As a young hockey loving kid, I always enjoyed the methodical way that a good Zamboni driver re-surfaces an ice rink with minimal overlap and maximum efficiency. There is something satisfying about seeing that freshly smooth ice and there is nothing better than being the first set of skates to chop into the virgin ice and leave a trail of curved lines and fresh shaved ice. It is quite possibly the opposite feeling of watching a Dumb and Dumber movie sequel, which leaves you in a state of wanting a time machine to go back and correct your path that lead you to this dark corner of the multiverse, but driving a movie prop Zamboni with a V8 from one of those Dumb movies…maybe that’d be worth it. Find this 1985 Zamboni V8 offered for $15,000 in Sylmar, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I hate to see another Jaguar XJS ruined with a cheap Chevy V8 swap…but this one isn’t as bad as the typical small block with slushbox setup because it has a 5-speed manual. The under hood wiring could using some cleaning up, but the giant aluminum radiator/fan shroud seems purpose built and the Hyper-S body kit is interesting because there is some history behind a fellow name Paul Hands who built some Hyper Jags back in the day, there was even a Hyper Register alive at some point in time, but it seems gone now. Anyway, find this 1985 Jaguar XJS offered for $8,500 in Albany, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The first generation RX-7 (SA/FB built in Japan from 1978 to 1985) was a dainty ballerina in the sports car world. The RX-7’s lithe frame was propelled by an equally dainty engine – the Mazda rotary…which was known for dancing high on the tachometer, consuming fuel, and sounding like angry bees when uncorked. However, they are expensive to repair, lack torque, and many have (for better or worse) been swapped with another powertrain…and this next one is the most basic of swaps…Chevy V8 and some kinda automatic transmission — but at least it has a Holley Sniper EFI setup instead of the typical stone age carb setup. Find this 1979 Mazda RX-7 offered for $7500 in Yakima, WA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On
This next car comes as a tip from DT regular Michael who writes; I’ve always had a thing for the BMW 318ti and since the one you posted today is already off the market here’s a couple more! Yes, we love a good lightweight, good handling, sports car that is ready for an injection of V8 power just as much as the next red blooded American. That’s freedom you smell. And tires, and unburnt race gas. Find this 1997 BMW 318ti offered for $5,400 in St Louis, MO via craigslist.
The seller of this next car describes it as “old school looks with modern reliability”…but sticking through the hood appears to be an old school Edelbrock (which is a copy of the Carter AFB) carburetor which is mounted on a Ford small block V8…modern? I guess everything is relative, but perhaps “old school British looks with American reliability” is what the seller was going for. Find this 1974 Jensen-Healey offered for $26,950 in Beverly Hills, CA via craigslist.
Parts availability for the Saab 900 platform isn’t as plentiful as it was back when ever other college professor drove one of these things, but it isn’t bad for vintage Scandinavian oddball. But if you were really concerned that you couldn’t find some diaphragm or hard-line used in one of those early Bosch fuel injection systems, you could consider upgrading to something more common, like an entire Ford Mustang drivetrain. Say what? Yeah, this next car might look like a Saab 900, but it has been competely transformed from front-wheel-drive backwards-engine Saab rally machine into a Weld Wheel shod supercharged 5.0h V8 powered drag strip speed machine. And the interior (and engine bay) is a treat for the LSU or classic LA Kings fan. Find this 1986 Saab 900 offered for $22,500 in Henderson, NC via faceswap marketbash.
You know you are in for a treat when a seller describes his car as “super” or “mega” or “monster”..and we’ve got a real treat for you today. It appears to be a Mazda Miata that has had its small 4-cylinder engine replaced by a Ford V8 mated to a 6-speed manual. But that wasn’t good enough, so the seller added a supercharger with an intercooler and claims 500 horsepower at the rear wheels. Find this 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata offered for $15,999 in Tampa, FL via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
If you try and shove a giant V8 into a little car and find that the engine’s air cleaner doesn’t fit under the hood, you’ve got a few options. The cleanest look is to find an intake snorkus that allows you to run the stock hood, but you can also add a scoop or a cowl induction hood…or…you can bust out the sawzall and hack an opening in your hood. Find this 1963 MG MGB V8 offered for $8000 in Corning, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I don’t like to be rude and condescending…okay, I take that back. I don’t mind being rude, and sometimes condescension is the correct tone when dealing with certain people…but what I meant to say is, I don’t like being mean, or at least unnecessarily mean. So when I point out that the seller of this next car is offering it as a Porsche 928 when it is clearly a Porsche 944, it is not to be mean, it is simply that I don’t understand how you could make that gross of an error in the advertisement for your vehicle. Maybe the seller was pointing out that very little separates a 944 with V8 from the 928…but the redeeming factor here, however, is the price — most V8 swapped Porsches (944s…928s..924s..911s etc) are offered for eye wateringly high asking prices, this one isn’t bad at all. Find this 1986 Porsche 944 with LT1 V8 offered for $8,500 in Springdale, AR via facemistake markingplace.
I had a few minutes to contemplate my car/life choices the other day. Technically, I was waiting a few moments to try to start the engine on a 94 Buick Roadmaster, which had coughed, belched, and stalled on me. It had happened the previous day on a hot start, and a few minutes of turning the key again, it eventually fired up and settled in a nice idle and got me home. I’m not sure what was wrong with engine, but it gave me time to think if my choice of beaters was from the right decade. The wife is always saying I need newer more reliable modern cars, but I’m thinking that 94 might be too electronified and I need something more carburmafied. Because here is the truth — my oldest carburetor fed cars might have a few issues (well…always something) but you can nurse it home and fix it. An electronically chip controlled key-ignition system won’t work at all if something goes wrong, but an old school mechanical setup…meh…you’ll notice the degradation before total failure. Modern cars have too many single points of failure because of digital electronics– if too much moisture accumulates in the 94 LT1 optispark chamber…well…no spark, no run. On the other hand, you can run a conventional points system at about 2% of its optimal design specification (gap or dwell or whatever) and it’ll run like garbage, but it’ll still run enough to get you home. So maybe, just maybe, a Ford Pinto with a carb fed 302 V8 is an upgrade in reliability from a 94 LTI? Asking price on this next one is optimistic, but the concept is good. Find this 1979 Ford Pinto offered for $15,000 buy-it-now or make-offer in Katy, TX via eBay.