The Ranchero was a big hit with both consumers and automotive critics but is not as popular with collectors as the El Camino, so it is still possible to find a fairly affordable project car. The Nite was Ford’s first attempt at putting a performance special edition pickup out on the streets and while it wasn’t a huge success, it led them to create the Lightning (we talked about this one earlier) a few years later.
The Dodge Grand Caravan has been one of the top selling minivans since it was introduced for the 1984 model year. The Grand Caravan is so popular that more than 11 million units have been sold globally, with several million units having been sold in North America alone. With so many new units sold, you would assume that the Dodge Grand Caravan would be on a list of great used minivans. You would be wrong.
The Baja had a paint scheme that matched Stroppe’s racing trucks and was fitted with Gates Commando tires, quick ratio power steering, a roll bar, as well as a padded steering wheel. A 302-cid V-8 was dropped in with a C4 automatic transmission transferring the power to wheels.
The Bronco is so cool we had to put it on our list of cool old Ford trucks twice. These years fall into the first generation of Broncos, which were fairly small but oh so cool. The Baja was a special edition that was created by off-road racing legend Bill Stroppe and the Ford design team.
This has been but a taste of the vast GM Performance Catalog. GM crate engines run the gamut from affordable and economical four-cylinder mills to gallon-per-mile big blocks that sound like the devil gargling Listerine. And the future is bright: Chevrolet is bringing back the COPO Camaro and the newly-launched 2019 ZR1 packs 755 horsepower and a 210-mph top speed.
The powerplant behind them was the legendary 427 “L88”, a 450-horsepower 7-liter engine found in many other GM cars including the Corvette. But this version had high compression, required race fuel, and made an insane-for-the-time 450 horsepower.
With so many used minivans on the North American market today, we decided to narrow our list to the used minivans that should have an average retail value between $6,000 and $15,000 according to KBB.com and nadaguides.com. Our assessment of the quality of these used minivans is based on information from Consumer Reports, owner reviews, and professional reviews.
That’s right, in the GM Performance Catalog of crate engines an 8-liter V8 is considered “small”. With max revs set at just 4500rpm, the Vortec 488 is a mill designed not to power the car you’re racing, but the truck you’re hauling it with. With 375 horsepower and 475 lb-feet of torque on tap at only 3200rpm, the 488 can tow that high-dollar enclosed trailer without breaking a sweat. Or it could pull your boat, your cattle, your neighbor’s house, or the grandstands at your local dragstrip. You get the idea.
The alternative is to either rebuild an old engine yourself, have an engine builder do it for you, or buy a custom-made engine directly from an engine builder. Each of these options has a fair share of hurdles, and often it’s cheaper to order a crate engine than it is to go those other ways.
Nevermind what happens when you get bouncing around on choppy trails and crawling across rocky slopes. There’s a fine balance between size, tread, and overall quality that make knowledgeable product reviews a good starting point.
While these aren’t necessarily Jeep mods, they should be checked and double checked when you’re putting in work. No matter how careful of a driver you are, there are likely going to be times when you get yourself into a bind. Even if it never happens to you, others who you come across or go adventuring with may need help.
This Bronco came with a part-time four-wheel drive system and a V-8 under the hood. You could choose from a 5.8L 351M and the 6.6L 400. A C6 automatic transmission came standard or you could pick the optional 4-speed manual. This is the last generation of the Bronco to have a solid front axle, making it great for off-roading.
Enter the LT4 crate engine. Power comes on fast: a 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger spins at 20,000 rpm to force 9 pounds of boost into this 6.2-liter engine. That results in the same 650 horsepower and 650 torques you’ll find in the Z06 that’s sitting over at your local dealership, but for a fraction of the price.