Sleeper Minivan: 1998 Olds Silhouette 3.8 SC

One of the key ingredients to a good “sleeper” is the element of surprise.  Discreet looks go a long way to successfully pulling off the concept. Very few people would suspect a minivan to have any sort of sporting intentions (much less an engine swap).  The original General Motors DustBuster minivans created a stir with their polarizing looks when introduced in the early 90’s.  Today’s example is a second gen version of the Olds minivan that has been blessed with a warmed over 3800 supercharged engine cribbed from a 1998 Pontiac GTP.  Find this 1998 Oldsmobile Silhouette for sale in Palm Coast, FL for $3,500 via craigslist.

It appears that the seller here was the person responsible for the drivetrain swap.  The 3800 SC engine is good for a healthy 240 hp and 280 lbs of torque in stock form.  Within the last 3,000 miles the seller gone really nuts and installed installed a pretty heady list of engine mods from ZZP which include: stage 2 water to air intercooler, ported and machined lower intake manifold, modified fuel rail, 3.2″ modular pulley, 4″ K&N intake, PCM tuned by Intense racing, and 2.5″ exhaust from the manifolds back.  You would think the engine should be close to 300 hp and have a mountain of torqs after all those mods.

When installing the engine mods, the seller performed a long list of regular maintenance.  The list of things done included: spark plugs, wires, coil packs, fuel injectors, ignition control module, Felpro metal intake manifold gasket, vacuum lines, supercharger belt, 180 degree thermostat, and some other small odds and ends.  The seller mentions throwing in a number of spare parts for the right price.

The car has the engine, transmission, differential, axles, and subframe from the Pontiac GTP donor car so this appears to be a well thought out swap.  It is claimed to be running great with everything working like a stock car.

See a better car to melt tires and haul around the soccer team? email

Cory is going to be working on his 1995 Mercedes C36 AMG over the weekend and hoping to drive it regularly soon.