6 Franken-cars from OEM parts bins we wish existed

The automotive aftermarket steps in when what gearheads desire isn’t being met by factory offerings. With that said, many buyers wish the factories could simply build the car right the first time. In an attempt to right those wrongs, we asked Hagerty Forums users to build the ultimate parts-bin car—if only in their wildest dreams.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/08/12/6-franken-cars-from-oem-parts-bins-we-wish-existed

There are so many great candidates.
Porsche flat six in a VW bug. It even bolts on.
Wrangler frame under the SSR so they wouldn’t twist up like a pretzel.
Grand National turbocharged V6 in a Camaro, no explanation needed.
SBC in a Vega, Cleveland in a Pinto. Yeehaa!

Nothing beats the cutlass AWD using an Olds Bravada parts bin. All four tires will burn right down. That car is the Godzilla of all franken-beasts.

Back in 87 and 88 there were lots of Quad 4 rumors floating around about the Fiero. They even said that GM built a prototype, and there were rumored aftermarket kits, like the V-8 Archie kits, to DIY a Quad 4 Fiero. On the up side GM did a lot more with the Fiero than anyone remembers and it still tanked because people didn’t get it or wanted more than two seats, it never got over the fire stigma either. There was an actual prototype built with Power Steering, a better engine and some other goodies that might not have saved it but maybe kept it alive a year or two more. The Fiero held the record for the most first years cars ever built, beating the Ford Mustang, and it was safer than a full sized Caprice, it was affordable and with reasonable maintenance I drove one over 200,000 miles. GM wanted that car dead and they allowed the public to kill it.

A Super Duty with a Banks built Cummings engine and an Allison transmission

I saw a 1988 Fiero (best year) with a Quad four swap on eBay a few years back. To this list I would include a 1971/2 Vega with the Cosworth engine (also observed on eBay). My personal favorite is a 1963/7 Vette with factory air and the fuel injected small block (also observed on eBay but mis-represented and way over-priced).

The trouble with the Quad 4 & the Fiero is timing, the Quad 4 did not come out until the 88 Model year, the Fiero only made it 1/2 thru the 88 Model year. So no real chance to pair the 2 together at the factory.

The claim regarding the Mustang is a bit of a misleading statement. The Fieros initial year production run began in July 1983 and concluded late in 1984. The exact date of change from 84’s to 85’s isn’t in any literature I have, but it is likely late November or early December for the changeover. All Fiero’s produced in that period were considered ‘84’s. During that time about 136,840 Fieros were produced. Assuming the changeover was November 84, that is 17 months of production.

The Mustang was introduced in April 1964, production beginning in March of that year. All Mustangs produced from that initial launch until the end of 1965 were considered 1965’s. However, production of Mustangs in 1964 was 121,538 cars. If we make the same assumption of late 1964 that is 9 months of production. In reality there were rolling production line changes which do distinguish early cars from later cars that began in August and went for several months. Still, all Mustangs produced from March 1964 through the end of 1965 were considered 1965s. In total there were 559,000 Mustangs built in that time. More Mustangs built in that time than the entire Fiero production run of 5 years.

There were a few Fieros built with a Quad 4. There was a couple of aluminum chassis-ed Fieros. I worked at GM Research in that time frame and saw them. There was also a Twin dual cam 3.4 V6 in a Fiero.