PCH, Japanese Turbo Edition: Piston or Rotary?S

The 2TG-equipped Corolla cruised to a reasonably solid victory over the tubbed Nova in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll. And that's fine, but that Toyota makes us feel like doing an all-Japanese, all-torture selection for today. As always, the problem with Japanese Hell Projects is that the cars themselves start out being pretty reliable and well-built, and in most cases parts aren't very hard to find. That can mean only one thing: turbocharging!


After seeing VintageRacer's 510 in action, we've been keeping our eyes open for good deals on the old Datsuns. Of course, these days forced induction is all the rage, so it's tempting to turbo-ize your vintage Bluebird... but why do all that complicated turbo plumbing yourself when you can buy someone else's hopeless ambitious project 510? Say, this '72 510 with a VG30ET V6 ripped out of a late-80s 300ZX Turbo? And we do mean ripped; judging from the seller's description of the wiring ("a lot of the wires don't do anything"), it sounds like the swapper simply hooked up the hoist to the engine and yanked it right out without bothering to disconnect anything. Another warning sign: whenever you see the phrase "nothing a little welding can't take care of" in a listing, you know the car is a one-way ticket to Hell! The reserve on this auction is only $1700 ("just like last time"), which means that the Fun Per Dollar Quotient on this car has the potential to be even better than its power-to-weight ratio... if you can make it work, that is.

We all know that turbocharging the piss out of an RX-7 is a quick route to a batshit power-to-weight ratio, maybe even better than what you'd get with a VG30ET-powered 510, and this 1991 RX-7convertible with Turbo II engine swap for the chump-change price of just six hundred clams... well, you figure there's gotta be a catch somewhere. Fortunately, the warning signs are clear: First, you get the seller's statement, "I never finished the project because the engine needs a rebuild." Wait, he installed an engine he knew to be bad? Second, it has a new engine computer, which probably means every component that ever moved electrons would likely make a Mazda engineer weep if he could see its current hacked-together state; a junkyard computer swap is often believed to solve problems caused by a hopeless tangle of modified wiring. Third, the seller didn't bother to take the fast-food trash out of the car before shooting the obligatory camera-phone photographs. And, finally, he'll trade it for rims. Five lugs, please. Yet still, picture yourself in full Hoon Mode in this thing after you get it running and jack up the boost- the convertible top makes it that much easier to videotape your adventures!

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