Junkyard Gem: 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T


Chrysler’s relationship with Mitsubishi goes back to the early 1970s, when the first Mitsubishi Colt Galants arrived from Japan with Dodge Colt badging. Plenty of Mitsubishi-built Arrows and Ram 50s and Challengers followed, and the joint Chrysler-Mitsubishi plant in Illinois began building cars in 1988. By the 1990s, you could find Mitsubishi DNA throughout the American Chrysler family, and the Mitsubishi GTO was brought over to become the Dodge Stealth starting in 1991. Here’s one of those first-year Stealths, now residing in a Colorado self-service boneyard.

Four grades of Stealth were available here in 1991, with the R/T Turbo AWD at the very pinnacle. This car, a regular R/T, is one step down from that model but still a pretty quick machine for its time. MSRP was $25,155, or about $55,370 in 2022 dollars.

The R/T got this naturally-aspirated DOHC 6G72 engine, displacing 3.0 liters and making 222 horsepower. If you got the turbocharged version in the R/T Turbo AWD (or the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4), power went up to 300 horses.

The 3000GT (as the GTO was known here) was mechanically identical to this car but had slightly different styling.

The GTO/3000GT/Stealth replaced the Mitsubishi Starion and its Chrysler/Dodge Conquest siblings, which were sold here from the 1983 through 1989 model years.

The Starion was a rear-wheel-drive machine that competed for sales against the Toyota Supra and Nissan Z, while the Mitsubishi GTO was available with either front- or all-wheel-drive. As illustrated by this photo of the rear suspension, this car is a front-wheel-drive version.

Americans loved automatic transmissions 30 years ago, nearly as much as we love them today, but this car has a proper five-on-the-floor manual. If you wanted the optional four-speed automatic, it cost 813 bucks ($1,790 today). The Stealth R/T AWD had a mandatory five-speed manual transmission.

This car has been hit hard by junkyard shoppers and the ravages of time, but it was fairly luxurious when new. Air conditioning was standard equipment on the R/T, though not on the lesser Stealths.

This car came close to 150,000 total miles, but fell a bit short of that milestone.

The final year for the Dodge Stealth was 1996, though the Mitsubishi 3000GT remained available here through 1999. The Mitsubishi GTO held on through 2000 in its homeland.

Outhandles the Lotus Esprit!

It appears that most advertising for this car focused on the turbo all-wheel-drive versions.

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