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Showcase cover image for nils302's 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4

General Information

Year
1995
Make
Mitsubishi
Model
3000GT VR-4
History
1995 - 1st Owner: Doctor in Sarasota, FL
1998 - 2nd Owner: Tennis Pro in Clearwater, FL
2000 - 3rd Owner: My Father (RIP) in Erie, PA
2018 - 4th Owner: Me in Jacksonville, FL

This history of this 1995 VR-4 is prefaced by its 1994 clone which was, unfortunately, sacrificed to the gods of stupid adolescent teens by yours truly (I wrecked my Dad’s first GT when I was an irresponsible 18-year-old):

My father owned a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 for 27 years. He was the third owner (my uncle was the second owner). He kept the car in pristine shape while using it as his daily driver, except for winter. It demanded his attention, pretty much every weekend, which he loved, but after almost 30 years he decided he wanted something modern, something that he didn’t have to work on all the time, but could tinker with when he wanted to. He sold the mustang in 1999 to someone in upstate NY I believe, and unfortunately we never really heard much about it since then.

He bought a pearl yellow ’94 VR-4 in 1999 from a dealer near Columbus, OH (I think it was Columbus). I wasn’t the biggest fan of the car initially. I didn’t know much about forced induction at the time, and was pretty put-off by the idea of trading the Boss 302’s thundering V-8 for puny, sideways-mounted six cylinder. I was rooting for Dad to buy one of the new Pontiac Firebird WS-6s with the quad-nostril ram air hoods! It didn’t take long though for me to come around all the cool technology (and outright wizardry for its time) that made the 3000GT such an awesome car. I went from a doubter to the platform’s biggest fan in less than the time it takes to drive from Columbus, OH back to Erie, PA.

As kids, my brother’s and I rarely got to drive the Mustang –high school prom night was the one exception where Dad allowed it, and trust me, you were being watched. But the 3000GT was a much easier car to manage, and he tended to be more trusting with it. So one Sunday night, after a lot of begging and pleading by me to let me take it out for a spin with my buddy, he reluctantly obliged. We had 40 minutes to be back, and strict instructions to keep it on the highway.

I started out listening and kept it on the highway by heading East on I-90. But that only afforded one onramp blast… after a few exits I got antsy and decided to disobey and take the scenic way back. I turned off at the North East exit (Route 89), headed north, and then took US-20 to begin the return trip home. US-20 (Buffalo Rd.) was technically still a highway, but it’s not what Dad meant. It’s a two-lane, non-divided road that meanders along Lake Erie on its pass through North East, PA. I was chugging along about 75 mph, I believe the limit was 50 in the area of Green Meadows Golf Course, which is where the accident happened. Heading westward, the road has a dip past the course as it crosses Twelvemile Creek. The hop out is in conjunction with a right hand bend in the road. Prior to me entering the dip, I could see taillights ahead of a vehicle pulling out from a cross street onto my road and heading west the same as me. I stayed in my left lane as I entered the dip and lost sight of the taillights. I expected him to be in the slow lane when I would reemerge as he was getting up to speed, but that wasn’t the case. As I hopped out of the dip, in the middle of the slight right hand bend, he was right there in my lane, and he might as well have been stopped because it didn’t look like he was anywhere up to speed yet.

I remember not panicking initially. I was surprised, but my immediate assessment was that rather than slam on the brakes, I could do a high-speed lane change to the right, and breeze by the guy. Enter my crash-course in 4WS dynamics. I was off-throttle, already mid turn, and with all four wheels being unloaded as the chassis was hopping out of the dip. This was not the time to be learning how this car steers. I started a slip to the right, countered, over-corrected, slipped it to the left, countered, over-corrected, and brought it back sliding hard right. The result of all my blundering was me swinging that 3700-lb. car like a baseball bat at this guy’s puny S-10 pickup.

I contacted him with my driver’s side, right between my seatback and the rear wheel, and hit him in his passenger’s side rear corner. From the damage it appears as though he rolled over his nose, and finally came to rest back on his wheels, in the oncoming lane. My buddy and I spun back around to the left after hitting him and continued off the highway to the right. The GT caught the berm of the road and flipped, coming to rest on the roof in the field. The moonroof shattered, and we were showered with dirt and debris. It was the eeriest thing when it all came to a halt. The interior lights were still on, the vents were still blowing, and the CD player picked back up as we hung there upside down. There were no airbags deployed as it was all side impacts; thank goodness as I’m sure they would have only added to the pain. We both popped our belts and fell back to the ground. My door was shredded and so I was able to roll out, although very dizzy and obviously disoriented. My buddy’s door was jammed shut by the crumpled trim. I had to hang on to the underside of the car to make my way around to his side without falling over as I was still getting my bearings. I remember burning my hand on the exhaust as I made my way over. I got his door open, and we both walked away in surprisingly good condition, although between the dirt shower and some superficial cuts, we looked like we just got a serious ass whooping.



Of note: Sometime around 60K miles the original owner had the car serviced at a Mitsubishi dealer in Sarasota. The mechs drained the gearbox and transfer case, refilled the gearbox, but not the transfer case. The drivetrain ended up locking up, and the dealership got to do a whole lot of additional work. Needless to say the car received a new clutch, gearbox, transfer case, driveshaft, and rear differential.
1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4

Modifications

Drivetrain
K&N OEM Drop-In Filter
3SX Stainless Y-Pipe
Chrome ECU - Still on the base, federal tune
Interior
HKS Turbo Timer
Exterior
Tinted - hopefully will help preserve the condition of the interior in the FL sun. Before and after pics in my gallery.

Vinyl wrapping on headlights, taillights, signals. "Mitsubishi," "Twin Turbo," "VR-4," and fender stripes added by 2nd owner in 1997. Looks good, but lights could use a re-wrap after all these years.
Suspension
Stock - ECS still functional
Wheel and Tire
Knock-off, OEM-look 5-Spoke 18" Wheels (They look like the '94s wheels, only in 18" size)
Continental Conti-Sport Tires

Gallery

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