If you ever need proof that you don’t need a ton of power to have a fun car, take a look at this Ford Crown Victoria P71. It only puts 230 horsepower to the rear wheels, but the owner has modified it to the point that it’s basically “a fat Miata.”
The changes feel dramatic and they do extend past the realm of bolt-ons, but only slightly. The rear suspension gets tubular arms usually seen in tweaked Mustangs, the front suspension doesn’t get much of anything other than adjustable end links for the sway bar, the gearing is shortened up greatly with 4:10 gears at the rear with a limited slip differential, fat tires, a smaller steering wheel and (I imagine) a proper alignment are the main changes.
And, well, that the owner seam-welded the body to the frame, cutting out the wallow of the aging body-on-frame design. The whole car weighs some 3,700 pounds.
There’s not much to the engine, other than a better air box and intake plenum for the 4.6 liter Ford V8, an engine that’s not particularly beloved. The whole vehicle didn’t cost the owner much more than seven grand all in.
What you end up with is a car that doesn’t seem to fit into any good category or reputation for something fun to drive.
But it very much is. “This thing mobs,” as Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire beams.
Crown Vics are much more fun than you’d expect, what with their sheer size and live rear axle, but they boogie in the dirt even when they’re stock, and well-tweaked they seem like a ton of fun on track, in autocross or through some canyons.