240sx-diesel

When i was around 20 years old, I bought a beat-up Nissan 240sx from a shady car dealer, and I drove the hell out of it. Then I tried to do an engine swap when the truck-sourced four-cylinder finally gave into my thrashing, and I was left to ponder a replacement engine. The in-thing to do was a V8 swap, preferably a GM LS1 from a Camaro/Trans Am or Corvette, but I only got so far as taking the old engine out before throwing in the metaphorical towel.

Personal failings aside, the 240SX remains an insanely popular car for uncommon engine swaps thanks to a large engine bay, light weight, and rear-wheel drive. All manner of motors have been dropped into these cars over the years…but this is the first time I’ve seen a 240SX powered by a 3.9 liter Cummins 4BT turbodiesel engine.

The madman behind this monster is named Glenn Irizarry, who took the Cummins motor out of a bread truck to swap into his flyweight Nissan. He claims he can managed about 40 MPG driving around town, and can boost the boost (hehe) to about 50 PSI, which as you can see below, makes for some awesome, coal-rollin’ burnouts.
Oh, and it’s also a convertible.

Alas, Mr. Irizarry apparently wasn’t too smitten with his creation, as over the past couple of years its gone up for sale on eBay at least once. The market for diesel Japanese sports convertibles isn’t too big though, as you might imagine. Who knows where it is today?

Now if somebody were to do this to a 1965 Mustang, the purists would rage but the hot rodders would applaud. A 40 MPG muscle car is something everybody can get behind, and the American-made 4BT is a good deal better than that 1.9 liter Volkswagen TDI-powered Camaro (which is still cool, but also, slow).

When all is said and done, I’m left wondering why automakers won’t sell a fun-to-drive diesel sports car. Good gas mileage and lots of torque; sure, it may not be the fastest car at the drag strip, but as long as it’s fun to drive day in and day out, people would buy it.

Or at least that’s what I like to tell myself.