In our eyes, swapping in a bigger, more powerful, non-native power plant isn’t blasphemous, just a whole lot more fun. Don’t misunderstand – we love automotive brands of all stripes and what they bring to the table, whether it’s our abiding commitment to Japanese and European marques, or our burgeoning lust for domestic American grunt. There’s simply something very seductive about blending the best of all worlds – and as we learned at ToyotaFest 2016, some in the Toyota community agree, shoehorning V8 engine swaps out of American muscle cars into vehicles that formerly housed something much more anemic.
We won’t blame you for thinking General Motors LS swaps are the go-to mill, because they are, primarily for their affordability, ease of transplantation, and plentiful aftermarket support. Robert Airth's pictured sexy-ass pink V8 Cressida is a perfect example of what we're talking about - he clearly gets it.
Surprisingly, we found two Ford V8 swapped cars at the event, Al Kolenda’s 1980 Celica and the RS*R USA 2013 Scion FR-S. The FR-S is pretty well known, rocking under hood a Ford Racing 5.0-liter Aluminator XS engine mated to a Boss 302 gearbox dropped in by Papadakis Racing. A custom exhaust system extends from the headers to the muffler tips, and Nathan Tasukon from Forward Motion Technologies handled tuning the MoTeC M150 engine management. The build also includes custom Driveshaft Shop axles and aluminum driveshaft, RS-R custom-valved coilovers and rear lower control arms, a 5x114 hub conversion, and much more.
This was the first time we’d ever seen Kolenda’s Celica, who crammed a 4.6L, 32-valve, aluminum engine out of a 1997 Mustang Cobra into the compact’s engine compartment. Power is transmitted via Tremec T45 five-speed gearbox out to a Supra live axle rear end equipped with 3.73:1 final drive and TRD LSD. The Celica sits on custom 17-inch Cobra rims, and just to piss off the haters even further, there are Porsche 911 seats in the interior. Yep, that’s how you do blasphemy right.