclipse if you haven't got a wing big enough to keep a Mitsubishi F-2 fighter plane aloft. Check!

I find these graphics a bit too subdued, but then I'd have chosen a Mitsubishi Debonair AMG for customization in the first place.

The body kit looks plenty mean, but hard times appear to have befallen this car quite a few years back.

A bit over 150,000 miles show on the odometer, which is non-shabby for a DSM product.

The engine is the Chrysler-sourced 2.0 DOHC unit originally designed for use in the Neon, rated at 140 horsepower. A 210-horse turbocharged Mitsubishi 2.0 could be had in the 1998 Eclipse/Talon, but the real gone cats added 14,000 horsepower worth of NOSSS.

Someone loved this car enough to put plenty of sweat and dollars into it, and I felt saddened to see it come to such a fate. If it had had an automatic transmission, at least I could have consoled myself that it was built entirely for show. Nope, five-speed manual.

The aftermarket wheels look rough, but they may have been sold anyway.

This car has been crushed by now, but perhaps the Lambo door hardware got sliced out before then.

So fast, it destroys wholesome farmhouses. The final model year for this generation of Eclipse was 1999.

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