Question of the Week: What’s your favorite sleeper performance car?


One of the great sleepers of all time was Paul Newman’s Volvo station wagon with the supercharged Ford 351 under the hood…
Back in the 60’s, the 4dr Studebaker Lark Daytona with the R3 engine and 4 speed surprised a LOT of Hi-Po Mustangs, GTOs, etc. It looked like Granny’s grocery getter, but that supercharged Studie 289 really hauled the mail.


I’m gonna add on that the 69-72 Grand Prix SJ and the 70-72 Monte Carlo 454 SS are fantastic sleepers. Far more formal looking than their GTO/Chevelle counterparts and the performance models were not all badged up. The Monte Carlo got the LS5 454 and the GP got the 428 HO the first year and the top HP 455 the rest of the generation. I find that even with the stock 400/350hp in my 69 GP, it is surprisingly quick to first time passengers, even ones who own legitimately quick cars.


Nice score! I keep checking Craigslist, but never see one for sale.


We have a 1965 Formula S Barracuda owned since new with the 273 Commando engine, 4 speed transmission, sport suspension, etc. It doesn’t compare to the 426 hemi but with performance figures like 8+ seconds 0-60 mph and 90+ mph in the 1/4 mile and looking like a nice family car with no distinguishing V-8 emblem etc., it has fooled a lot of other cars over the years.


I think I found a winner. Citroen BX4 TC. This car is so strange looking that there is no way anyone would expect a 200 hp turbocharged engine! Apparently there was a 390hp Evolution version for rallying.


And I must say that these Monzas make the best looking Pro Street cars and drag cars when they are dropped on the ground and have the giant meats out back! Wow what a slick looking race car.


Honest to goodness sleeper that had no external badging to give up the secrets? 1966-67 Chevy II with the L79 (327/350hp). Even if the car was an SS, you could get ANY engine in a SS Chevy II in 66/67, and even if it had the 327 emblem, it could be ANY 327 (and sneaky street racers removed the 327 tags and replaced them with the 283 tags). The car was light, brutally fast and would easily shame the average big block in the streetlight to streetlight escapades of the era.


I had a 1992 Dodge Spirit R/T. 224 horses from a 4 cylinder. No one suspected. Miss that car!


the Saab 9000 Aero gives us 225 horses from 4 cylinders and handles…I don’t know why these things aren’t more sought after,


You’re right…if I remember correctly they were around 6 seconds 0 to 60


Where they get really exciting is 50 to 80 in 3rd


I like the 63 Ford custom 300 tudor post with 427 cubes and two 4bbls. Another one folks left out is the AMC Gremlin 390. I’m not an AMC fan but I have heard they were pretty tough to beat and not many were built or ordered. Anyone else have info on the AMC Gremlin? Not sure what years they came out.


My old 2007 Impala SS with the 5.3 v8. Big 4 door car with a small block. Only downfall was the FWD instead of RWD.


I know I’m new here and it seems topics don’t last very long. But I have a pair of Chrysler Crossfires SRT6 versions. With just a few modifications we managed to get one thru the quarter in 11.99. The other being a coupe, and one different medication than the roadster, managed 11.79. Engines are stock of course AMG motors. They have been my favorite sleeper cars.


I would hardly call an AC Cobra a sleeper. It bristles and shouts that it is a muscle car.


1970 1971 Monte Carlo SS and 69 Camaro SS Big block power and Monte Carlo looks like a ordinary car.