PCH, Hemi Transplant Edition: Clenet II or Mitsuoka Viewt?S

The last time we set foot in the Hell That Is Project, the blown Kaiser Manhattan just barely beat the blown VW Corrado, showing that heartbreaking dilemmas can be fun! For today, I wanted to pick a couple of glitz-heavy high-roller machines, but there's something important missing from all the ones I could find for sale. Yes, what your Excalibur, Johnson Phantom, Zimmer Golden Spirit, or Tiffany really needs is a Hemi! And not one of these here newfangled 426 Hemis. We're talking about a genuine 392 engine (check out Allpar's history of the Chrysler Hemi if you're in the mood for a good read). That way you'll combine excellent taste in automobile styling with an engine that bellows "High Roller Approaching!" to the world.


For a project like this, you want to have some hardware sticking through a big hole in the hood of your blingwagon, and it goes without saying that you want the engine to breathe freely all the way up to 7,000 RPM (just in case your entourage members roll in Murcielagos and you need to stay in front of them when rolling down the Las Vegas Strip). That's why this tri-carbed and tunnel-rammed 392 (go here if the ad disappears) should be the starting point for your new ride. It's $5,000, and there's no information about its innards other than "bal.& blued,only the best" so you'll need to be an optimist here.

Just when you thought you'd seen every Detroit-landyacht-based cocaine-dealermobile the 70s had to offer, here comes this '79 Clenet II! The Clenet was called the "American Rolls Royce" by "one magazine," according to the seller, and you can see why! This one has only 58,000 miles, huge bumpers, and class galore. The problem is that blue color visible in the engine compartment; that color means Ford Malaise, which is unacceptable in a car the seller claims was "finest made automobile of its era." But a quick Hemi swap (along with a manual transmission and beefy rear end) and you'll be rolling in serious Clenet style!

Face it, every nickel/dime mobster wannabe and cigar-chomping tract-home magnate has one of those bloated mock-30s machines parked in front of his McMansion. You need something flashy and ostentatious, big enough to carry a couple of your wafer-thin-watch-wearing Yakuza heavies yet small enough to evade your enemies' machine-gun fire? This '97 Mitsuoka Viewt might be just what you need! It's based on the Nissan March and styled to look sort of like a DMT-hallucinated 60s Jag. Once you tear out that wimpy 1.3 liter engine and replace it with 392 cubes of Hemi goodness, you'll have solved the only real problem with the car (and created a new one, as those carbs might present something of a view obstruction... but you'll solve that problem the same way you'll solve all the other problems you'll have: time, money, and pain!

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