1997 3000 GT VR4
Owned by Dennis Begley


Wide 18" low profile all weather Michelin tires on brand new chrome rims. The rims retail for $750 a piece.  Black with Green metal flake paint. Tan leather interior.

On the right rear is the VR4 emblem, you can barely see it in this photo. Dual exhaust from a double overhead cam V-6 with twin turbo chargers. Hatch back, of course, with a cover to hide what is in the rear area. Split fold down rear seats not made for an adult. I usually keep the rear seats folded down. I don't want anyone there anyway. Emergencies only. On the left rear is a 10 changer CD player. However, the suspension is so tight in this car, that isn't rear practical. It skips often on normal streets. The first time I took my wife a ride in it, she observed that she had driven this street many times before and never noticed it being so bumpy. I hadn't even noticed that until she said something. Ah Yeah, it is a lot more bumpy that it use to be, dear. The in-console CD player works fine and doesn't skip.

This car has tinted windows. Like all newer VR4's it has 6 forward gears. That's been interesting explaining to someone that asks if it is a 5 speed or automatic. Why does it have 6 forward gears? Just because. The Getrag transmission comes from Germany. This car has a new transmission. After I took possession of it, I took it back to the dealer for the 30,000 mile service, which the dealer threw in. This is the first major service. I told them I didn't like the way it shifted into first and second. The mechanic drove it and agreed. When they pulled the transmission out, the service writer called me and asked it I wanted to put a new clutch in it since they had the transmission out. All they would charge me for was the parts. Sure. It turned out to be a real good idea. The clutch and pressure plate were pretty shot. I wouldn't have gotten another 1,000 miles from them. One thing you don't want to do with a VR4 is try to spin the tires. The all wheel drive won't spin the tires. Instead it spins the clutch, the weak spot in the drive train. The springs on the pressure plate were blue from the heat of the spinning clutch. We talked about putting a better clutch and pressure plate in it. I couldn't get one locally or I would have. But after much conversation with the mechanics and the service writer, we decided it would better to have the stock clutch in it rather than break something else. This car has over 335 horse power with the low restriction air cleaner.

Think about it. Here is my VR4 parked beside my 1968 GT 350 Shelby Cobra. In '68 Shelby used Ford's new 302 4-barrel engine, rated at 250 gross horsepower. This car does not have a stock engine. When I rebuilt it, I replaced the heads, springs, lifters and cam with hi-po parts. It also has headers with low restriction mufflers, a 650 cfm Holley carb setting on a COBRA hi-rise aluminum intake manifold. It should be close to 300 gross hp.  Its big brother, the 1968 GT 500 KR was rated at 335 gross hp. True horse power was closer to 400 gross. This VR4 has 335 NET horse power. Subtract the power steering, air conditioning, power everything, the gross rating has to be over 400. And I can average 18 mile per gallon in the city, if I keep my foot out of the turbo charger. And that's getting easier to do. One very nice car. I knew if I ever drove one I would have to own it. Sure enough... I have to say though that I love the car.  (Click here to read more about the Shelby cars, or here to see more of my 1968 GT 350.)

You may be asking, how can I own a 1968 Ford sports car and drive a Mitsubishi 3000 GT. First take a look at this car and realize it drives better than it looks. Throw in all wheel drive, a great 6 speed transmission and over 300 horse power. I appreciate sports cars. I've also owned four Datsun 280 Z cars, a Pontiac Trans Am and a couple of Mercury Merkur Xr4ti's. I still own a 1966 Ford Mustang coupe. What can I say? If Ford offered an all wheel drive Cobra Mustang, I might be driving one of them. Then again maybe I wouldn't...


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