22,467 Mile VR4: 1992 Mitsubishi 3000GT

When it comes to early 90s supercars, the Toyota Supra, Nissan 300ZX, and Mazda RX7 almost immediately come to mind. Thought of less often is the Mitsubishi 3000GT, which I suspect is because so many of the cars sold were the hairdresser-special V6 edition and not the brawny VR4 model. That’s what this car is, in all of its advanced suspension, puffy leather seats, and twin-turbocharged powerplant glory, and it’s a survivor with well under 30,000 original miles. With so many of these cars ending up modified or otherwise abused, a low mileage time capsule in bone stock condition is worthy of our attention. Find the 3000GT VR4 here on Facebook Marketplace for $23,500.

The seller calls this car a barn find, and while that term is tossed around a lot, I could see this one actually falling into that category. This is because it’s not perfectly preserved – it has some rough edges – which typically lines up with a car that was simply parked and forgotten about rather than belonging to an obsessive owner who polished and waxed it daily. The 3000GT VR4 was always celebrated as a phenomenal grand tourer, but it seemed to want to play with the other light-weight, high-strung sports cars of the era, despite weighing far more and seemingly being out-classed when the road turned twisty – and that’s with the electronically adjustable suspension.

Still, you couldn’t beat the thrust of its twin-turbocharged V6, which made the 3000GT hustle far quicker than its heavy curb weight would suggest. The interior of this car is in very nice condition, but it looks un-detailed at the moment. Some time with a vacuum and leather cleaner would do wonders, not to mention some trim restorer. The gear shift surround shows some odd wear, and the driver’s seat isn’t perfect. But the passenger seat shows next to no use, and the same goes for the backseat. Honestly, this is one of those vehicles where I’d encourage the seller to spend some time with just the most basic cleaning products to make the cabin and paint pop more than they do currently.

The same goes for the engine bay, which is just a bit of trim restorer away from looking really, really good. The listing doesn’t detail any recent maintenance, other than stating the 3000GT is ready to drive. While not necessarily the most difficult car to maintain, they were considered highly advanced for the era, and those sorts of cars don’t typically age well. The hoses look original, and that’s not necessarily a compliment in this case. I would count on tackling the full assortment of deferred maintenance, so factor that in if the $23,500 OBO asking price looks appealing. Personally, as much as I like cars from this era, the 3000GT has a smaller following compared to other Japanese supercars, which will likely keep values from climbing much in the short term.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    That’s a steal. I saw these trending on BaT for a lot more so this would be a good purchase decision. First order of business is to replace the timing belt, tensioner, and idler pulleys. At that mileage it’s probably original and will be a ticking time bomb. Also remove the ECU and have the leaking capacitors replaced.

    Like 4
    • JoeNYWF64

      Besides the timing belt, also replace the water pump while everything is apart!! – with a new Mitz one. It is driven by the timing belt The car also has a V belt! Is that common on other front drive V6’s? Seems stupid to me.
      I think the industry wide suggestion(not Mitsubishi tho – they say nothing about timing belt time interval in owner’s manual) to replace the timing belt every 7 years REGARDLESS OF MILEAGE, like replacing motor oil every year(say after 1000 miles), is unnecessary – & the time interval can be doubled. But do replace THIS one after almost 30 years asap! That time interval does impress me. & i sure would like to look at that orig belt myself after it comes off!
      Only because the water pump started to leak, my friend also replaced the original timing belt & tensioners & pulleys on a sister car ’91 3000gt non turbo automatic with 80k miles in 2005. The recommended replacement interval is 60k miles.
      The owner never hi revved the car & just drove it like a commuter car. Not sure if THAT extended the life of the belt, tho the car was always outside, exposed to the extremes of summer & winter. The mechanic said the orig timing belt did not look bad at all!
      & better yet, i would think that with current tech, the durability of REPLACEMENT belts(& hoses) today is better than those avail back in the early ’90s – making it an 80k or 100k belt? -reasonable assumption?
      There are hi-po aramid timing belts avail, but probably not worth it, since the water pump will probably start leaking 1st.

      My friend also had stalling problems at around 93k miles & instead of rebuilding the ECU, as a simpler alternative, an ECU rebuilder told him to simply replace the ’91 engine ECU with a cheap used ECU from a LATER! model wrecked 3000gt that ran good – different part # from a ’94(still obd1 & a non Calif car). & was told that the capacitors may still leak but what leaks is less caustic to the surrounding components on the board than inside the ’91 ECU. Not sure if that is true, but the car is still running fine with it – ez to replace too – behind & below the radio behind the console side panel.

      Like 8
  2. Moon Knight

    I love these cars, This one is beautiful. I have owned a 98 3000 gt for many years, it is my daily and it has well over 200k miles on it and still going strong.. And I know initial asking prices are usually made with some room for negotiations.. however, this is a 1st gen and unfortunately even the 2nd gens are hard to find parts for especially the stealth. And as much as I would love for these cars to go for prices like that… you can buy a solid 2nd gen VR4 for around 8k. And you better pray nothing serious goes wrong with it because you will be hard pressed to find people who want/know how to work on them.. and even then you better be part of 3k and stealth web communities because most of the parts are discontinued and you will be waiting.. hoping someone parts out that exact car, which… in some cases, can take years.

    Like 5
  3. GIJOOOOE

    So, I have been on barnfinds since at least 2013, but this is my very first post.
    I owned the Dodge Stealth R/T TT version of this car and I can tell you that they are incredible cars to drive. Them being referred to as solely grand touring cars is a bit insulting, because with the AWD and AWS systems they handle a twisty road with the best of ‘em, and I’ve owned some pretty impressive cars in my day. Two of the best handling cars I’ve owned are an ‘06 EVO GSR and an ‘06 E60 M5, and I think this car could keep pace with either of them on a twisty road.
    In my own personal opinion, this car with only 22k miles, no rust and a relatively spotless interior is worth $20k all day long. I would snap this one up in a heartbeat if I were in the market for one. I’d also immediately take it to a specialist and have every consumable part such as timing belt, hoses, water pump and suspension bushings replaced. I’d also tune it to around 450 AWHP and then drive it like it was designed and engineered to be driven. I can’t say that they drive better than an FD RX-7 or 300ZX TT, because I’ve never driven either, but I can guarantee you’ll have a smile on your face every time you drive this one.

    Like 4

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