And it could be a bargain.
The Dodge Stealth R/T, essentially a rebadged Mitsubishi 3000GT, sparked some controversy when it debuted in the US back in late 1990. It was selected to be the pace car at the 1991 Indy 500 but there was a problem with that, at least with the UAW. Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the annual race, the car's selection angered the union because it didn't come from America, but rather Nagoya, Japan.
To them, the Stealth was nothing more than a Japanese car that threatened America's auto workers. Its presence at the Indy 500, aka "America's Race," therefore was something that should not happen, even though there was no specific rule banning foreign-built vehicles to serve as pace cars. However, the recently ended Persian Gulf War had sparked a wave of patriotism nationwide and UAW leaders took advantage of this in order to cement the union's status and gain points among the public at the same time. It worked like a charm.
Instead of the Stealth R/T, the first-generation Dodge Viper became that year's Indy pace car. Honestly, it would have made sense for the Viper to have been selected in the first place given the fact Carroll Shelby played a role in its creation and it was designed and built in the USA. The problem beforehand was that the production Viper wasn't quite ready yet, but the UAW's actions also forced Chrysler to accelerate its new roadster's development in order to have it ready for race day.
With that history lesson over, let's turn back to the Dodge Stealth itself. While its Mitsubishi counterpart was sold through model year 2000, the Stealth only lasted until 1996. The brand didn't offer an affordable performance coupe until the arrival of the reborn Dodge Challenger in 2008.
A total of four variants were offered, Base, ES, R/T, and R/T Turbo. Of course, the latter was the one to get if you wanted the most power, but all four came with a 3.0-liter V6. The base had a total of 164 horsepower while the ES and R/T produced 222 hp thanks to the addition of an extra cam.
The R/T Turbo, however, made 300 hp and 307 lb-ft and even had all-wheel drive (the lower three trims were FWD). Turbo models also came with a number of advanced mechanical features for the time, such as four-wheel steering, active aerodynamics, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, tunable exhaust, and an electronically adjustable suspension. Even today, these features remain impressive.
While the Viper was not easy to drive, the Stealth lineup was the exact opposite. Today, unmodified and low-mileage Stealth examples can be hard to come by, but this 1992 Dodge Stealth R/T up for sale on Bring A Trailer checks all the right boxes.
Although it's not the turbo variant, there's still an awful lot to like about this Stealth R/T. It has only 43,000 miles on it and everything works as it should, including the pop-up headlights. Aside from some forgivable wear and tear given the fact it's 28 years-old, this Stealth R/T remains in remarkably great condition. Its current owner has also performed regular maintenance, such as a new water pump, spark plugs, and battery installed only last month.
As of this writing, the highest bid was only $1,000 but this will certainly change as there are still several days remaining until the auction ends. Even so, we don't expect the final price to surge dramatically because it's not the turbo model. For gearheads now in their late 30s and early 40s who remember this car from their early years, this '92 Stealth R/T could end up being a bargain find.