Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! Once we gave Germany a second chance against PCH Superpower Italy, they pulled off the upset- that's right, the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman (just barely) beat the Lamborghini Urraco in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll! But what about the Japanese? They totally get shortchanged in Project Car Hell, what with their cars' excessive reliability and ease of parts obtainment. Well, how about a couple of bargain-priced subcompacts from Japan, equipped with Detroit badges and jittery, hoon-friendly turbocharged engines? You know every last one of these cars has spent most of its career at shrieking, valve-floating revs with some kid's sneaker mashing the gas pedal to the floor (while operating a four-foot bong and working the gearshift at the same time), all the while getting zero maintenance and running on the very cheapest Stop-N-Rob gasoline.
Before there was the Geo Metro, there was the Chevrolet Sprint, the original rebadged Suzuki Swift. In the mid-80s, The General figured some pinko subversive types weren't getting the news about cheap gas, preferring small turbocharged engines to great big pushrod V8s. When Plan A (having such traitors shipped off to work extracting neptunium from heaps of uranium ore tailings in the Aleutian Islands) didn't pan out, GM figured they'd sacrifice their principles and go with Plan B: Turbo Sprint! Yes, a 1.0 liter 3-cylinder engine with intercooled turbocharger setup. 73 horsepower didn't sound like much, but we're talking about a car that weighed just 1,488 pounds here. Sadly, just about all the Turbo Sprints were crashed or blown up, and they're just about impossible to find these days. But hold on- we've managed to scare up this 1987 Chevy Sprint Turbo for you, priced below a thousand bucks! Does it run? Well, it almost runs; the seller states "thing a rod bearing broke, which was causeing the car to barely run," though there's also the chance that "the clutch may have took a dump." Either way, the seller has already made progress on the repairs, by taking a bunch of stuff apart and obtaining a (non-turbo) junkyard engine; not only that, he or she has added some kickass performance mods, ensuring that this Sprint will never pass a smog test again blow the doors off everything else on the street.
Three cylinders? That just seems… wrong. You're even willing to pay more for that extra piston, but you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that you can get yourself a turbocharged, four-cylinder, badge-engineered Japanese subcompact for even cheaper than the Sprint. Really! Head on out to Reno, shoot a man just to watch him die, then proceed a few more klicks to Sparks, where you'll find this 1984 Dodge Colt GTS Turbo (go here if the ad disappears) for only 750 bucks. It's got the Twin Stick overdrive transmission, giving you eight forward gears to play with (well, if you can get it unstuck from Sport Mode) and 102 horses to haul its 1,880 pounds (the seller says those numbers are really 110 horses and 1700 pounds, so maybe I'm looking in the wrong reference books here). The clutch is dying, the tires are bad, the CV joints are hosed, and the list goes on and on… but who cares? This thing has the potential to make you King (or Queen) Of The Hoons! Add more boost, fix all the broken stuff, then add some more boost, and watch the Turbo Sprints disappear from your rearview!