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.
Pick one of these crazy cheap cars up for your next autocross project for around $4,500, assuming you can actually find someone willing to sell. These cars are only getting harder to come by, and you can likely kiss any expectation of the car having under 200k on the clock goodbye.
The HCCI engine doesn’t use spark plugs for ignition since such lean fuel mixtures can’t be ignited by them, but the SkyActiv-X tech does. Mazda’s new engines manage that by using a second dollop of fuel that isn’t as lean as the primary air/fuel mixture. This secondary mixture gets ignited by a spark plug, raises the cylinder pressure and, in turn, combusts the primary mixture. The new engine tech is promising even better efficiency and more power, but it seems that engine noise may need some more fine-tuning.
All things considered, the Honda Civic Type R isn’t just your run-of-the-mill hot hatch, but a well-balanced powerful compact which looks good, handles even better, and makes even the best sporty hatchbacks dull in comparison. There may come a time in your life where you desperately need a vehicle, but the scope of your search needs to contain only crazy cheap cars. You’re in luck, though, because that’s exactly what our list today is about: crazy cheap cars.
The 22R and 22RE used engines can be scavenged from just about any 1980s or 1990s Toyota light truck, or 4Runner. Good luck finding someone who wants to part with one though, because these used engines are gems and so are their cars.
The Plymouth Road Runner made no pretense about being a family sedan with an upgrade package. It was built for balls out speed and delivered in spectacular fashion with the 426 Hemi engine installed.
The Shelby Cobra is another iconic roadster on our list of crazy cheap cars, and is definitely not a name that most people would associate with the phrase ‘crazy cheap cars’. While genuine examples will surely cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not more than $1 million), did you know you can get your hands on a replica that does the same stuff for less than the price of a new Mustang GT?
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.
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.
If you haven’t seen this video before, prepare to want a Smart for the first time in your life. One of the oldest car videos on YouTube never ceases to entertain, and the fact that this beast probably gets better MPGs than a stock Smart only adds to the absurdity.
The current third-generation BN Mazda 3 is hands-down one of the most handsome hatchbacks on the market. It follows the Japanese automaker’s exterior design philosophy that’s become a hallmark feature of all Mazda vehicles in the last few years. The 5-door hatchback Mazda 3 is $1,300 more expensive than its 4-door sedan counterpart, but it provides almost double the cargo space with the rear seats folded. Other than that, there are no real differences between the two body styles. MY 2019 will, however, bring at least one important update to the powertrain department, and likely an entire body revision.
The Blue Oval hatchback hasn’t been fully redesigned since the third generation’s debut in 2012, and that’s more than evident. With competition already freshened up, the Focus has definitely fallen out of…well, focus. It’s aging rapidly and the new model couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment. The 2019 Ford Focus won’t offer that many changes overall, though; the shape remains mostly unchanged as if it’s yet another mid-cycle refresh we’re talking about and not a full makeover.
Porsche has built so many hot cars it is hard to narrow our focus. Even though we have listed the Carrera GT, we had the Porsche 959 and 918 Spyder on our minds too. In the end, we tossed a coin and the Carrera GT won.