Me and my mo­tor

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE.COM.AU -

RE­MEM­BER the 1980s? Big hair, Michael Jack­son and Mit­subishi Star­i­ons. Garry Car­roll is aged 34 but says he’s ‘‘still an ’80s kid’’.

‘‘That’s when I was a kid, and I don’t want to grow up,’’ he says.

So he bought a Mit­subishi Star­ion, and then an­other, and then an­other . . . five all up.

‘‘I saw Can­non­ball Run. Jackie Chan was driv­ing a Star­ion and I thought I’d love to have that,’’ he says.

‘‘If you buy one, you have to buy two be­cause one is al­ways in the shop get­ting some­thing done to it. I know one guy who has 12.’’

One of Car­roll’s Star­i­ons was writ­ten off in a crash, an­other was can­ni­balised for parts and he sold an­other be­cause he didn’t like the paint job. The two re­main­ing Star­i­ons are a black 1982 JA show car and a sil­ver 1985 JB daily driver.

‘‘I bought the JA in 2000 and paid $8000 but I’ve spent more than $80,000 on it,’’ he says.

‘‘I saw this black Star­ion driv­ing around town and I loved the paint job, so I flashed my lights at the driver and pulled him over.

‘‘He goes ‘hello’ and I said ‘How are you go­ing? I just wanted to have a look at your car’. I ended up buy­ing it off him.’’

Car­roll might have bought it specif­i­cally for the black and pur­ple pearl paint job but he has since had it re­painted twice.

For a while, Car­roll used it as a show car and won about 40 tro­phies at car au­dio com­pe­ti­tions, winning the Aus­tralian round of the In­ter­na­tional Auto Sounds Chal­lenge in 2001. He has spent $25,000 on the sound sys­tem alone.

‘‘There are bits you can’t see, like the equaliser that’s worth $2500, a cross­over un­der the seats that’s worth $1500 and there’s $6000 in amps,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s only 300 watts but it’s built for clar­ity, not high vol­ume. If you shut your eyes you wouldn’t think you were in a car.

‘‘I lis­ten to a lot of vo­cal mu­sic – Michael and Janet Jack­son and Billy Joel. I’m stuck in the 1980s – like the car, I sup­pose.’’

It not only sounds hot but runs hot, too, with a com­plete en­gine re­build, new Gar­rett turbo, new man­i­fold, big­ger cool­ing sys­tem and a lot of tuning to yield 223kW at the wheel.

‘‘It would be a 12sec car (on the quar­ter-mile drag strip) but I’ve never been tempted to take it out drag racing. If I wanted to go fast, I wouldn’t have loaded it down with a stereo and done the in­te­rior and fancy paint job.’’

In orig­i­nal form, the Star­ion JA’s two-litre tur­bocharged four-cylin­der en­gine pumped out only 125kW at the crank.

‘‘I tried to keep the Star­ion alive so it has the orig­i­nal en­gine,’’ he says.

‘‘I could have gone berserk with an Evo en­gine but I wanted to keep the orig­i­nal. I’d fall asleep in a Merc be­cause it’s too smooth. I need to bounce around in the seat a bit.’’

No prob­lems there as it fea­tures Ral­liart KYB sus­pen­sion and 18-inch Sim­mons wheels.

He also spent $2500 on the steer­ing and $3000 on the air­con­di­tion­ing.

Other fea­tures are the full sev­en­cow leather up­hol­stery and Knight Rider light at the front.

‘‘I did some of the in­te­rior but mainly I like to point and di­rect,’’ he says. ‘‘I’m not very mo­tor savvy.’’ He bought the JB in 2006 for $5000, mainly as a daily driver.

‘‘I had some paint­work done on it, changed the speak­ers and CD player, put on new wheels and a front spoiler. I only spent about $6000, maybe more.’’

Car­roll’s first car was a Nis­san Blue­bird and he has since owned about 30 cars, but has mainly been true to Mit­subishi with sev­eral Colts, and then the Star­i­ons.

‘‘My next car might be a Mit­subishi Out­lander,’’ he says. ‘‘My wife, Carmel, is preg­nant so my life’s over . . . my next car will have a baby seat and I’ll have to grow up.’’

For the record, Car­roll dis­cred­its the story that the car was in­cor­rectly named Star­ion be­cause the Ja­panese boss couldn’t say ‘‘stal­lion’’.

‘‘That’s in­cor­rect. They had a lot of cars and en­gines named af­ter star con­stel­la­tions,’’ he says, cit­ing the Aus­tar­ion.com fo­rum of which he is one of 1570 ac­tive mem­bers around the world.

Mark Hinch­liffe

STAR­ION STRUCK: Gary Car­roll and his two favourite cars – a black 1982 JA show car and a sil­ver 1985 JB daily driver. He has spent more than $80,000 on the JA since buy­ing it in 2000.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.