I love time capsule vehicles, and it always fascinates me as to how someone bought a new vehicle and didn’t drive it much at all. After all, I once put 5,000 km on a vehicle in a week, so I will likely not be able to preserve the “as good as new” tag for a long time.
The car I’m featuring here this week is an exquisite time capsule, because since 1991, it has covered just 943 miles (1,519 km)! That equates to barely 61 km per year – I average that per day.
What more, this low mileage is on a vehicle that was one of the most exciting sports cars of the 1990’s – the Dodge Stealth R/T twin-turbo AWD.
As I’m sure most of my readers already know, the Stealth was a joint venture between Dodge and Mitsubishi, the latter had developed the 3000GT sports car. Thanks to their Diamond Star Motors alliance which even spawned a few Eagle brand vehicles, the Dodge Stealth was born.
While both the 3000GT and Stealth were offered in many trims – most of them being more show than go – the ones everyone lusted after were the twin-turbo models. Mitsubishi called theirs the 3000GT VR-4, while Dodge named theirs the Stealth R/T twin-turbo AWD.
The Dodge name gave many more clues as to what the vehicle was hiding under the skin – which was a 3.0L V6 that featured two turbo chargers. At 6,000 rpm, this motor produced 296 hp (and 306 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm), which made it among the most potent sports cars of its era – I know, these numbers seem very pedestrian these days, but they were a big deal back then (as an example, the 1990 Ferrari 348ts only had 300 hp). Post 1994, power increased to 320 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque, improving performance a tad.
Further more, power was sent to all-wheels in these vehicles, which made them among the very few sports cars of the era you could enjoy driving all year.
The early cars (1990 to 1993 for the 3000GT, 1991 to 1993 for the Stealth R/T) came equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox, whereas later cars (1994 to 2001 for the 3000GT, 1994 to 1996 for the Stealth) came with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Visually, the 3000GT and Stealth were quite different, and the teenage me of the 90’s was always more drawn to the Stealth. Technically, the two cars were quite identical, except for the active aerodynamic tricks – which Mitsubishi didn’t share with Dodge.
Performance numbers of the 1,724 kg Stealth R/T twin-turbo AWD were very impressive. The 0 to 100 km/h sprint was covered in 5.4 seconds, and flat out it’ll nudge 260 km/h – these numbers are respectable even today.
Not only were these cars fast, but also very comfortable, and came with nicely padded seats, a good stereo, and an excellent climate control system that was leagues ahead of its time.
In short, the 3000GT VR-4 and the Stealth R/T twin-turbo AWD were the dream cars that you could hope to attain some day.
Sadly however, as prices dipped in depreciation, many bought these cars only to ruin them with tasteless modifications, and wanting to extract more power out of their turbocharged motors.
That is what makes this weeks find even more interesting, because this very low mileage example is all original, no modifications at all. This is a genuine time capsule, which won’t cost you an arm and a leg to obtain. The dealer, Marshall Goldman, who has this 1991 model listed, is asking $34,900 for this white on red example (its original MSRP from 1991 was $30,877 including destination).
I think it is absolutely worth buying this car, and while it shouldn’t be used on a daily basis – this car still needs to be run in properly and serviced to ensure things haven’t ceased while sitting – it can be a fun toy for the weekends.