Car builds are so often fueled by the need to stand out. And that means, no matter how crazy or outlandish the idea—someone with a vehicle and a welder will make it happen. Back in the day, slamming HEMI engines into rat rods was nuts. Today, that’s a novice move. And with the internet showcasing so many radical build profiles, it just pushes these rule-breakers to new levels of insanity. Think you’ve seen it all? Not even close. And that’s why we’re here to showcase even more crazy engine swaps that are sure to blow your mind.
Let’s start off slow. Although, nothing about General Mayhem is slow. Sponsored by Dodge, the guys at Roadkill wasted no time getting their hands on a Hellcat power plant. And why wouldn’t they?! We start here because gearheads David and Mike smacked that overpowered, supercharged V8 in place of another Dodge engine, on a Dodge platform. Make no mistake though, this beast still earns its place among crazy engine swaps. It took some major modifications to get going, but the Roadkill crew did it as crudely as possible for a race against the guys from Gas Monkey Garage.
The platform itself is a clapped out 1968 Charger/Frankenstein’s monster. But it isn’t just a Hellcat engine under the hood—this baby was built to produce over 800-hp. Sure, it’s a little beat up. But that just means you don’t feel as bad when they thrash on it. And with all that power? We think it’s a thing of beauty.
Diesel El Camino
The guys at Hotrod Garage are building a name for themselves by implanting diesel engines in unexpected vehicles. In fact, Tony Angelo is really flexing his love for the super powerful platform in all ways. Slamming a Cummins engine in place of an old pick up’s Dodge 400 is noteworthy, but not as crazy as slapping a Cummins in a 1970 El Camino.
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They took what is arguably the best version of the model and stuffed it with the iconic diesel power plant loved by many. Diesel swaps aren’t always hailed as crazy engine swaps when it comes to trucks. But this is a car. Or is it a pick up..? The lifelong identity crisis of the El Camino fuels this build’s ridiculous-factor.
GReddy 2JZ 2013 Scion FRS
The Scion FRS is a controversial platform straight out the gate. There are few fans of it, which really is a bummer. Its sleek. It’s sick. Aaand it’s underpowered. Weighing in at 2,700 lbs, it only produces 200-hp. But wait, a curb weight of under 3,000 lbs goes a long way, right? Well, when you swap in a Toyota 2JZ engine it sure does.
What started as a SEMA show car by aftermarket company GReddy, turned into the dream build of Japanese pro drifter, Ken Gushi. Midway through the 2013 racing season, a nitrous oxide system was added, allowing the FRS to put down 650-hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. With that kind of added power and agility, the FRS earned its place on this list of crazy engine swaps.
2JZ R34 Skyline Swap
We don’t agree. We don’t condone. We just state the facts. The R34 Skyline is one of the most beautiful cars of all time. And it just so happens that the platform Nissan went with is bound to one of the greatest drivetrains to ever come out of the Land of the Rising Sun.
It also just so happens that Toyota stopped the world with its Supra 2JZ platform. This vehicle right here is exactly what would happen if Godzilla and Mothra had a love child during their feud. Sure, many will call it a monstrosity. But we say love is beautiful and so is this diabolical creation.
Oh, the Prius. A person cruising around in this car must surely feel defeated. Not just because the model is eaten alive by the auto industry, but because it’s painfully slow. Sure, driving one will help reduce the rate at which the ice caps melt but by the time you reach 60 mph, they would have melted anyway. Perhaps that’s what motivated legendary 24 Hours of LeMons racer and car builder, Spank Worthington, to slap a Harley V-twin in his Prius.
It surely isn’t practical. We’re not even sure it could pass current smog restrictions in its home state of California. But it’s surely ridiculous enough for you to look at it not just once or twice, but an easy five time. Think this is the craziest of the crazy engine swaps? It gets better, friends.
LS-Powered VW Rabbit
There are some men who just want to watch the world burn. Then, there are those who wish to LS swap it. The LS engine platform can be found under many hoods all over the globe. GMs, Fords, Dodges and in a muscle car or truck it might be impressive, but not that crazy to see.
With the VW Rabbit, though? As an almost comical page in the history of automobiles, an LS engine under the hood makes for a revenge of the nerds. Just don’t pick on this Rabbit owner, because this hare packs a 6.0 liter LS engine under the hood that runs on big doubts and broken dreams.
Let’s Go Fly a 1939 Plymouth Pickup
Before you go ahead and say you’ve seen the craziest engine swap in the world, have you ever seen an airplane engine in a vehicle? What about a ’59 Jacobs radial airplane engine in a 1939 Plymouth pickup truck? Defying all the laws of the very concept of crazy engine swaps, this airtruck takes the cake. Complete with leather aircraft seats and “shotgun” starter, it’s a movie-grade build with surprisingly real-world driveability. We call that a win!
Found a crazier engine swap? Share it in the comments!