Believe it or not, the Mitsubishi 3000GT was called the GTO in its home country of Japan. Muscle car fans might take umbrage, and it's certain that Ferrari fans would get upset all over again like they did in 1964, so Mitsubishi wisely chose to rename it for most export markets. What didn't change is that these are exceptionally nice cars to drive: fast, competent, quiet, smooth, and with decent ergonomics, even 20 years later. Sure they were laden with technology, but the stuff has turned out to be remarkably reliable and durable, and low-mile cars like this SL with just 28,298 original miles are wonderful cars to own and drive. In fact, whenever we manage to find a low-mileage example, they sell almost immediately. Best of all, these cars came loaded from the factory, with the only option being $1150 worth leather seats, which this one has.
The SL looks just like its big brother the 3000GT, complete with rear spoiler, aggressive front fascia, and hood-mounted faux vents, so you get the slam-dunk styling without the hefty price tag. And draped in sinister black, this is a car that anyone would think twice about tangling with on the street, even today. Black cars are always the toughest to maintain properly, but someone must have sealed this one up in a hyperbaric chamber each night when they put it to bed, because the paint is brilliant. There's very little sign of use, and even the chin spoiler is largely devoid of the usual chips and scrapes. And time isn't usually kind to paint, but this car really does look like it's a few months old, not two decades. Of course, there's no sign of accident damage or botched repairs, because this one has a totally clean history. “Nice car” doesn't even begin to cover it.
Remember when only V8s had 220 horsepower? In 1993, 220 horsepower was impressive as hell, and the naturally aspirated 3.0 liter 24-valve V6 in the 3000GT made big power and lots of grunt. It was also virtually bulletproof, being the same engine that survived being pressurized by a pair of turbos. What that means is that you get sparkling performance, exceptional reliability, and some pretty docile street manners. Most of the guys we talk to who are fans of these cars claim there are few better long-distance cruisers, with the V6 just purring away and still pulling down fuel economy in the mid-20s. You just can't argue with that kind of performance. Looking at the fittings, the fasteners, and the other bare metal components under the hood, it's clear that this car was never driven in the winter, and hails from a warm, dry climate. There's no rust, but also none of that chalky corrosion you get on the aluminum bits, a sure sign of clean living. You'll also note that this one still carries a lot of its original equipment, including what appear to be the factory-installed hoses, further indications of this car's clean, low-mileage status. The cast aluminum intake is still clean, the valve covers have bright Mitsubishi lettering, and all the decals are still in place. Who knows, in a decade or two, people will be seeking out survivors to use as restoration guides, and this one certainly qualifies.
While a 4-speed slushbox was available in the SL, the only transmission you want is the slick-shifting 5-speed manual, which is how this car is equipped. It drives the front wheels and uses a sophisticated suspension setup to virtually eliminate torque steer. The rear suspension uses a clever multi-link arrangement that tracks like a cruise missile on the open road and gives this sport touring coupe the moves of a much lighter car. Powerful vented disc brakes with ABS live at all four corners, and the original exhaust has a raspy snarl that's extremely sporting, especially from outside the car. This one has been very tastefully upgraded with a set of handsome 17-inch MSW alloy wheels wearing 245/45/17 performance radials.
You could probably get away with calling the interior sumptuous, with the seating surfaces wrapped in glove soft tan leather. The combination of the black and tan is not only traditional, but a great change from all the black-on-black SLs that were undoubtedly rolling off the assembly line. Like the rest of the car, the leather is in excellent condition with no tears or soiling, and the perforated seating surfaces are comfortably broken in, but not worn. Aggressive side bolsters will hold you in place for aggressive driving, but are also comfortable for those long highway drives for which this car is ideally suited. Matching tan carpets keep the cabin bright and airy, along with tan leather inserts in the black door panels. The gauges are sporty, and who doesn't love the three auxiliary gauges in their own pods mounted high in the center of the dash. Everything is standard, too, including power windows and locks, a powerful climate control system, cruise control, rear defrost, a tilt wheel, and a vintage 1993 entertainment system that actually sounds great. Under the rear hatch you have a ton of storage space and a retractable cargo cover that keeps everything private. Heck, this car is so nice, even the gas struts that hold up the hatch and hood are still doing their jobs!
Documentation includes the original window sticker (showing the price as a not inexpensive $30,272), original owner's manual, and original warranty certificate.
We've seen from recent sales, including a Toyota Supra, that Japanese sports and grand touring cars are finding their own unique position in the collector car world. A whole generation grew up with these cars as their dream machines, not Camaros and Mustangs, and as a result the good ones are getting snapped up as quickly as they come to market. They're also some damned fine cars to drive, and if you're an enthusiast who likes to put his hardware on the road, few cars deliver the blend of performance and luxury that the 3000GT offers. With low mileage, great maintenance, and a killer color combination, this car will make you smile every time you slide behind the wheel. Call today!
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