Of course, the true Cobras are going to be sublime in every way, but the kit cars can come pretty damn close, too. These crazy cheap cars are a good way to get your classic muscle fix, break some necks, and haul ass in a V8 roadster all at the same time. Who wouldn’t want that?
If you want to do this, read about what it takes to shoehorn one of these used engines into a Fiero. Spoiler alert: it’s not a lot. Everyone talks about the larger Cummins used engines, but what about the four-cylinder 4BT? The “baby Cummins” will allow you stick one of those crude stickers on any car you want. Turns out not everybody knows what those stickers mean, so follow that link to get learnt. I’ll wait.
The rest of the car is important. Inspect bearings, bushings, and overall cosmetics to get an idea of whether the previous owners took care of things. Check for oil weeps and coolant residue on the block and heads and for signs that someone’s been in the engine bay before.
The 6-liter LQ4 V8 was designed to haul heavy stuff for thousands of miles. Something else it hauls is ass, since it has over 300 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque bone stock. Find one in early 2000s Yukons, Suburbans, 2500 and 3500 trucks, Express vans, even the Hummer H2. We’ll personally thank you if you kill an H2 for its engine.