Not a painstakingly re$tored '32 Ford that is afraid of a going outdoors with the slightest chance of rain.
Not a brand new Mustang GT350 with the same fear, but also doing anything that may void the factory warranty.
Not a Miata, even though it has no fears.
I'm talking about today, where has the original spirit of the hot rod gone? Not so long ago, kids were ricing out Honda Civics, and all those other Jap cars with turbos and stuff. Today, I don't see much of that. I see more jacked-up 4x4 pickups than anything. Lame.
Hot rods used to be just whatever car, stripped of weight, with a big motor stuffed in it.
For a modern hot rod, I would like to add handling to straightline speed. So no buckets with four wheel drum brakes and bicycle tires on the front.
If I had to choose something common, cheap, easy to work on, with great potential for all around performance ...
I still might pick a Honda Civic, but pre-2001 for the best suspension and motor swaps. It is very easy and cheap to build something that can handle like a race car, and make some serious power.
I could also pick the SN95 Mustang. Despite being a pile of shit, it is a cheap, RWD, muscley car. On that note, I would choose the 1999+ 3.8 V6 and rebuild it with a 4.2 crank and a few things, which can easily match or exceed the output of the 4.6 V8, all with less weight and better serviceability. Pooprod V6 > OHC V8.
The VW 1.8T seems to be getting cheap, although engine parts are not ... maybe the older VR6 is a better choice, or maybe not.
There is always the Camry V6, or I could simply cut my balls off.
What you say?