At $7,200, Does This 1991 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 Have It All?

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

With AWD, AWS, and a twin-turbo DOHC V6, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 3000GT is a tour de force of automotive acronyms. Let’s see if its price also makes it a turd de farce.

There’s a perceived value in used cars that have had few owners, as though long-term possession imparts some sort of mythical quality. The downside of this is that, over time, these hangers-on can imbue their cars with their individual imprint, as well as tan acceptance as to whether or not certain maintenance practices are maintained.


We looked at a fine example of this on Friday—a 1975 BMW 2002—that was described by its offering dealer as being ‘all original’ but evidenced a number of wear-related updates made by its previous owners who obviously took steps to keep the car looking and working okay with little regard to actual originality.

With an asking price of $13,500, you might just ask more than that. In fact, at that price, fully 63 percent of you felt that it should have been both more original and in better shape, leaving the little Bimmer with a Crack Pipe loss.

As we start out the new year it’s always fun to consider the businesses and categories that stand a good chance of not being around come this time next year. A perennial participant in this parade of perdition is Mitsubishi U.S.A., the import arm of the Japanese multi-channel conglomerate. The simple fact is that Mitsubishi doesn’t seem to give a shit about selling cars here anymore.


That wasn’t always the case and for a while in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, the company went toe-to-toe with the big dogs, offering vehicles across multiple popular categories. One of those was the large (for Japanese cars) sports car category, and for that the company offered the 3000GT.


Called the GTO back home, the Sigma-based 2+2 came in flavors from vanilla to Valhalla, and while the lower-end models were fairly modest in their equipment and capabilities, the top of the line editions proved to be showpieces for Mitsubishi’s technological masterstrokes.

Unlike the competing Supras and 300ZXs, the 3000 was nominally a transverse engined FWD car, although Mitsu made up for that by offering editions with AWD. The car could also be had with all-wheel steering, and, as exemplified by this VR-4, with two -turbos appended to its DOHC 3-litre V6.


That engine pumped out a factory-claimed 300 horsepower and when paired with the wide-ratio five-speed manual and acronym-heavy chassis, could prove very entertaining.


Along with the cool drivetrain, the VR-4 offers active aerodynamics and an exhaust that’s driver-controllable for tone. And remember, this was all back in the early ‘90s.


Of course, maintaining a car with this level of complexity can be daunting, especially now, three-decades down the road. That’s why, should you peruse the 3000GTs on the market at present, you’ll find that a large percentage of them are listed as “non-running’ or ‘in need of…” In need of what? Well, you name it.”

Few seem to offer the attractive mix of decent condition, seeming working status, and appreciably low—78,000—mileage. Could that make this clean title edition the 3000GT to buy? Let’s have a closer look.


The paint is Caracus Red as it seems are 90% of the 3000GTs out there. It looks to be in fine shape in the pics and while the seller notes a number of minor imperfections, none of those show up as egregious in the ad. Wheels are factory 17-inch alloys and while they look okay, the plastic center caps are showing sickly yellow-grey as they’ve been worn down with age.


The interior is, thankfully, cloth as the leather on these cars doesn’t seem to hold up too well. The seats and all plastic trim have made it through the years with no major wear or discoloration. The tops of the split rear seats do show some fading, but at least are intact and not fraying. Missing is the cargo area cover, but that shouldn’t be a deal-killer unless you’re freakishly secretive.


The seller doesn’t go into any detail as to the car’s mechanical condition and concerningly is offering it in as-is condition. Caveat emptor and all that. As I noted, these are phenomenally complicated cars and maintaining things like the electronics and mechanical systems that presently don’t have a supply chain can be daunting.

Still, you do get a fact slice of Mitsubishi history, should that be something that floats your boat. You also get what’s likely a very entertaining car, even by today’s standards, and one with a flamboyance of style you just don’t see all that much anymore. Plus, pop-up headlights!


Could all of that be worth $7,200? That’s the asking and while it’s middle of the road for these models, this one does seem to be in above average condition.


What do you think, is this 3000GT a blast from the past with a price to match? Or, is this complicated car compromised by a too-high price?

You decide!


eBay out of Northern Cambria, PA, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to William Miller and Saltyirishman for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.