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Slapping a Cheap Turbo on a Cheap Car – Will it Explode?

Because a large contingent of the automotive enthusiast community doesn’t necessarily have the money to throw around on brand-new cars and high-dollar parts, the cheap horsepower world is one that has drawn a lot of eyes. After all, if one can find something on a budget that’s going to produce results in the same way that these expensive parts might, why not give it a shot?

Sometimes, the issue with chasing down cheap horsepower, though, is that the pursuit can feel never-ending. With the wrong parts or bad advice, the endeavor can be a headache. However, there are situations where certain combinations can make some real steam without blowing open the bank.

This time, we check in with Hagerty as they try to put a very simple roadmap of making cheap horsepower to the test. The idea was to go out and find something with a V8 under the hood and rear-wheel drive. Next, they’d combine that combination with the likes of an incredibly budget-friendly turbo. In fact, the unit that is in question cost just $128 here.

When the crew went out searching, what they came back with was a 1998 Lincoln MKVII. The car that our host described as having “basically a Cobra motor” features a 4.6 L aluminum DOH see engine creating 290 hp and 290 pound-feet of torque. There’s some good engine architecture out there in some really obscure cars that can be found for a cheap price. The V8, in this case, created a somewhat potent output back in the day but wasn’t enough to really turn heads and by today’s standards, it’s about what one would expect in even the tamest of production vehicles.

With the video below, we get to see if this $1000 car ($1150 to be precise) can be combined with a turbo that’s as cheap as $128 to make something that’s worth driving.

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