Junkyard Find: 1996 Mitsubishi 3000GT

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1996 mitsubishi 3000gt

I’m always looking for more Mitsubishi Junkyard finds, because the Mitsubishi-in-America story has been fascinating ever since the days when the first Mitsubishi product was imported via the Aleutian Islands. The Mitsubishi GTO (which was sold in the United States as the Mitsubishi 3000GT and the Dodge Stealth) didn’t steal many sales from prospective Supra Turbo— or even fourth-gen GM F-body— buyers, but it was still a fairly credible high-performance machine for its day.

Nowadays, though, depreciation has sent the value of all but the most perfect 3000GTs into the realm of the eighth-owner ’92 Plymouth Sundance. This means that moderately beat examples end up in places like this Colorado self-service wrecking yard.

With 220 horsepower out of its 24-valve V6 and optional all-wheel-drive, the 3000GT was pretty quick.

We’ve seen a half-dozen or so Mitsubishi GTOs in 24 Hours of LeMons racing, and they’ve been pretty poor performers (though, to be fair, such cars as the Supra, GTI, and Mustang also fare badly in LeMons racing). Stealths and 3000GTs have managed to squeeze into the upper reaches of the standings several times at LeMons events, but then mechanical problems put them onto the jackstands (note the fuel gushing out of the filler neck on this Stealth in Texas, for example).

Within a few years, I predict that the only 3000GTs left in America will be coddled garage queens, and the occasional example that ends up in the junkyard will be picked clean by owners of those few yars.

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  • Japgto Japgto on Nov 15, 2012

    I bought a Dodge stealth twin turbo this summer from a friend that was a well taken care of car. A lot of the comments on here are pretty funny. The car does handle well and is more predictable than either of the 2 911s I own. However, it is a big heavy complicated car. That is the price for the 4-wheel drive and other stuff it has. The other thing that is funny is how much other drivers on the road truly hate this car for some reason. Even the dumbest clown in some beat up mini truck will try to hang with it in some corner or try to race it, with predictable results. They disappear in the mirror and you worry they ran off the road. I suspect many of the posts here are from folks who either: A: never drove one B: drove or rode in a non-turbo model C: just hate Mitsubishi in general I don't really care, it's a fun car to drive and if the soccer-mom and gofast-civic crowd hate it, so what. I am daunted by the factory manual I downloaded though. There are quite a few pages of just special tool the factory made to work on it. I will be doing the timing belt this coming spring and my opinion may change.

  • Mtboy Mtboy on Sep 13, 2013

    Japgto: I agree. I drove my '93 VR4 from CT to MT in Winter. It is an amazing car. It seems the thread starts with a slam - and it just kinda keeps building. It's fast, full of gadgets and a blast to drive. The style I love. Yeah, give me those pop up headlights, too cool. The hood "blisters" just add to the look.

  • MaintenanceCosts This class of car competes hard with Chargers/Challengers and modded diesel pickups for the douchey-driving crown.
  • 28-Cars-Later Corey - I think I am going to issue a fatwa demanding a cool kids car meetup in July somewhere in the Ohio region.
  • Master Baiter Might as well light 50 $100 bills on fire.
  • Mike1041 At $300K per copy they may secure as much as 2 or 3 deposits of $1,000
  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!