Project Car Hell: WRX or SE-R?

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Unsurprisingly, the Le Car-itude of the Lectric Leopard carried the day in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll, with the Atomic Scientist Escort going down like a criticality incident sending a reactor core melting through the earth's crust to the water table. We're going back to fossil fuel today, with a couple of Japanese screamers for your knuckle-scarring enjoyment. The problem with looking for Japanese iron for this series is that the last couple decades of Japanese vehicles have been so un-hellish, what with their tedious reliability and yawnworthy ease of parts obtainment. However, we've managed to find a couple of quick-yet-challenging Japanese cars that will take you straight to the Lake of Fire!


You see plenty of JDM bits and pieces on Japanese cars roaming American streets, what with the trendiness of Japan-market stuff these days, but how about entire Japan-spec cars? Imagine the looks of awe you'll get as you howl by in your right-hand-drive '95 Subaru WRX! Sure, Subaru parts- even JDM ones- are pretty easy to come by in the USA, but imagine the excitement at the DMV when you march in with the Japanese title to this fresh-from-the-shipping-container blue beauty! As for the car itself, it has 171,746 hard kilometers of pedal-to-metal Japanese hoonage on the clock, so it's, uh, nicely broken in. The engine, well, she ain't exactly in the car right now, and the seller hints that a rebuild might be needed (probable translation: rods dangling out of the block and/or valve-shaped holes in the pistons). The body is a bit rough, allegedly due to dents received during shipping (probable translation: slid sideways into light pole in mall parking lot during hoonage), but the seller has dropped the price from $6700 down to the low, low, low sale price of just six grand!

Real hoons spit on AWD, you say? Real men battle torque steer, you say? Well, you're in luck! We've found this turbocharged '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R for just a bit more than half the price of the JDM RHD WRX. ZOMG! The seller needs exactly $4375 to pay his tuition, and (in spite of the encouragement of Aaron and Hien) he just needs to sell his baby to pay the school. His heartbreaking loss could be your gain, although some of the sting is doubtless taken out of his heartbreak due to the fact that his baby's engine has "a crack behind the block or the oil pan" (probable translation: rods dangling out of the block). Oh yeah, and there's also the fried turbocharger. But you get an LSD diff, all the turbo/intercooler plumbing, and a whole bunch of cool aftermarket stuff, some of which actually contributes to performance (including the requisite Nismo shift knob). Imagine this car with the engine fixed and lunatic levels of boost- why, just make the exterior look a little less obvious and you'd have quite the sleeper!

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The real PCH competitor to the JDM WRX would have been the white jdm EVO IV that had been chopped in two in preparation for being sold as front and rear clips, but was welded back into one piece upon reaching the states and then sold for $5k. I met the guy who drove it on the track, and was told under hard cornering, the welds holding the two halves of the car together would start to split.