The Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio is a Ferrari 458 Spider with a whole other body. Designed to honor the memory of Sergio Pininfarina, the car embodies the uniqueness and artistic nature of its namesake. None of the other hot cars on our list are built sans windshield or feature aerodynamic headrests which are attached to the roll bar. This Ferrari also features the powerful personality of Sergio Pininfarina in the guise of a 4.5L engine that is capable of 562 hp and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds.
Nevertheless, driving jobs like this do not require a lot of qualifications. Some do require a commercial driver’s license or Department of Transportation certifications and physical strength. Really, physical strength you have to be able to deliver that 70 lbs package to the door with a smile on your face. More on that on the application of course.
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.
As if that is not enough, the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita is powered by a 4.8L V8 that is capable of 1018 hp, blasts from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and will hit 120 mph in 13.55 seconds. With a top speed of 255 mph, the CCXR Trevita is capable of 1.5G of lateral G-force. All that for the rock bottom price of $4.8 million. The price tag may be part of the reason that Koenigsegg only built a few of these hot cars.
Later 240sx models used engines of the KA24DE derivative which had double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, as opposed to the KA24E’s three-valve SOHC setup. This resulted in higher power, torque, and redline figures. As far as used engines go, either one is a reliable starting point for your next swap.
Early 2000s Chevrolet and GMC HD trucks are famous for playing the National Anthem out their tailpipes. Often found in a distressed shade of white with dents and rust everywhere, most come with at least $5 of recyclable beer cans in the bed. What you might not know is these workhorses can tow over 10,000 pounds that’s because they all used engines that last forever.
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.
It’s available in two trims, each with its own focuses and perks. The conventional Elantra GT comes with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine delivering 161 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. The Hyundai Elantra GT Sport, on the other hand, sports a 1.6L turbo four mill capable of producing 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Both are standard with a 6-speed manual, but offer an optional automatic as well. The former can be ordered with a 6-speed unit while the latter comes with a 7-speed dual-clutch.
This had a heavy impact on the brand as a whole, hence they decided to pull a somewhat unorthodox move. The new Buick Regal that goes under the Sportback moniker is now a hatchback. The Euro-styled intermediate will also be available as the TourX wagon, while the good old sedan remains a Chinese market exclusive.
Studebaker only built the Avanti for two years and sales totaled less than 6,000 units, but the car is amazing. The lines are unique and the interior is head-and-shoulders above any other car of the period. Studebaker had to build the body from fiberglass because trying to build such a unique car from steel would have been a daunting task. Power comes from 289 cu.in. V8 borrowed from the Studebaker Hawk lineup. Output topped out at just 240 hp; but, like the ’53 Vette, power is not the Avanti’s main reason for being on our list of hot cars.
Some of these used engines are more common than others, but the only real limitations are your wallet and your imagination. Without further ado let’s dive in to some of the best used engines available, broken down by country of origin.
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.
For the sake of clarity, our list of hot cars encompasses everything…recently built supercars, classics, and; because it is a genre that many of our fellow gearheads are passionate about, we will include several classic muscle cars. Really, it covers anything that might capture your imagination and make you dream about hot cars, fast women, and places where you can enjoy both.