For a defunct automaker, Plymouth sure has made its way onto our hot cars list a surprising number of times. If the company had been able to keep building interesting cars like those produced during the muscle car era, it wouldn’t be defunct. Of the hot cars built by Plymouth, the best ever has to be the 1970 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda.
The Grand National came stock with RWD and a 3.8L turbocharged V6 after 1984, so there’s your ideal model year window. It was originally intended to be a very limited production run celebrating Buick’s back-to-back wins in the NASCAR circuit but was so popular that it lived on for five glorious years.
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When I was young I rode to school in the back of a Nissan Stanza, and not once did I consider it to be a performance car. Little did I know that Stanzas used engines from the venerated KA line, the ones found in the early 240sx.
My 1000RR recently decided one of its rods belonged outside the crankcase. When I started looking at used engines I found out you can get a 2008+ 1000RR engine, one that’s good for 200 horsepower with only mild tuning, for under $2000. And my mind started running. Smart cars, MGs, Minis, Miatas every small car in the world would be a lot crazier with a redline of 15,000 RPM. Lucky for me another deep-pocketed gearhead has lived this dream too.
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