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3000GT Nostalgia

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Guys my age – mid-thirties – are starting to look to the ‘80s and ‘90s as inspiration for our garages. My mom and dad always admired the cars of their youth from the ‘50s and ‘60s, and my granddad has a 1932 Mercedes Roadster that is inspired by the one that the wealthiest guy in his small North Carolina farm town drove. So when I was looking for inspiration for this week’s blog, I stumbled upon a Facebook post from one of my childhood friends.

Edward was one of those guys that was cool and friendly to everyone, but I was afraid to hang out with him too much because I didn’t want him to figure out what a nerd I truly was. Nowadays, he’s sitting pretty in a 2015 Corvette that is the envy of just about all of our social network. But the real moment that took me back was when he brought up his first dream car – the Mitsubishi 3000GT. I’ve written extensively about my love for all-wheel-drive Asian artifacts as well as my ire towards the misappropriated GT nomenclature. In the ‘90s, Mitsubishi answered Toyota’s Supra, Nissan’s 300ZX, and Mazda’s rotary RX-7 with the 3000GT VR-4, a grand tourer in every way.

Mitsubishi cemented their motorsport legacy with a twin-turbo 320hp V6 married to a 5-, and later, 6-speed transmission with all wheel drive and all wheel steering. At the time, only pickup trucks, large farm vehicles, tractors, and monster trucks utilized active four-wheel steering, usually to navigate smaller areas without causing damage or getting stuck. Mitsubishi decided that, given it’s off-road and rally pedigree with Ralliart and the Lancer, the 3000GT, or GTO as it was known in Asia, would benefit from the feature. The 3000GT was heavy, as most proper grand tourers with any level of comfort can be, but it was also surprisingly nimble. Those 320 horses and 315lb-ft of torque put down a respectable 13-second quarter mile, while also cornering circles around the competition at speed. After all, outside of the drag strip, very few road races ever go in a straight line.

If you don’t mind a garish rear wing and an intentionally attention-grabbing design, you can actually own one of the prime examples of Japanese muscle for less than $10,000. Of course, you need to make sure you have enough left over for a matching set of CocoMats!

-Trey Fennell




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