Why buy a 3K/Stealth car?
From: Jay 3Si member.
As a regular reader, but seldom commenter, I thought I’d give you my “biased” opinion of the 3K/Stealth. Interestingly, I read the comments about “if I had” or “when I can afford ?” and just felt the urge to make MY comments. At the “senior” age of 53, I’ve owned most of the cars I wanted to own in life, I was fortunate to have a wife that allowed me to indulge my fantasies, early in our marriage and I’ve continued to own whatever intrigued me, regardless of practicality or cost, pretty much…
I’ve owned in excess of 70 cars and they include such things as:
2 AC Cobra’s (CSX 2254 and CSX 2579, both 289’s)
7 Pantera’s (2 for each model year ’71, ’72, ’73 and one ’74)
2 Ferrari’s (246GTS and 348GTS)
1 Hemicuda (”71)
2 Maserati’s (Biturbo Spyder and 4.9 Ghibli Spyder)
1 Lamborghini Miura (1969)
1 Datsun SCARAB (260Z conversion using Smokey Yannick Trans AM 350 motor)
3 Mustang BOSS cars (429, 351, 302)
1 Supra Turbo (’94)
(of course add to the list things like 4 Subaru’s, a Vega (V8 conversion) and a Corvair!)
My current “stable” includes my son’s ’95 3000GT base, ”98 Mustang Cobra Convertible, ’89 Porsche 930S Cabriolet (moderately modified to 600+ HP, spins the rear 345X35″s, at all speeds) and a ’91 Amigo (got to have something that will start everyday!).
This isn’t an excercise in “one up-manship” or “I have more money than sense”. I bought most of the cars when they were cheap (I paid less than $3,000 for each Cobra in 1972, $12,000, brand new, for the ’74 GTS, my wife thought I was out of my mind) and I couldn’t afford more than one at a time (I bought and sold a LOT), but I remember every one of them for what they were. Cobra’s are loud and uncomfortable, but accelerate like NOTHING else (including a Viper)! Pantera’s are loud and handle like crazy. Hemi’s (both Chrysler and Ford) accelerate like crazy, but don’t try to turn quickly! Ferrari’s are high-average performers, but look great doing it.
So in the end they all have tradeoffs, however, in the final analysis, the 3000GT/Stealth, in my humble opinion, are the most, “bang for the buck”, of any car I’ve owned, with the possible exception of the 1971 Pantera (for less than $10K in 1971, they were outrageous, BOSS 351 (first 100 or so only, than changed to Cougar XR7 style 351) motor, fully independent suspension using double adjustable Koni’s, 5 speed ZF transaxle, crummy air-conditioning (like anyone cared), whats not to like?). Is it the fastest car I’ve ever owned? No, that would vary between, straight line (AC Cobra) and just plain scarry fast in any situation (930S). Is it the most comfortable? Maybe, especially for what it’s capable of, and I suppose even more so in the VR4/TT, which I’ve never driven, but would expect to be an even better ride. Given the option, I’d buy a 3K/Stealth over just about anything on the market today, especially, if it has to be used and driven on a regular basis. they are just flat GREAT cars…
The VR4 is quite reliable. It is like most any foreign car and will rate above average compared to most domestics. But for those of us who push the car past factory specs we know what the weak links are.
The two high performance models are the VR4 and the Stealth RT/TT. Any car’s turbo is a bit picky about oil, they like good and fresh oil and like to cool down so the oil inside them does not bake. So if the turbo is taken care of they will get 100k to 120K miles before they need rebuilding. Rebuilds are $400 each or upgrades for $500 each.
The largest problem we have is the all wheel drive tranny on most of the turbo models. A few of the Stealth’s it was an option. The main problem is the brass syncros tend to give out every 40K miles or so. However it is due to shifting fast and at over 4K RPM. A rebuilt tranny is $1,800.00.
The second is mostly from racing with AWD. If you have more than 400+ hp and a stiff clutch you can twist the output shaft on a hard launch. But a 1.6 to 1.7 60′ launch is a real kick in the pants. In stock trim you can still do a 1.8 on any given day especially in the wet..
Other than that everything is pretty much the same as other foreign cars. Time and use will take its normal toll. I have a 92′ with only 68K on it. And I replace a few worn out parts now and again. And parts for this car are a bit on the high side due to the rarity of the turbo models anyway. But you can buy new and used parts from anywhere; your local dealer or on the internet.
If you get a lot of snow the AWD is perfect. While most RWD sports cars off spun off the road you are doing just fine and maybe even give them a tow. 😛 Plus the turbo will get your car up to temp in like 1/4 mile of driving and the heat is on.