Of course, the true Cobras are going to be sublime in every way, but the kit cars can come pretty damn close, too. These crazy cheap cars are a good way to get your classic muscle fix, break some necks, and haul ass in a V8 roadster all at the same time. Who wouldn’t want that?
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.
What would you do with a couple used engines from the local junkyard? Take them down to the shop and make something crazy? Some people have the balls to do it, and a few even have the time, money, and resources. And unless you have the dime to spend on a crate motor, building used engines is the way to go. But which ones can you actually count on?
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.
For a defunct automaker, Plymouth sure has made its way onto our hot cars list a surprising number of times. If the company had been able to keep building interesting cars like those produced during the muscle car era, it wouldn’t be defunct. Of the hot cars built by Plymouth, the best ever has to be the 1970 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda.
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.
Well, that, of course, depends on the number of drives you will make. Regardless, be ready for some “hidden” costs too. As some researchers suggest, ridesharing drivers should calculate in:
Not only does the Civic Type R perform and look more aggressively than its conventional siblings, but it also sports a number of upgrades you won’t be able to see with your eyes. One such upgrade is a front-strut suspension Honda calls the Dual Axis, which almost completely eliminates torque steer using a carefully mapped engine computer which allows the Type R to run like a charm.
Apart from attending stunt driver school, you need exceptional physical health and fitness, as well as balls of steel. Honestly, this may be, apart from the last entry on the list, the most engaging of the driving jobs. It just sounds cool and badass, and it pays well, too. Top-notch stunt driving jobs can get you more than $100,000 per year.
Most of the compact Kia Forte’s sales come from the sedan, but the favorite American body style isn’t all that the Forte has to offer. The Forte5 hatchback is also a major part of the lineup with the price tag $1,500 higher than that of the sedan.
Despite the Grand National’s fame and success in the 80’s, there is a surprising amount of people who have never heard of this car. Introduced in 1982 to roaring applause and exiting the stage in 1987 to a thunderous standing ovation with the GNX, the Grand National was the pinnacle of performance in the 80’s. We recognize this is kind of a silly thing to say about a Buick, but it’s absolutely true.
This new take on the Mustang was good for 310 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, could do 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, and top out around 152 in its heyday. Of course, these models are a bit dated by now, but if you can find one in good condition (which our research estimates will run you about $8,000), one of these crazy cheap cars will surely still bring a smile to your face.
Some engines just aren’t worth it. There’s a reason everyone does an LS swap it’s trusted. Even if you do a total rebuild at great expense, some used engines have inherent weaknesses or parts are hard to come by.