Abandoned Twin Turbo: 1997 Mitsubishi 3000 GT

This 1997 Mitsubishi 3000GT is the high-octane VR4 model with a twin-turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, but it’s not really making use of any of those things at present. The beleaguered supercar is sitting in what looks like a vacant lot up to its wheels in the dirt, looking more like a theft recovery than a forgotten supercar. The seller claims it ran out of coolant and that he is “…not exactly sure of what needs fixing.” Despite this, he’s still listed it with the heady price of $10,000 here on craigslist in Denver.

I recently joined a group on Facebook that tracks stolen cars, and I have to say, this looks very similar to the occasional Marketplace post that gets shared of a car listed for sale that belongs to a member of the group. Now, I suspect this is more a matter of the seller simply not knowing what he has or not realizing that ads like this quickly get marked suspicious, but either way, the presentation is not helping him. The 3000GT in VR4 form was a major force on the Japanese sports car marketplace in the early 90s, so it’s more than a bit surprising to see one presented in this manner.

Mileage is listed at 120,000 and the interior presents quite better than I was expecting for a sometimes needy project car like this. If the seller is being honest, they should realize that presenting a sports car that demands ongoing mechanical attention as simply being parked because it ran out of coolant only leaves you exposed to more questions from potential buyers, such as “Why was the car allowed to run out of coolant?” The ramifications of this disclosure mean the 3000GT likely overheated and possibly warped the head, a big job on a sizable engine like this one. The doors not being opened to take interior photos is another red flag about the level of interest this seller has in his forgotten supercar.

The later 3000GTs had styling that separated it from earlier models; combined with the larger chrome wheels, there’s no denying this is a late-production 3000GT that was loaded up with all sorts of technological features that provided real-time adjustments based on engine speed and performance settings selected by the driver. While it hasn’t kept up with its peers on the marketplace like the Mazda RX-7 and the Acura NSX, the 3000GT is still a formidable opponent in the fast grand tourer category, and it’s a shame this one has been so carelessly maintained and abandoned.


  1. Fred W

    Not even bothering to open a door to take an interior photo? If I were nearby and interested, first thing I would want to see is the title

    Like 18
  2. Rw

    It’s abandoned because it’s junk.

    Like 12
  3. Dave Peterson

    If we all believed the hyperbole on many cars no one would ever buy an Alfa again. Or a Jaguar. Or many others branded by frustrated owners. Yes, this car is a handful, but remember it was ground breaking tech in its day. I can’t imagine trying to send 320 horses to a differential that in turn sends it two ways. Audi wasn’t exactly the pic of perfection. The price is wrong, but I would throw the dice at $3000.

    Like 7
  4. Bick Banter

    Oh good it just ran out of coolant. It happens. That’s not expensive to fix.

    Like 17
  5. Claud

    As with many sellers now, drug usage has gone way up
    Frosty meant to press 1 then 000 but the numb brain and shaky body due to lack of said drug created this obvious mistake …

    Like 7
  6. joenywf64

    Not sure what’s worse/more expensive to fix on these – running out of coolant, or the timing belt breaking.

    Like 2
  7. Mark

    These were as expensive as Nissan GTRs back in the day but have never attracted the same level of respect or collectability. Many ended up like this I fear.

    Like 4
    • joenywf64

      The non turbo cars in ’91 were under $20k i believe. & the SOHC dodge variant was even cheaper if you just wanted that great look. The price tho really took off during the 90’s because of devaluation of the dollar & yen, i believe. A ’91 with few options & no antilock are not that complicated, compared to a fully loaded turbo with electronic climate control, 4 wheel steering!, adjustable exhaust!, active aero, antilock brakes, adjustable suspension, power seats, power antenna, power windows, etc.

  8. jim

    No sale call the junk man

    Like 1
    • Howie

      They did, he did not even want it!!

      Like 4
  9. FrankD Member

    This car was a big deal back in the 90’s. I drove one and a Mazda RX7. I purchased the RX7 instead. The 7 was fast and the automatic model was even faster.

    Like 1
  10. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Craigslist listing says the car comes with a clean title, so It’s unlikely it’s stolen, but before buying it, I would suggest having the VIN run thru the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) by local police.

    Like 4
  11. Dave

    This was quite the car back in its day. But Seller can’t even bother opening the door for an interior pic and no engine pics, and still has the gall to ask 10k!! Way to many red flags to even put on BF.

    Like 4
  12. Dayle Gray

    if I were to guess, the seller is a landlord and it was left on his property by a previous tennant for some reaon yrs ago. Hes just not getting around to selling it because enough time has passed. Doubt its stolen, its prob headgaskets or worse and the last owner didnt have the $ to ever fix it properly….so it sat. And calling this a “supercar” is a stretch thats for sure. Nevertheless, …its maybe a $1500 car tops. Its prob locked and the seller too lazy and or cheap to get keys made for it, hence the landlord selling it scenerio.

    Like 5
  13. Squigly

    A lot of expensive cams for this engine. The fix might be worth more than most will want to spend. I always preferred the Dodge Stealth version of this better. Quite fast for their day. Sat in a new one at a dealership once when I was back in the states when I was on leave. Thought they sat too low. A buddy had a Chrysler Laser Turbo that he let me drive once. Better seating position and maybe the most comfortable seats ever in a car. Surprised those didn’t sell better.

    Like 1
  14. SaabGirl900

    Back in the day, I worked for a Dodge dealer in the service department. Whenever we had a Stealth GT that came in for any kind of work, the techs all ran in different directions and no one wanted to work on them. The 3000GT and the Stealth were the same car, and both were nasty to deal with. The 60K service meant timing belts, and, if I recall, it was not easy to get at the belts while the engine was in the car. It was recommended that the water pump be changed out when the belts were done as well….again, not an easy job, but as you were right there, it beat having to go back in for just the pump when one sprang a leak. I used to warn owners when they dropped their cars off for service that the repairs would not be cheap, but every third Stealth owner who got a bill for the 60K service turned white as a sheet when they got the bill.

    “Ran out of coolant”………probably coughed up its water pump………

    Like 1

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