Hump Day Holeshot: “FrankenDart” Runs 10’s with a 4-Banger Turbo

By 1974, the muscle car wars were over, and American car companies were left picking up the pieces as people suddenly started preferring fuel economy over raw horsepower. During this scramble to suddenly change the course of a quickly sinking ship, American car companies made some pretty awful cars with even worse engines. Take for example, the 1975 Dodge Dart, a huge (by today’s standards) “compact” car with a 100 horsepower Slant Six to tug it along.

So does that make it OK to drop a turbocharged Mitsubishi four-cylinder engine into a ’75 Dart? We think so, especially since this engine moves this once-slow “compact” to a low 10-second quarter mile. Eat that, haters.

The car, called FrankenDart, was built by Trent at Rev Hard Inc., and Illinois speed shop. You might think it evil, stupid, and just downright heresy to put any import engine into an American car.

Hold thine tongue though, because Mitsubishi and Dodge were akin to kissing cousins during the 1980’s and early 90’s.

Remember Eagle? It was a collaborative effort between Chrysler and Mitsubishi which produced really only one worthy car; the Eagle Talon, itself a spin off of the Plymouth Laser and of the real daddy, the Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Available with all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0 liter engine, it didn’t take long for speed freaks to dig into the engine in the search for more power. And find it they did, as a stock 4g63 2.0 liter turbo engine can hold upwards of 500 horsepower.

With a few heavier modifications, 1,000 horsepower isn’t out of the question either. So going tens is no big deal for this stout little motor. Much respect for the cleanliness of this swap too, as this little Mitsu motor almost looks like it belongs under the hood of this heavy, unkempt Dart. It’s the perfect sleeper if you ask us, but is it the kind of project you would want to do yourself?

About the author

Chris Demorro

Christopher DeMorro is a freelance writer and journalist from Connecticut with two passions in life; writing and anything with an engine.
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