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.
They all received new, larger touchscreen displays and numerous interior updates that make them more advanced than their predecessors. Trims have been shuffled as well and the Golf GTI now comes in the S, SE, and Autobahn grades with each raising the price tag by between $4,000 and $5,000.
These crazy cheap cars come from all walks of life; some will burn serious rubber while others will help you pick up the kids from school in style. Others, still, will tackle gut-wrenching terrain and be reliable for years to come, and may even get great gas mileage to boot. We were very liberal with our definition of crazy cheap as well, so don’t expect all of them to be at a certain price point. They’re cheap for what they are and what they could be compared to, in most cases.
The CRX Si received Honda’s D16A6 4-cylinder good for 105-108 hp (depending on the year and perhaps tailwind/grade) and 100 lb-ft of torque. If that doesn’t sound like much power to you, well…it’s not. Keep in mind though, that this is still basically a Civic, and that this car only weighs about 2,000 lbs. What sets this car apart from the Civic is not its power, but rather its style.
To be clear, power isn’t the thing that sets this car apart from the base model, though there was an optional exhaust offered that upped the output by 6 hp and makes the car that much rowdier. You’ll get the stock 6.2L V8 (which is no joke) making 430 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. You’ll also enjoy a new appearance package which, while cool, is also functional, and was reported to reduce aero lift by around half. It also has big brakes from the Z06, special wheels, and a fantastic list of optional features. Look for a model with magnetic ride control and you won’t be sorry.
The 2JZ is like the LS of Japanese engines: the mere mention of it calls to mind the sound of a 240sx bouncing furiously off its rev limiter. It’s as easy as changing your shoes to drop a 2JZ into a variety of cars, and because so many Japanese cars used engines from this family, there are literally thousands of them to choose from and they’re all pretty cheap.
To build the 429 engine, Ford took its 385 engine added four-bolt mains, a forged steel crank and connecting rods, tossed on aluminum cylinder heads with ”crescent” combustion chambers, and eliminated the head gaskets. Ford then topped it off with a Holley four barrel carb. The result was an engine rated at 375 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque.
The main difference between an LQ4 and an LS2 is an iron block, which means these can hold tons of power. They’re famous for being a cheap way to get insane stats, and this hot Chevelle gained world fame In 2016 from an article at Hot Rod by throwing down 800 horsepower. That’s thanks to 16 psi of boost from a single 80mm Borg Warner turbo. The builder says “getting sideways in third or fourth gear is no problem” we’re not surprised.
We started the Japan section of our Used Engines Countdown with a rare find that only came in one car, and these aren’t much better. Used engines of the Wankel variety are most commonly found in models that we didn’t get in the US. Score one point for eBay.
At 120 horsepower per liter, S2000s used engines that sported the highest normally aspirated production power in the world while revving to over 9,000 RPM. And it’s a Honda, so longevity is assured as long as you respect its mechanical limits.
The Canadian gearheads over at Pistonhead Productions stuffed a 4BT into a 1990 Miata and backed it with a Ford T19 transmission and Ford 8.8-inch rear end. If you race SCCA and you haven’t vomited yet, good on you, because this Miata raised over $10,000 for a local high school’s shop class when it was auctioned in 2016. See, even the baby Cummins used engines can go to good use.
Note, we said ”rated.” Actual testing has shown between 500 and 600 hp coming from unmodified engines. The power along with a top speed of 175 mph on a flat track combined to make the Ford Mustang Boss 429 one helluva production car for any era.
As for the money, you may be looking at around $70,000+ per year, but you have to keep your eyes open. It is not every day that jobs like this pop up. Here it is, the king of all driving jobs: Race Car Driver! Do I really have to write anything about race car driving? It is the most exciting thing about cars there is. You get paid to drive as fast as possible.