When new, today’s Nice Price or No Dice 3000GT VR-4 was one of the most complicated cars money could buy. Let’s see if this seemingly well-maintained example now comes with an uncomplicated price.
As intriguing a design as yesterday’s 1984 Chevy S-10 conversion van was, not even a cool gull-wing side door and an interior furnished with comfy-looking captain’s chairs could overcome its $10,800 asking price. Perhaps that was just too high, or, maybe having been offered for less than half that just two years ago had an impact. Whatever the ultimate decider, the Chevy ended up with a hefty 89 percent No Dice loss.
Today let’s turn back the clock to the 1990s, the era that many (meaning me) see as the heyday of the large Japanese sport coupe. It was in this decade that cars like the Nissan 300ZX, Toyota Supra, Mazda RX7, and Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 all reached the pinnacle of purpose, giving buyers previously unheard of levels of style, performance, and complexity.
The Mitsubishi wasn’t the biggest of the bunch, either in wheelbase, or overall length, (although it is the widest), and in retractable roof Spyder form, it is the heaviest. That roof mechanism costs the car almost 400 pounds in added heft. Good thing then that the VR-4 has 300 horsepower and full-time AWD to help mask those extra pounds.
A mechanical roof isn’t the big Mitsubishi’s only party trick either. These cars were uncompromising in their complexity, offering active aerodynamics, four-wheel steering, electronically-adjustable damping, and a pair of turbos on its three-liter DOHC V6.
Such complexity tends to age poorly if not tended by a respectful and competent steward and the seller of today’s 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 Spyder claims to have long been just that.
The car presents in custom black paint topped with a pearlescent clear coat. Adding to the custom look, the hood, front fenders, and nose have all been replaced with aftermarket or later model pieces and the door handles have been shaved in preference of remote controlled poppers. There are a number of other mods here, and it all comes together in a look that appears to have been done with care and competence.
Inside, the custom work continues, with black and blue leather and imitation suede upholstery and a modern double DIN stereo. Everything in the cabin also looks to have been well maintained and thoughtfully preserved. The top is said to work as it should, save for the header latch, although the seller says they are waiting on replacement latch gears to be manufactured so at the moment it requires manual attachment. That’s some dedication.
That care is most important when considering the car’s mechanicals as these 3000GTs do tend to be a bit finicky and fragile. The five-speed gearbox has been freshly rebuilt and, per the ad’s info, the engine has seen a ton of work, including the adoption of Euro-spec 19T turbos with variable pressure pop-offs. With all the updates, the seller estimates the engine is good for 400 horses as it sits and could do 600 with crazy high boost and some finagling.
Bringing it all home, the car comes with a clean title and just 86,000 miles on the ticker.
Now, obviously, this 3000GT is one person’s passion play. That may limit its attraction for others who may not have the same level or ardor as its seller, but that could potentially be countered with the correct price tag.
That asking price is $28,000, which is on-point for unmodded cars, and pretty low when compared to prices on contemporary Supras, so perhaps it’s a solid alternative. What do you think, is this 3000GT VR-4 Spyder worth that $28,000 price? Or, does that just complicate matters?
H/T to Paul F. for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.