This next car almost got thrown to the bottom of DT’s email trash bin because it didn’t look like much. The wheels are too flashy, the seats are ripped, and the paint is flaking like a Texas sunburn, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a C43 with an E55 engine swap. The original 1998-2000 C43 AMG was a capable and fun with its 4.3 liter 306 horsepower V8 — but shoving the 5.4 liter V8 from the E55 AMG for 349 horsepower should be a nice upgrade without ruining the car’s character. Find this 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG with 5.4 liter V8 swap offered for $7000 in Mascotte, FL via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Amazon (called the 120-series outside of Sweden) is a 50’s styled classic Volvo that makes a compelling case for a starter classic due to its simple ruggedness and basic reliability. Today’s example has ditched the simple B-series 4-cylinder for a small block Chevy V8 mated to a TH350 slushbox…which is the basic formula for every hot rod ever built, but gets the job done. Find this 1968 Volvo 122 Amazon bidding for $3050 in Bradenton, FL via eBay.
I know that the RX-7 rotary purists (Wankers as they call themselves) will cringe at the average pushrod V8 swapped RX-7, but they’ll be decidedly appalled that the builder used a GSL-SE to turn into a piston pumping pavement pounder. However, despite the vintage Cali sunset plate, the car itself is pretty ragged — rust appears in bubbles all over the paint and the seller reported having a blown engine…so this wasn’t some cherry collectors item, this was an RX-7 that needed some love…which it got in the form of a Ford V8 swap. Find this 1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE offered for $3100 in Palo Alto, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
This next car epitomizes the expression “punching above one’s weight class.” It has no business being being fast as it is…but don’t let the shabby paint fool you. This wagon is running a 1UZFE V8 from a Lexus LS400, Mercedes-Benz bumpers and a funky multi-link rear suspension that looks tight. If you’ve got the time and know-how to swap in the included W58 5-speed, this thing will be perfect. Find this 1985 Toyota Cressida Wagon offered for $9000 in Simi Valley, CA via craigslist. Tip from MikeD.
The Volvo purists might get a little disturbed at seeing yet another LS-based V8 swap in a classic 240 body…but let’s face it, with over 2.8 million examples of the 200-series (240 and 260) built from 1974 through 1993, it’s not like you can’t find another stock one sitting around. And that stock 240 will probably been useful to tow this thing to the next fuel station. Find this 1989 Volvo 244 With V8 Swap offered for $7000 via facebork in Sarasota, FL. Tip from Art.
Ohh…this is one is so tempting. Seriously, please buy this car before I do. It combines the sweet styling of an E28 with the inevitable torque of a small block Ford V8. Just need to change the plan from the current AOD/C4 to a T5 and we’re in business. Oh yeah, you’ll also need to assemble everything yourself because it comes like a Lego kit. Find this 1984 BMW 524TD Ford V8 Ready offered for $2850 in Santa Rosa, CA via craigslist.
I’m not one to perpetuate the rumor that the M28 V8 in the Porsche 928 isn’t a good motor…because it was for 1978 a phenomenal piece of technology. Think of what was in the average American car in 1978…or even what was in the Corvette — some lump of carburetted iron that barely pushed 150 horsepower to the pavement with 1950s technology, and here was this overhead cam equipped alloy block that pushed out 219 horsepower in North American neutered spec. Despite this…I find myself compelled to feature this next car because it has an engine upgrade that will make it faster and more efficient…and the asking price is good. Find this 1979 Porsche 928 with LT1 swap offered for $5000 in Hacienda Heights, CA via craigslist.
If you’ve never driven a Porsche 914, you owe it to yourself to find one and give it a spin. They are furiously agile cars and you feel connected to the road in a “my butt is only 4 inches above this roaring pavement” at 60 mph like nothing you can find in the showrooms today. The only downside is that they are pretty lackluster in acceleration with the stock flat-4…but you can find them with a Chevy V8 shoved where it shouldn’t be. Find this 1970 Porsche 914 with V8 offered for $10,000 in Fremont, CA via craigslist.
The most famous Volvo wagon (or wagons) of all time is the V8 swapped 960 wagon that Paul Newman owned — the saga of this car was told years later by Dave Letterman and in 2014 Newman’s wagon was found in a cheap used car lot — that story was broken here on DT. Many […]
The 914 was meant to slot into Porsche’s showrooms below the premium 911 but to also fill the top of VW/Audi’s lineup with a Volkswagen badge. But the suits at Porsche didn’t want to risk having the VW nameplate tarnish its image and convinced VW to allow it to sell all 914’s exclusively through its […]