When I first spotted this car on Ebay about 2 weeks ago I wasn't thinking of the "24 hours of lemons" race. In the back of my little pea brain I was thinking the parts on this car would go very nicely on my 80 TR7 (that little orange beauty in the photo). While the stock TR7's came with a 4 cylinder engine and about 100 HP, the much rarer TR8 had a small V8 Buick based engine with about 150 HP. Some owners replaced the anemic 4 banger with the Buick 231 V6, its a nice compact engine that sits back in the engine bay giving the slightly heavier V6 good weight distribution. The Buick engine was chosen because the distributor is in the front of the engine and won't get in the way of the hood closure on the TR7, unlike Chevy engines of the same size.
That's where our little car comes in, this 76 coupe was converted some time in the early 80's, it has a mid 70's 231 Buick engine (3.8l 2 barrel carb) with a Turbo 350 3 speed auto trans. and a very beefy Ford rear end. The PO said this car was roughly comparable to driving a 327 Corvette in terms of power to weight ratio. That may have something to do with the gear ratio of the Ford diff. and the small 13" rims. His words were " this thing goes like stink and will get sideways very fast if your not careful." Well that sound like an E ticket to me! I will get the car running tomorrow to see how tired this engine is. I have a line on a 252 Buick riviera engine (4.1l) from a wreaked car, it comes with an aluminum 4 barrel intake manifold. So imagine this car with a 4.1l engine and a Holly 390 or a small 4 barrel Quadrajet carb! We may have to de-gear the diff to keep the tires planted on the road!
This should tun out to be a fun little race car! I will know more tomorrow about the condition of the current engine and trans. Who ever did the original conversion on this car did a professional job, its not all hacked up, looking at it you might think it came from the factory like this, until you look under the rear of the car and see this massive Ford diff!