PCH, Ticket To The Afterlife Edition: WRX-Powered Beetle or Granada Hearse?

Illustration for article titled PCH, Ticket To The Afterlife Edition: WRX-Powered Beetle or Granada Hearse?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! Not very surprisingly, the Bristol 408 walloped the Beetle Limo last time, so it seems only right to give another Beetle a shot at PCH glory. Since we're coming up on Halloween, let's have a couple of scary cars; scary for different reasons, yet both with the Grim Reaper riding shotgun.

Everyone knows that the Subaru boxer is pretty close to the same proportions as the air-cooled VW engine, and it can put out well over 200 horsepower without those troublesome shards of metal flying out of the crankcase- you know, the kind you get with a hopped-up VW engine. Mostly you see Porsche 914s, VW Transporters, and maybe the occasional Baja Bug with the Subie treatment, but how about a daily-driver Beetle with the 220+ horsepower engine out of a WRX? Let's see, that's a power-to-weight ratio similar to that of a Saturn V rocket, only without the lame safety stuff. But you're busy, no time to go hunting for a wrecked WRX and a dead-engined Beetle, so that means you need someone else's unfinished project. Say, this '76 Beetle with WRX engine, which has an asking price of only $3,000. The engine is there, but not quite running: "THE ONLY THING IT NEEDS TO TURN ON IS THE ECU FUEL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM." Don't let that scare you, though- how hard could solving that problem be? Also informative is the seller's statement "THIS HAS BEEN AN ONGOING PROJECT WHICH WE CAN'T SEEM TO FINISH DUE TO TIME." That won't be a problem for you! And if when you finish this car, you'll be able to experience some really lethal oversteer, which will leave all your friends shaking their heads at your grave in awe!

If you want a vehicle that smells like certain death, perhaps it's best if that death could be that of someone other than you. That's why a hearse is the way to roll, but forget all about those Cadillacs. Forget the Pontiacs and Buicks and even Oldsmobiles, too, because you'll be stuck in a traffic jam of all-too-commonplace GM hearses every time you go anywhere. You need a European hearse, one with a name that's sure to be confused with an unrelated American vehicle, such as this 1979 Ford Granada hearse. Yes, the European Granada, which shared no components with the North American Granada other than the blue oval badges. It's got the 2.8 liter V6 that went into the Capri, but you'll need to ditch that for a supercharged 429 ASAP. As for other parts… well, the seller himself admits: "You're at the mercy of E-Bay UK" for that stuff. Does it run? Who knows? Why worry about that when you get a John Deere Green casket? Thanks to about 45 PCH tipsters for sending this one in!


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I actually saw the hearse driving down I-405 a few days before the ad hit Craigslist. Wasn't even sure what it was even though I've seen many old Granadas in Europe (well not recently) but with the hearse body it looks like nothing else on the road in Europe or America. As soon as the ad hit Craigslist I was quick to submit it for PCH because what could be more hellish than driving a British-built hearse?