Everyone throws one of these used engines into a drift missile, but that’s been done. We’d rather see a turbocharger and a supercharger piled onto this straight-six to create a 900-horsepower road weapon. In stock form, these yachts used engines from BMW that were prone to failure at over 100,000 miles, since few Rolls Royces have ever seen that kind of use.
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.
The FJ40 was produced from 1960 all the way to 1983, but the mid-seventies models are going to be your best bet. With these examples, you’ll get the classic Land Cruiser look that will turn heads everywhere you go, one of the most capable 4×4 systems ever produced, and Toyota reliability that even extends well beyond the end of the paved road.
Just as with the 1953 Corvette, we are being very specific with the GTO. GTO started out as a trim package for the Pontiac Tempest back in 1964 and became a stand alone car for the 1966 model year. Like many muscle car enthusiasts, we think the 1967 Pontiac GTO was the first true muscle car, starting the race for power supremacy between automakers.
Just as you can not build a list of hot cars without a Ferrari, you can not build one without adding a Bugatti. According to the Bugatti website, ”BUGATTI owes its distinctive character to a family of artists, who was always determined to offer the extraordinary. The superlative. The best.” Every word of that statement can be seen in the Bugatti Chiron. Grand lines and captivating style combine with awe-inspiring power to provide what may be the ultimate driver’s supercar.
Most resellers can provide at least some idea of mileage, service history, and overall condition, but whether you’re digging through eBay and Craigslist ads or picking up a parts car in town, there are some things you need to know about used engines before you take the plunge.
Smarts originally used engines under 1 liter in size, and you can pick up a rolling shell for under 3k easy. That means you can have this much fun for under 8k fabrication included. Try doing that with a 5-liter ‘Stang.
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.
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.
There’s nothing wrong with pulling used engines from Ferraris, except the price. With an F136 you get a 4.5-liter 570-horsepower V8 mill that’s won International Engine of the Year eight times, and it’s wildly dependable as long as it’s maintained.
We have covered a few North American hot cars, but we haven’t covered a North American built supercar. The one that comes to mind immediately is the Ford GT. We say North American built because the car was designed in the U.S., but built in Ontario, Canada.
On top of some truly wonderful styling, the 1968 Hemi Road Runner had a 426 cu.in. engine under the hood that pushed out 425 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque. The standard gearbox was a four-speed manual with an Inland shifter, but Hurst shifters were phased in after the first few months of the 1968 model year.
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.