The F136 can be found in the Ferrari F430 and California, the Alfa 8C, and Maserati models dating back to 2002. This includes the often-daily-driven-by-pretentious-fools Quattroporte, lending credence to its reliability, but if you want the real deal step up and pull one out of a 458.
How can you build a list of hot cars without a Ferrari? You can’t. Some may scoff at the Ferrari 488 J50 as old hat; they would be fools. Granted, it is three model years old now, but styling like this never goes out of vogue. On top of amazing lines that pay homage to the cars built over the 50 years Ferrari has been in Japan (hence the J50 moniker), the 488 J50 is all about blinding speed.
Fuel economy and reliability are both profound (as is expected), but the model year difference is where you should pay attention. The ’90 and ’91 models are going to be your best bet because, after some minor restyling, Honda decided to give the CRX four-wheel disc brakes and new wheels, which can make a world of difference as far as handling is concerned.
When you think about crazy cheap cars, chances are good that your mind will jump straight to old shitty Hondas, so we’re starting the list out strong with an old not-shitty Honda instead! The CRX was produced from 1984-91, but the second gen models (’88-’91) are going to be our focus today.
The Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita tops our list of hot cars for sheer flamboyance. This is a car that Liberace or a rapper would have loved to drive. The body of the CCXR Trevita is built using a diamond impregnated carbon fiber and kevlar weave. Yes, this car is literally made with diamonds!
Find one of these in any old breadvan in the RV section of Craigslist no lowballs, I know what I have. The Cones-in-a-Parking-Lot Society scoffs at you for doing anything to a stock Miata outside of firming it up, so putting used engines in Miatas means provoking an internet army. It’s rare to hear about a swap that improves something about the stock balance of performance and durability, because most of them throw it out the window.
Of course, even a 1.2-liter rotary makes upward of 130 horsepower, so that’s the tradeoff. Tuned examples can make over 250. 250 horsepower sounds a lot better when the entire car weighs under 2000 pounds; such is the case with this 13B-powered 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. It runs a 10.5-second quarter mile and packs eight times its original horsepower.
The 1962-1967 AC Cobra, known as the Shelby Cobra in the states, is an icon among hot cars. If it is true that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then the original AC Cobra is a very flattered car. Oft imitated, but never equaled.
Most of these swaps have involved rare used engines going into common cars, and this is quite the opposite somebody threw one of the used engines from a Honda CBR1000RR into an insanely rare 1964 Honda S600 convertible. The result? Nearly 200 horsepower, or over three times stock, in a car that weighs about 1500 pounds.
Depending on your location, driving someone’s pet around the city may pay a pretty penny. It seems that New York Pet Taxi service charges $90 to $190 for a pet trip to the vet and back. You should definitely try this out in your community. It may work. However, if you aren’t in New York or San Francisco, do not expect to be paid this much.
Italian automaker Alfa Romeo has built many hot cars over its 100-plus year history. One of the hottest Alfa Romeos has to be the 33 Stradale. 18 examples of the 33 Stradale were hand-built between 1967 and 1969. Being hand-built, each car differed slightly from the others. A few examples featured double headlights, others single headlights. Even the postilion of the wiper arms are slightly different in some examples.
Subaru rarely makes mistakes, but in the case of the earlier EJ251 used engines there’s a high incidence of head gasket failure and coolant passage clogging. This is easily addressed during a reseal by replacing the stock single-layer head gaskets with multi-layer ones, having the heads machined, and putting it all back together. The later EJ253 engines didn’t have this problem.
We love the Celica. It’s underrated, inexpensive, and reliably built. A vintage example is the perfect pairing for a 22RE. This beauty lives in California, home of rust-free classics parked on every corner. It’s an example of a swap that simply improves on the experience of the original car without losing the spirit of that which came before.