1991 Eagle Talon TSi - Kickin' It Old School

By David Pratte, Photography by James Pickett

“Old School” means different things to different people. It’s all about what generation you’re from and what you’re into. For the domestic-lovin’ big block crowd it means cars like the Hemi Challenger and 454 Chevelle. For vintage JDM lovers it means machines like the Datsun 510 and Mazda RX3. For those of us who grew up on Hondas, it probably means EF hatchbacks and CRX’s. And if you’re a big movie buff and a fan of Jamie Kennedy, the term “old school” will conjure up images of breakdancing and balloon pants. Hammer time!

Michael Rizzotti is all about kickin’ it old school, though his version is about “going fast with class” in his ’91 Eagle Talon TSi. Having owned the car for 14 years now (and with no intentions of selling it any time soon), Mike has carefully and thoughtfully transformed his DSM sleeper into a 10-second beast with the passion of a true grassroots enthusiast. No big sponsors. No big spending. Just a patient and well-researched approach with the costs of upgrading spread out over a decade or so, proving that old school adage that “good things come to those who wait”.

Before discovering the beauty of Mitsubishi’s turbocharged AWD pocket rocket, Mike was a serious Mustang guy. In fact, he owned a total of five 5.0’s before acquiring his 1g DSM back in 1993, when it had just one previous owner and 30,000 miles on the clock. Having never run quicker than a 14.3 in the quarter mile in his Mustangs, Mike decided to try his DSM down the 1320-foot drag strip at New England Dragway. Much to his surprise the car ran a 13.9 on its second pass ever. Suddenly realizing how much potential his turbo Talon possessed, Mike began looking into ways to make it run even quicker. Starting out like a lot of us, by seeking out information about his car on the internet, Mike joined the now legendary DSM e-mail listserve known as ‘The Talon Digest’. Back in the day before web forums emerged, e-mail listserves were how car geeks shared information and with DSM gurus like David Buschur and Todd Day posting on ‘The Talon Digest’ Mike was tapped into the brightest minds in this small but growing community. With the pioneering spirit of DSMers at this time, it’s no wonder Mike learned to do all his own ECU tuning and wrenching and these days even works on some local DSM’s to help pay for his go-fast habit.

By David Pratte
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