“Car of the Week” Hot Rod Ramblings Part 2
Part 2 of Hot Rod Ramblings “Car of the Week”, we take a look at some rear wheel drive beauties from all around the world, Japanese, European and even American. These 5 cars have all been “Cars of the Week” in the last few years for me. They all have great aftermarket support, wheels, suspension, exterior, engine, etc. and can all be built into multiple different styles, drifting, road racing, street car or show car. Each has tons of potential to let their owners be creative and make their Ride an extension of themselves.
Toyota AE86 Corolla GT-S “Hachiroku”
A 1980’s Corolla? You’re probably thinking I’m nutty. I am, I love this car. Why? It is probably the ultimate drivers car. Ever heard of Keichii Tsuchiya, the “Drift King”? Heard of the Japanese comic book “Initial D”? Anyway, that should give you guys something to Google today. I can’t spoil all the fun. But, suffice it to say, it has all the makings of a drivers car: rear wheel drive, 5 speed manual, high revving 1.6L DOHC fuel injected aluminum 4 cylinder and lightweight construction. I love the boxy lines of the “86” (or hackiroku in Japanese) as its known. This Orange beauty grabbed from Speedhunters.com is a circuit, track day example. This one sports a big carbon GT wing, fender flares to fit bigger meats and a gutted interior.
This next example is a sweet street version, looking the part as a Japanese street/touge drifter. This one also has aftermarket fender flares, carbon fiber vented hood, wide 15 or 16 inch wheels and body kit front, rear and sides painted in a typical for the mid 80’s two-tone jobby. Boxy cars with flares just looks so good! The 86 is a lightweight car that you can flick around. It’s a nimble street car that can be made to drift, autocross or canyon run. Too bad they don’t have airbags. :( If you wanna “Live the 86 Life!” go check out one of the top forums, Club 4AG and soak it in.
One of the cars that has recently been a “Car of the Week” favorite is the Nissan 240SX, also known in Japan and around the world as the Silvia, 180sx or 200sx, depending on what engine spec. As is the case, the USA got the watered down version and in this case it is no different. Instead of getting a highly modifiable Turbocharged SR20DET 2.0L DOHC 4 cylinder engine rated anywhere from 200-250hp, the US 240sx received the dull and weazing 2.4L DOHC 4 cylinder turbo-less truck engine rated at 155hp. That of course doesn’t stop the enthusiasts in the know to swap in a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) SR20DET engine into their chassis. This red aggressive S14 240sx runs with the Risky Devil Street Drift Club, one of the crews that knows how to setup a Nissan!
There is a huge following and many forums and websites dedicated to the Silvia. The 240 runs independent rear wheel drive, 5 speed tranny setup and weighing around 2800 lbs, making for a ball to drive. Turbocharge that stock KA engine or swap in the SR and you have a Mustang beating, drifter or road racer! Here’s another red Risky Devil 240SX showing us how its done sideways!
Why Nissan stopped selling the 240 in the USA is beyond me. Apparently they didn’t sell well in their day, but now its hard to find a used example without an angled exhaust and some drift rash.
2005-2010 Mustang GT
Ah, the retro styled Mustang S197 chassis. Released as a 2005 model, it came with a 300hp 4.6 3 valve V8 that could run on low octane. The chassis and body was totally revamped from the Edge SN95 Mustangs and with that, a much improved handling suspension package. So much so that the S197 Mustang has been very sucessful in GT racing around the world. In 2008, Ford released its Cobra Jet special edition drag pak, I think only 50 were sold, body in white versions sold to drag racing teams that wanna cough up the dough of course.
If you don’t know yet, I’m a huge drifting and Japanese car nut. Vaughn Gittin Jr is a drifter who has taken on the S197 chassis and shined, taking a few wins and many podiums in his new 2010 Mustang GT. Here is his street car! I here from Speedhunters/Motor Mavens (can’t remember which one) mentioned this week that JR will be going to the aftermarket selling Mustang parts and such. This stang is clean looking. I’ll take one in Grabber Blue though! I love how the ‘Stang has been updated for the 2010 model, with its more aggressive front end, angled rear and bumped up power.
To me, the ultimate Japanese classic car is the Datsun 510. Rear wheel drive with independent suspension, OHC 4 cylinder, manual trans and great looking boxy lines. It was super successful in SCCA small bore racing in the 1970’s. Throw a front airdam, wide sticky tires, roll cage and go racing! Paul Newman learned the ropes of wheel to wheel racing behind the wheel of the 510, lovingly called the “Dime” by its followers.
If only Nissan or Toyota or Mazda could produce a modern version of the 510 or AE86 or even the 240SX, it would rejuvenate the sports sedan/coupe enthusiasts for sure. I even saw a “dime” for sale in the local classifieds with a 350Z 3.5L V6 engine swap. Wow! They don’t make cars like they used to, in the USA or across the Pacific.
BMW M3/3 Series
If I had a little more money and didn’t live in Utah with its snow and long winters, I’d be driving a BMW M3 CSL (Club Sport model). Look at this M3 running at the world famous Nurburgring race course. Talk about grip! Not sure what’s cooler, pulling the front tires off the ground at a drag strip or in a corner while road racing. The M3 sold from 2000-2006 ran a 3.2L inline 6 that made 333hp and could rev to over 8000 RPM’s.
I’ve driven an E46 M3 right after driving a Terminator Mustang Cobra. What a smooth revving engine! One of the best sounding engines ever in my opinion.
One of the best looking and handling cars from the 80’s has to be the BMW E30 M3, with its fender flares and high performance 4 cylinder engine. When tuned just right with suspension and wide wheels and perfect fitment, there’s not many cars cooler!
They’re hard to find used anymore. They’re actually becoming a collector car of sorts for those who are BMW aficionado’s. I can see why.
That’s it for this post. What do you guys think? Any of these cars fancy you?
Check out Build-Thread.com’s Project Datsun 510 story here