THERE were some very cool cars at the recent Mopar Sunday at Willowbank, and we had the chance to check some out before the rain came down and postponed the event – including this very neat V6 Lancer conversion.
Owned by Queensland Chrysler-phile Dave Mahoney, the little blue LC Lancer hatchback has been given a significant power upgrade thanks to a 3.9-litre V6 Chrysler engine. For those unfamiliar with the Chrysler V6, it’s basically a 318 V8 with two cylinders cut off, and was used to power Dodge Dakota and Ram pick-ups and Dodge Ram vans throughout the 90s. Power ranged from 125hp for the early carby models through to 180hp for the later Magnum-based units with EFI, and it’s proved to be a neat little swap for Dave’s Lancer.
Originally the Lancer was powered by a little four-pot until it spun a bearing, which kicked off this total rebuild. Dave modelled the look of the Lancer off his blue Plymouth Duster, which features the same blue-with-black-stripe exterior décor. The V6 engine was rebuilt and given a 4bbl conversion, then mated to a four-speed A-500 (basically a 904 Torqueflite with an extra gear). Up the back there’s a shortened BorgWarner diff with 3.45 gears, and the rear was mini-tubbed for a pair of 295-width tyres.
The whole thing is fully engineered and legal, but Dave reckons there were enough headaches with it that he wouldn’t build another one.
Unfortunately the day was rained out, so we didn’t get a chance to see the little beast in action, but it goes to show that you can build something cool and unique without having to punch an 8/71 and injection through the bonnet.