Who says mini trucks need to have mini power? Not me, and not the guy that built today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Buick-powered Courier either. Of course we're here to decide if its price is appreciably mini.
Superchargers, unlike their exhaust-driven turbocharger cousins, offer to pump up the jam even at low RPMs, making them perfect for those who want to boast the boost, but are saddled with engines that work downtown in the rev range.
It was also apparently a good choice for the builder of this 1978 Ford Courier Mini pickup, as he has dropped the truck's original four cylinder for a Buick L67 V6 out of a '98 Pontiac, and that Series II supercharged mill is good for what the ad claims to be 280-bhp.
The Buick V6 has an interesting history. Introduced in 1962 as the Fireball V6, the engine was derived from the aluminum 215 V8, literally by lopping off two pots. You know the V8 from the multitude of British cottage cars and Land Rovers that it powered after Buick sold the rights to that motor to British Leyland in 1968. A year earlier Buick sold the V6 tooling to Jeep for use in their trucks, where the rough idle causing uneven firing order made little difference.
During the gas crunch of the seventies Buick found themselves in need of a compact six and bought the V6 back from cash-strapped AMC/Jeep. The company introduced the split-crank edition in '77, which mollified the idle issue and they started cranking the engines out by the thousands. Ward's AutoWorld has ranked the Buick V6 as one of the best automobile engines of the 20th Century.
The series II L67 has little in common with that initial Fireball V6, and in fact not much in common with its immediate predecessor so you'd probably not want to sit them next to each other at a dinner party. The Series II does still sport a pushrod design, as well as but a pair of valves through which each of its six cylinders may breathe. Also feted as one of Ward's 10 Best Engines from '95 through '97, the Supercharged 3800, does feature distributorless ignition and an Eaton blower designed for low friction.
Here that burly Buick is backed by a 5-speed and encased in a second gen Courier body that looks straight and about as complete as you could want. Painted simply in primer grey and with no compunction about rolling unencumbered of its hood and showing off its goods.
The truck does come with a hood, as noted by a number of the pictures in the ad. The description also notes that the engine switcheroo was undertaken 20,000 miles back, and that since then the truck has done daily driver duty without issue.
This generation of Courier never shared its bigger brother, the F150's bravado looks, but this one, on its black-painted steelies and coat of don't-give-a-shit grey, is a total BAMF. The question for you is whether or not its $2,350 (recently dropped from $2,700) price is equally bad ass.
H/T to Michael Niewald for the hookup!