Weird history: Dodge Stealth R/T is underrated future classic

Weird history: Dodge Stealth R/T is underrated future classic

The Pick of the Day is a 1991 turbocharged GT that was essentially never driven, decorated as an Indy 500 pace car, which did not happen

The Dodge Stealth (aka Mitsubishi 3000GT) definitely rates as a future classic, and it should see some upside and collectability among upcoming generations of classic car enthusiasts.

This cool GT made in Japan and shared with an American automaker as a captive import is also something of a forgotten collector car that right now deserves more attention than it gets.

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The Stealth is a badge-engineered Mitsubishi 3000GT

The Pick of the Day is a 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine, 4-wheel steering and all-wheel drive, making it the best of the breed.   Really, these were incredibly nice performance grand-touring cars, packing 300 horsepower and competing with Toyota Supra, Nissan 300ZX, Mazda RX-7 and Chevrolet Corvette.

This sparking example has two weird and surprising things about it.  First off is the insanely low mileage.

“It has only 36 ACTUAL MILES!!!! That’s right JUST 36 MILES!!!!!” crows the seller, a Greenwood, Indiana, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com. “It is a brand-new car that was part of a large original-owner private collection.”

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The interior looks unused, which it is

Now, everybody knows that it will take quite a bit of going over to get this Dodge back on the road after 28 years of immobility.  And once again comes the obvious question:  Who would own such an awesome car and never drive it?

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The second weird surprise: Indianapolis 500 Pace Car decals are plastered on either side. Although the Stealth had been chosen for the honors of pacing Indy for 1991, there was an existential problem and it never happened.

That’s because such a hue and cry rang out from fans against a Japanese car getting the nod – even if it was badged a Dodge – that organizers of the classic American race pulled the plug and replaced the Stealth with a different Dodge – a Viper RT/10.

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Stealth never actually got to be pace car, so what’s the story here?

So you must admit, having what-might-have-been Indy pace car emblems on the Stealth is pretty strange.  There must be a story there – perhaps this was even one of the Stealths originally tapped for pace-car duty.  But the ad description is very brief, and there is no mention as to how this came about.

Although they were dissed for essentially being badge-engineered Mitsubishis, the Stealth twin-turbos were highly regarded at the time for style, power and drivability.  But their time was short, from 1991-96, and they dropped off the radars of collectors, even of those enamored with Japanese brands.

This most-unusual future classic has an asking price of $49,000, which is far and away higher than current value-guide estimates for a perfect example.   But this oddball might be worth it.

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To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

 

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