This Lifted V8 PT Cruiser on a 4×4 Frame Is the One to Buy

May 21, 2023

I know what you’re thinking. You want to buy a PT Cruiser but it’s just not rugged or powerful enough. How can you get that retro-American styling and famed early 2000s Chrysler build quality, just with more power and off-road capability? Naturally, you bolt a PT Cruiser body to ladder frame chassis and stuff in a V8, like this one that’s for sale in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The seller apparently took the wheels off of a Surf Blue PT Cruiser and simply bolted and welded it to a ladder frame chassis. They then stuffed in a Chevy 305 carbureted V8 and paired that with a Chevy 700R4 four-speed automatic transmission. Power is sent to all four wheels, via a Ford rear end and a ’60s Dodge front end.

Suspension-wise, it’s still running MacPherson-style struts up front, with the bottom of the strut tower seemingly connected to the ladder frame via two rods. How the rear is connected to the chassis is unclear. It’s also riding on steelies with extra tall sidewall tires but I fear how this thing rides, given its mysterious suspension setup and wobbly looks. There’s also a full-sized spare tire underneath trunk.

Inside, it looks like a normal PT Cruiser, with the typical body color-matched dashboard trim, cloth seats, and four-spoke steering wheel. The only noticeable difference between this car and a stock PT Cruiser is the extra long automatic gear lever, which sports a handle seemingly made from a deer antler. Interestingly, the shift gate patter is reversed, so from top to bottom it goes “1, 2, D, N, R, P,” which is written in market on the custom metal trim plate.

Being a 2008 model, this PT Cruiser likely originally had a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, making around 150 horsepower. So the Chevy V8’s 230-ish horsepower (depending on which specific 305 it is) is quite the upgrade. The seller is asking for $3,500 for this FrankenCruiser and claims in the listing that it’s “just a fun car.” With a raised ride height, small-block Chevy V8, and hilarious looks, it should be just a fun, if pretty sketchy, car indeed.

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