I crossed paths with this car at a show in Scottsdale. Unfortunately I did not get to meet the owner, so I don’t have too many details about the vehicle.
For the second post in our series of engine swaps, I bring you this Datsun 280ZX with the rumble of a Chevrolet LS1 engine! Somebody really took their time and effort to make this an all-around fun car.
Besides the engine, this car has also been upgraded with Wilwood disc brakes, a nice stereo, custom gauges, and other comforts. The body looks sharp in red with chrome trim and a subtle body kit on the front and rear.
We’re kicking off “engine swap week” with this Hyundai Genesis Coupe that I spotted at Cars and Coffee in Scottsdale. Someone has taken this South Korean coupe and stuffed a big ol’ American V8 under the hood!
Swapping a 6.0L LS2 engine into your Hyundai is a sure-fire way to attract haters, especially when it’s covered with stickers, a huge wing, and a missing rear bumper. But this car is over-the-top in so many ways that I’ve decided it must have been done ironically.
The name Bentley carries with it a certain prestige for luxury and craftsmanship. A Bentley owner is a person of power, wealth, and influence. But what if you cannot afford $212,500 for a car? Well, you can always do the next best thing: drive a replica.
I was quite intrigued with this car, which I spotted at Cars and Coffee. It looked like a 2006-present Bentley Continental GTC, but it was for sale for just $29,500. Even with a salvage title, a real Bentley would sell for more than that. What was the deal?
For example, if you drive an air-cooled Volkswagen, people may assume you are a hippie. If you drive a BMW, people will assume you are both affluent and inconsiderate – the type of driver who would change lanes without signaling. And finally, if you drive a Honda Civic or other “tuner” car, you might be associated with street racing punks.
I have recently learned that such car/driver stereotypes are not unique to the U.S. In fact, there’s a popular one in Germany about Opel Manta drivers: that they are dull, lower-class, macho guys who drive aggressively, love their cars, and have a blonde girlfriend who works as a hairdresser.
There were two engine choices available: a 1.1L engine and a larger 1.9L engine. The 1.1L engine made 67 horsepower and 62 lb-ft of torque and was coupled to a 4-speed manual. The 1.9L engine could be ordered with an optional 3-speed automatic transmission if desired. Buyers overwhelmingly chose the larger motor, causing Opel to discontinue the 1.1L engine after 1970.
It used to be that owning a supercar was special, no matter which one you had. But in today’s world, exclusivity is the name of the game. Now it’s not enough to have any old Lamborghini or Ferrari – you’ve got to have the rare, limited-production model in order to really be somebody.
For example, Ferrari limited production of the Enzo to just 400 units. The Bugatti Veyron was limited to 450 cars. The Lexus LFA was a limited run of just 500 cars. Lamborghini is building just 200 “50th Anniversary” edition Aventadors. Not to be outdone by the competition, Aston Martin raised the stakes with their One-77 supercar – a super special vehicle with a $1,000,000 price tag and only 77 copies built.
Electric cars such as the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf are all the rage these days. These sexy cars offer zero emissions, good fuel economy, and near-silent operation. But there was a time not long ago when electric vehicles were not sexy or cool.
Early electric vehicles were converted from gasoline-powered vehicles using primitive chargers and batteries. They were a novelty item, mostly reserved for hippies and fringe-thinkers. They lacked the mass-market appeal of today’s sophisticated alt-fuel vehicles. Let’s revisit those times for a moment to take a look at once such vehicle: the Electravan.