I know fastness is not a word. Let it go. Anyway, I'm new here, so this thread has probably already been covered, exhaustively, but I do have some requests. When talking about project cars it seems that the fixation is on buying a gutted muscle car and throwing engine/tranny combo's at it until it's too fast to be streetable. (Did I actually use the words "too fast"?) What I actually meant was "too high-strung". Anyway, I would like to see more real world drivers like the Firebird. I love CC, and I want to see cars like we own, because after reading some of the posts here, the cars we own fall into two categories:
1. Summer weekend show car that eats parts and money
2. Daily driver I-bought-what-I-could-afford-please-lord-help-it-break-into-the-thirteens.
Can we get some articles on both cars? "How to build a sick '69 Mustang for $25,000" followed by "How to get your 318 powered '81 Gran Fury into the 14's". All jokes aside, there are a lot of 6 cylinder Mustangs and Camaro's out there, and there are a lot of 3.8 liter motors in boneyards (both Ford 3.8 and GM 3.8). How about an article about taking a slow, unloved S10 or Ranger 2wd and seeing how much power you can get out of the crappy V-6 it's saddled with? Remember, not every state allows a V-8 swap into those. How about hooking a blown 3.8 from one of those crap-can Century/Impala/Bonneville FWD'ers to one of those weak 5 speeds from a 305 Camaro and dropping it into something cheap and available? How about spending a little money up front, picking up one of those relatively cheap ($3000-$4000) Catalina/Crown Vic/Fury/Town Car/Monaco's and turning into a nice driver/cruiser? Maybe peruse the local ads, find out how much a 10 year old *** commuter goes for and then doing an article showing how much mid 60's 4-door Falcon you can build for that same loan instead, and then do the job in one month. That way you have a relatively cheap but somewhat economical AND cool commuter car. I'm not asking for this to be an every issue/every story deal, but the occasional acknowledgement that not every one here drives (or can afford to drive) a hemi 'Cuda would be nice. Remember, the title is "Car Craft", not "Late '60's American Muscle on the cheap Craft".
Again, I know this is an extremely dead horse, but I haven't had time to search the archives and find out what past answers have been, so please set me straight.
They're building a Rambler and that Birdturd-Formula-for-Financial-Disaster-Lift-Queen F-body Pontiac. It doesn't get much cheaper than that! (although they probably should try to get the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) to sponsor Birdturd simply because it loves the stretcher so much)
There was a fairly hot thread on here a while back about building up a cop car, but the CC editors don't have much use for the SOHC 4.6s that come in Police Interceptors.
I suspect a six-cylinder project would split CC's readership into open warfare on here. Better make it a V8.
That's my point. SOHC 4.6's are getting easier and cheaper, and with the new rustang out the last gen's are getting to the point I could afford one. The landscape is littered with 4.6's and 5.0's in Crown Vic's and clones, so why not pick one up, change out all the leaking gaskets and seals, and dump it into one of those clapped out Mavericks they have laying around SoCal?
As far as sixes go, check out the "daily ride" thread, and tell me how many guys around here could really use some junk-yard sourced power adders. I don't want to see the latest hop-up tricks for a 2000 Civic Si, but learning how to build enough power to annihilate the tires through first gear in an '88 Dakota would be helpful.
I know it's not gonna happen, but I want to hear what other readers and writers think.
It is easier to put a 4.3 V6 GM motor in a Ranger than a 3.8 Ford V6. The 3.8 Ford is rather large. But it does make decent power and are practical give to you by Junkyards because of their head gasket problems. Nothing bolts in a Ranger easily, everything has to be swapped, so your options are wide open. I think the chrysler swap in Rangers is smarter. It drives the Ranger swap pages crazy too!
5.0 Crown Vics are cheap, real cheap. But the 5.0 motor in vics are a lo-po unit, (even the police units,) and it's not easy to swap the 5.0 HO into it. (The FI is turned around and the computer/wiring is different.) You wouldn't want to swap a regular CV 5.0 into anything. I'm a huge Crown Vic fan because you can haul an enormous load in them, take out mailboxs, and handle curves with WRX's while drinking coffee. Put white letter tires on the steel wheels and you have a gorgeous package.(primer spots and demo derby style graphics optional. Later model Vics are coming down in price. The 4.6 Vics actually get better mileage than the 5.0's. I put a 5.0HO in the last box body I owned, it would have been cheaper and easier to put a small block in it. I'd like to do a T5 install in one. I heard about a box body Grand Marq for sale cheap last night. It belongs to an old man, (original owner of course,) who has claw hands and literally only drives it to church on sundays. Not a straight panel on it I'm told, all the damage is from getting it into his garage.
I know where there is a real clean 1980 4-door Caprice, with working air for $650. I loved the big square Caprices when they were police cars. I owned a 1980 2-door with the dirt track trick 305 heads on a 350 conversion. These are the type of projects that are affordable where the initial cost of ownership doesn't break the budget. I think CC are trying hard to take this into consideration. The Rambler project looks like fun. I think it's easier though in sunny rust free So-Cal. Lets see the options in the rust belt. 3.8 Taurus' look more inviting in areas where you have gaping rust holes in the floorboards of mid-seveties cars.
I sold my Ranger back in the summer and I'm thinking that I need another beater truck. (firewood season coming up soon gotta keep living expenses down to put more money in projects without getting in debt with the credit card.) Years ago, a friend of mine put a pre-GN 3.8 Buick V6 turbo in a Toyota truck.
I'd like to see more hybrid swaps, weird stuff, 4-doors, cars that the owners didn't believe that shiny new paint was a luxury, cars with steel wheels, cars that REALLY get driven daily; Cars that are being built for performance in mind, not investment return. Cars built by people who live in the FREE parts of the country that don't have any, nada, no inspections. (Our area has a huge Demo derby fan base, every year at least a couple drivers slap tags on their cars and drive them to the derby at the county fairs. The police just smile!)
How about a police impound auction tour. I've done real well getting non-running beaters for low money at them. (Think $50. for non-running eighties Cutlass'/Buick Regals, the car of choice for inner city transportation) I live in south eastern Indiana where we have no vehicle inspections. Just 40 miles east in the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky area the police impound lots are full of vehicles that wouldn't pass the smog inspections so they couldn't get valid tags and were towed off the street for it. The owners rarely get them out of impound and you can pick them up for pennies on the dollar. Hint: go to auctions on rainy days or extreme hot days. Junkyard owners and used car lot guys are notoriously lazy. Any discomfort and they're out of there. Take a trailer with you, if you buy the car gets dragged outside the fence lot if you don't take it with you that minute. Outside the fence it will get picked clean by vultures and the neighboring kids will throwing bricks thru the windows.
I'd like to see the anti-tour hit many cities, maybe even be an evil shadow on the power tour.
Pro-street never, Pro-commuter forever!
I'd like to see the CC editors thrash a new Ford GT!