Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Right up front, the seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mitsubishi 3000GT discloses that the engine has slipped its timing belt and hence needs its heads examined. Let’s see if a buyer would to as well.

I must say, I’m quite astonished at the 66 percent Crack Pipe loss awarded to yesterday’s amazing 2000 Lincoln Town Car STATION WAGON. To me it was funky enough to lay down bass lines for George Clinton, but for the majority of you, it’s $7,500 price was a sour note.

Okay, I’m over it.

Hey, show of hands, who wants to buy a broken car? What, nobody? Oh man, that’s going to make today’s 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT a hard sell then. Well, I guess we’ll still give it the old college try, nonetheless.

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Sold in its homeland as the GTO, a name that was unavailable in the U.S. owing to Pontiac owning the copyright at the time, Mitsubishi’s big sports car came here with the 3000GT moniker instead. The model also called Dodge dealers its home away from home, and was sold under that brand as the Stealth. It was a little too stealthy however, and the rebranded model would die off about half-way through the 3000GT’s run.

Over the span of that 1990 to 2000 model run, the 3000GT was offered in a dizzying number of different permutations. The car could be had with just about every automotive technology known to man at the time—AWD, 4WS, ABS, convertible hard top body, and multiple turbos—all to enhance and entertain. They of course also added to the cars’ complexity, and those complications inevitably ended up with cars that could prove fiddly to maintain over the long haul.

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This ’95 edition is pretty simple in comparison. There is no AWD or 4WS. The metal top is fixed in place, and there’s nary a turbo in sight. That however has not kept it from going tits up. The issue, according to the ad, has to do with the 6G72 V6. The seller claims that the timing belt ‘slipped’ and, as this is an interference engine, that resulted in three bent valves and the need for a head job.

Now, I love a good head job as much as the next guy, but I think considering the cost and time that would take, plus all the might-as-wells you’d do in the process, it might make more sense to just find a used mill that’s in decent shape and call it a weekend.

Also, if you want to know why car companies go to the trouble of even making this an issue, Jason’s got you covered.

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When it wasn’t down two or more cylinders, the 2972-cc V6 produced a reasonable 220 horsepower and 201 lb-ft of torque. Now compare that to the Ferrari 308 Quattrovalvole of just 5 years earlier. That engine also displaced 3 litres, both sport double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, and both are fuel injected. The big difference is that the Ferrari offered two more pots. That allowed the Italian to pump out 10-more horsepower, but at just just 192 lb-ft, a bit less twist.

See, this 3000GT is almost a Ferrari!

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The rest of the car seems to be in serviceable shape which makes the damaged engine all the more frustrating. The white paint and bodywork exhibits no serious flaws and it rolls on what are described as new 18-inch Niche (?) wheels and Federal (?!) performance tires. Am I out of the loop that neither of those names is familiar to me?

The interior also seems a decent place to hang, and features a fancy pants double DIN head unit in the dash. This being a ’95, it sports airbags and not the earlier editions’ mousebelts so there’s a win there. The gearbox is Mitsubishi’s 5-speed stick and there are a couple of yahoo-additionsunder the hood—air cleaner, strut brace—to make you seriously lament the omission of a HOONIGAN sticker on the hatch.

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There’s a remarkable 200K on the clock and a clear title in the glovebox. The asking price is a meager $1,350, and as the seller notes, you could probably part the car out for more than that.

You might not want to, however. Replacement engines for 33-year old Japanese sports cars don’t grow on trees, and neither are you likely to find one while out weekend antiquing. No, most likely the fix for this car is to pull those heads and get some new valves and guides pushed in. Hopefully the damage to the heads and pistons weren’t enough to have to scrap any major component outright.

While you’re doing that, you can contemplate just what went down to cause the damage in the first place. Timing belts don’t ‘skip’ unless a tensioner has gone south or the car has been treated very, very badly. You know what, you might just want to pull the whole mill and check it pulleys to pumps.

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But at even just $1,350 should you do that? These car’s haven’t really tapped the market yet, least of all in base-level kit. They are audacious in style, and there is something to be said for a throwback to when Mitsubishi was relevant, if you’re into that. What we need to determine is, at that $1,350 price, is this 3000GT worth fixing?

You decide!

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Skagit, WA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Fauxshizzzle for the hookup!

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