It’s one of the hottest days of the year so far and the press team are advised that the air-conditioning in the reception area needs to be maintained. This means that we need to remove our two display vehicles from the showroom in order to facilitate the work – the only way to sweeten the deal is that this means moving our 3000 GT out into the sunshine.
Now it’s out, it seems a shame not to give the beauty a run in the open air on a beautiful day like this doesn’t it? Well I’ve just got the green light from the boss, so later I will be driving the mighty Mitsubishi 3000 GT!
3000 GT was a supercar of its time, a wide and low coupe with a 3.0 V6 engine, 281hp, 4WD, 4 wheel steering system, active aero package and more electronic gizmos than you can shake a stick at. It’s a car I fell in love with when I started life in the motor industry with Mitsubishi nearly 20 years ago.
This won’t be the first time I have had the opportunity to drive a 3000 GT, but it’s the first in a very long time. Thinking back it must be over 10 years since I drove one, and I only remember driving it a short distance then. This will be a great opportunity for me to experience driving a car from the 90’s in 2018. My everyday car is an Outlander PHEV so it will be interesting to compare cars from two very different eras designed and built for very different purposes. I am sure this will be a very nostalgic drive in this coupe and I can’t wait! (Thanks Boss!)
Anyway enough for now, I’ve just started the countdown to home-time when I can climb in and re-live a dream.
More to follow very soon……….
In preparation for my highly anticipated journey tonight in our heritage fleet 3000 GT, I decided to rummage through our archives for some old promotional material and stumbled across this beauty of a brochure!
A Japanese proverb adorns the front cover and completely sums up my feelings towards this car ‘First impressions rule the mind’. Nearly twenty years ago when I walked into a Mitsubishi dealership on my first day of work, the showroom gleamed with highly polished new cars and the star of the show was undeniably the 3000 GT. My first impression was that I loved the look and styling - I admired the seemingly futuristic technology and the engine note was music to my young ears! Now I am only a few minutes away from driving it for the first time in many years – and I cannot wait. Anticipation is building like Christmas as a child - will 5:30pm ever arrive?!
After what seemed like one of the longest afternoons in history, it was finally time to get reacquainted with the 3000 GT. First step was to try and slither into the driving seat in the most elegant way possible. After a long time driving mostly 4x4 and SUVs, the very low slung seating position at first seems strange, but after adjusting the seat and getting comfortable it was only a few moments before it felt right.
Next step was the roof. The Mitsubishi 3000 GT was equipped with a removable glass sunroof and on such a beautiful sunny day with a pure blue sky it seemed a waste not to take full advantage. A couple of catches later and the glass section was lifted off and neatly stowed in the perfectly sized boot area. Windows down, and it was time to turn it over.
With a twist of the key, the engine started and the unmistakable sound of the 3.0 V6 filled the carpark. Our office carpark is dominated by Outlander PHEVs so this sound is rather unusual these days! A gentle blip of throttle was a gentle reminder of what lies beneath the bonnet. With the handbrake off and first gear selected – I was off!
On the road, the 3000 GT felt at first very wide and very low, but it was only a couple of miles before I was feeling quite at home in the 90’s coupe. Sweeping around the bends of the roads in the Cotswolds, the 3000 GT sounded and felt great. On occasions the 3000 GT still felt wide, especially with oncoming traffic on narrower lanes, but it didn’t really cause any issues. Once home I quickly remembered what reversing a coupe without the modern comforts of a 360 camera, reverse sensors or any other parking aid was like, but a look over the shoulder and the use of the mirrors was all it took.
It was here that I spent some time and had a really close look at all the switches and dials and there are a lot of them! It wasn’t long before my daughter came to welcome me home (in fact she had come out to have look at the car!). ‘”What’s this new car then dad?”, it took some time to explain to an 8 year old that this car is now 26 years old. Inside the car she was fascinated by items like the turbo and oil pressure gauges and the fact she couldn’t find the USB port. Outside the car she was equally amazed by the pop-up headlights and the now removed glass sunroof. With a little assistance from my wife we put the glass sun-roof back on and secured the car for the evening.
The drive back into work was one I didn’t really want to end - in fact when I realised I was going to get to the office 10 mins early, I diverted up the bypass and around the roundabout just to get another few moments behind the wheel. The 3000 GT has put a very wide smile on my face and was definitely an experience I will fondly remember. To experience the 90’s sports car originally conceived as the then jewel in the crown for Mitsubishi Motors was an absolute privilege and it was so interesting to compare to the Outlander PHEV SUV that I run every day. There are similarities between these vehicles - both were crafted by Japanese engineers to be at the forefront of technology and both ahead of their time. However they have been designed for very different purposes.
I just wonder if I can convince my wife that there is room in our lives for our own 3000 GT? – Time to scour the classifieds perhaps!
Ramblings from Brian – Press Officer