tiac 6000 was a mid-sized mid-market front-drive offering from GM’s “sporty” Pontiac brand that shared its plebian underpinnings with GM’s other A-body machines like the Buick Century, Chevy Celebrity, and Olds Cutlass Ciera. The 6000 sold relatively well and did the job of shuttling around the kids, but it wasn’t in the least bit sporty (although there was a Special Touring Edition STE that added a high output option to the V6 pushing the original 112 horsepower up to 135. Anyway, the builder of this next car shoved a small block Chevy up front and the result is going to be some wicked front-wheel-peelage. Find this 1985 Pontiac 6000 offered for $6,700 in Mahopac, NY via facemelt merklebrook. Tip from Cory.
Hey Luigi, you gotta stop driving that crummy old Ferrari — its gonna cost you an arm and a leg with each overpriced Ferrari oil change and don’t get me started on the cost of a basic valve service that is probably required every 4000 kilometers…whatever a kilometer is. A kilometer is probably just a really expensive mile. Anyway, this next Ferrari has had the crummy Italian motor replaced with a proper Chevy V8, but the Leonardo Fioravanti (from Pininfarina) body is still looking like a proper 80s exotic. Find this 1977 Ferrari 400 offered for $19,500 in San Rafael, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The 300ZX was a 2 door sports car from Nissan during the great Japanese sports car boom of the 1990s and featured a host of technology in a Isao Sono & Toshio Yamashita designed body. Power came from a V6, which was available with a tire melting twin turbo setup, but today this Z has been given an injection of freedom in the form of a 5.3 liter GM V8, which is described by the seller as an LSX, but it is probably an LM7 from a 2000-2007 Chevy Suburban. This guy is ready for the 4th of July, are you? Find this 1990 Nissan 300ZX LSx V8 offered for $7000 in Groton, MA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The E36 generation 318ti was an odd little hatchback from BMW that combined the E30 generation rear semi-trailing arm suspension with a 1.8 liter non-turbo 4-banger. It was fun to drive and economical — like a sport compact car should be, but it wasn’t very fast. Today’s example has been given an injection of Ford V8 and sits on pretty big wheels. Find this 1995 BMW 318ti offered for $8000 in Calabasas, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
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.