I must say you all have great taste!
Well Si, what do you know about Volvo 144 /164 ? How tunable on a budget is the B20 egine. Is it just a case of huuuge carbs?
As you can see i am itching for a new project.
We have a 144s on the fleet too, built to FIA rally spec. It was a Cyprus car so has no rot issues but again as any old car can do, they rust.
lots of comp parts available, springs, dampers and superflex bushes all avail in UK but not cheap- bushes £600+ for the full set.
Engines can do mega miles and quite tunable- 150bhp should be easy enough. We have 2 engines, 165bhp all steel for short stage rallies and 140bhp hi torque for long distance marathons and mountain work. Transmission on our car is stock apart from heat treated half shafts and a LSD in the axle. Brakes are good, use the vents from the 164 but the standard 144 has discs all round with 4 pots on the front.
I cannot think of a single weak spot on the Volvo- seriously tough cars. Set them up and they are as good as an Escort- not as powerful but when the going gets rough an Escort backs off where as you can just keep the Volvo flat.
for a road car project I would start with an early 145 Estate, slam it right down, shave and clean some of the detailing, paint it dark grey and run some nice wheels, retrim it in a nice dark red leather and fit some ice. Mechanicaly I'd fit a 740 Turbo engine and 5 speed, fit a better intercooler and tweek the boost and fueling a little for a reiable 200bhp. Fit updated pads and discs and do the suspension.
You would have a really cool sleeper that could really move when needed. You can also get about 400 bikes in it too!
Don't forget to buy a Labrador and have the them tune to the good life on your ipod