Our Two Cents: The perfect Frankenstein car?


Sometimes I enjoy challenging my co-workers here at Hagerty Media to come up with a radical notion for the next installment of Our Two Cents. More to the point, I think this one is a high watermark for the series.  The question is, what’s the perfect Frankenstein car?

We all remember the character from Mary Shelley’s famous novel: an elegant, intelligent, and humble creation born from the mind of Victor Frankenstein is not unlike many of the “frankensteined” restomods you will see below from our staff. Except Frankenstein’s Monster went off the rails and eventually disappeared from sight, another notion that you, dear reader, might wish upon our creations. Especially the last one. 

Hellcat-swapped, Chrysler Imperial Frank Sinatra edition


I wanted to see what my co-workers would come up with if I told them that money was no object and their hearts were free to do whatever the heck they wanted. To get the ball rolling, I threw out three examples:

  • Hellcat-powered Frank Sinatra Edition Chrysler Imperial
  • Coyote-powered Jaguar XJ
  • Delorean with a Tesla swap

Guess which one I truly wanted? I think The Chairman of the Board would approve of my take on his baby blue-hued rolling tribute to “Rat Packing” at its finest. Considering that this Imperial (J-platform) traces its roots all the way back to Chrysler’s famous A-platform, it wouldn’t be too hard to Hellcat-swap it like a proper 1960s muscle car. It’s been done before, but perhaps I am overselling the ease of the swap.

No matter, that’s what I want, and Frankenstein’s Monster is gonna do it my way, baby. 

Cummins-swapped Rolls-Royce Phantom II

Rolls-Royce Phantom II side

Video Director Matt Tuccillo took my budget-exempt question to a logical extreme. What’s the most luxurious vehicle out there, with a front end worthy of a Mack Truck, and doesn’t it need a diesel engine by that extension? Or as he put it:

“A lovely marriage of high-brow/low-brow and a way to roll coal with a level of civility when leaving the local country club. Champagne flutes in the back reserved exclusively for use with High Life, of course, to keep the theme going. And it has to be the Phantom II, so I have Apple CarPlay too.”

LS-swap Mosler Consulier


In contrast, our Special Projects Editor Steven Cole Smith made a simple request: “I’d like a V-8 in my Consulier, but it would probably double the weight.” He’s close, as 270-290 pounds is needed for the Consulier’s 2.2-liter Chrysler turbo mill, while 460 pounds is needed for an LS-1.

2JZ-swapped Volvo P1800

Volvo | NetCarShow

Executive Editor Eric Weiner shows Volvo some love, with a 2JZ-swapped P1800. He’d put the power down with KW coilovers, keep it flowing with an Akrapovic exhaust, and stop it all with a modern brake package. I too like wasabi-infused meatballs, Eric!

Vortec L52-swapped third-gen Camaro

Associate Editor Chris Stark really knocked my socks off with this request: a Vortec L52 five-cylinder (from a mid-2000s Chevy Colorado) with a big turbo, slapped into a 3rd-generation Camaro. Or as he put it, “the idea of Group B Quattro sounds coming from a Camaro makes me giggle.”

Miata-swap MG MGA


Hagerty Media Editor Kyle Smith is almost logical in his line of thinking. Well, at least compared to the rest of us:

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the ’69 Austin Healey I let go two years ago, so your question leads me to think I really need to follow through on my plan to Miata swap an MGA. It’d be turn-key reliable, have great parts support, sport nice five-speed transmission, and possess classic style to spare. It’s not a ground-breaking swap, so I actually stand a chance of finishing it and enjoying a lot of miles behind the wheel.”

K20C1 (Civic Type-R) swapped fifth-gen Honda Prelude


Hagerty Media Writer Matthew Fink keeps it brand loyal with a fantastic motor and a stunning machine from Honda. He wants a last-generation Honda Prelude (1996–2001) up-fitted to a “Type R” spec for modern times:

“Instead of the 200-hp motor, it would have something like the Civic Type R’s turbocharged mill 306-hp engine, 6-speed, a small functional hood scoop, upgraded brakes, and definitely a rear windshield wiper (because all cars are cooler with a rear windshield wiper). Boom, instant collectible.

Sorry I guess that’s not too Frankenstein-y, more of just a dream.”

Incorrect, Matt! This is exactly the kind of Frankensteining we want to see.

Prius-powered Ferrari 250 SWB

Ronnie Schreiber

Managing Editor Stefan Lombard takes us to new levels of Frankensteining. Perhaps he said it best:

“I’d sawzall the top off of a Ferrari 250 SWB, add thick duct tape racing stripes, and fit it with a Prius powertrain. Uncommon style and earth-loving mobility all in one.”

Coyote-swapped 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner

Senior Editor Brandan Gillogly asks us to consider a 1969 Roadrunner with a Coyote V-8 swap. No, not the iconic Coyote Duster air cleaner on a 426 Hemi. He wants you to embrace the idea of a Ford 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 in said Mopar muscle car. Wow.

And I’m done, as I cannot top Brandan’s “Coyote Roadrunner” with a witty comment. See you all next time, on our next episode of Our Two Cents!


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