I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of off-the-wall engine swaps. The kind that would make purists cringe, but then be a little curious: “you did what? So…. how well does it work?” Like a Ford/Mazda 2.3 liter 16 valve 4-cylinder from a Ranger into a ’64-ish Ranchero. But I digress. Someone with more mechanical aptitude, money and garage space can try that one out. I would even feature it here – despite the lack of a hatch.
What I have found is a swap that makes perfect sense. No questioning, tilt-your-head-to-the-side-like-a-confused-puppy looks here. Just a modern Volkswagen TDi engine dropped into the front bay of a Mark I Golf. Pretty simple idea really, the TDi would make more than enough power to scoot the little rabbit around with pretty good authority and return phenomenal gas mileage doing it. Or, you could get a little crazy and tune that baby to about 200 horses and 300 lb/feet of torque. The builder of this ride, Greg Howell, chose the latter.
Admittedly, my participation in the construction of the epic twin-engined Toyota Corolla FX32 hatchback was limited. Perhaps the most visible contribution was the relative straightness of the Home Depot-sourced green and orange painted stripes. But it still gives me great pleasure to announce that my car won Class B at the 24 Hours of Lemons Colorado race this past weekend.
So, what would it take to get you in a never-registered, brand-new condition hatchback?
You may assume that it’s in factory-new condition. In fact, there’s still plastic on the seats and steering wheel. The car has only 54 miles under its 20-year old tires. Oh sorry, did I fail to mention that the car in question is a 1993 model?
Perhaps with that knowledge you start to worry a bit. It’s older, hatchbacks of that age period are generally regarded as being a bit penalty-box-ish. After all, this particular hatchback has no stereo. No power windows or door locks either. In fact, it comes with a bit of gray carpet covering the area where the back seat should be. But, it’s from the final year of the Golden Age of Hatchbacks! A piece of history could be yours!
Hmmm… Yeah, it’s pretty basic. Oh, so you want to see the outside?
HIT – as in Hatches In Traffic. And as in quick hit – a hatchtastic way to start your week. Hatchtopia recently stepped into the 21st Century and got an iPhone. What’s that mean? Instagram, obviously… oddly filtered quick shots of hatchbacks seen out and about, specifically.
So to begin this Monday morning series, an early 90s hot hatch, the Ford Escort GT.
Enjoy your week, Hatchtopians!
There’s something to be said for being blissfully unaware. Like if I were to not know that this rare Prizm GSi existed and was for sale. But my buddy Larry from the Stick Figure/Volatile RAM racing team – you may remember this – just had to send me this link and get me all interested. While the price on the dealer’s website shows a $2950 asking price (a ridiculous amount for a car with over a quarter-million miles, rare or not), the Craigslist ad that Larry provided showed a significant mark-down to $1700. If not for a fairly recent, ill-fated fly-and-drive, those sorts of numbers get a man thinking…
Sometimes you have to get out of your hatchback (or lesser automobile) and check out the real world not through the lens of a windshield. Go out and walk the dog, do some yard work… who am I kidding – you’re here reading this, right? Why not view the world through the lens of someone else’s car (kinda).