Best horsepower-per-poundon eBay?

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Written by hammeraclassic

What cars on eBay offer the most horsepower per pound? Thinking about Porsche Turbos, used Vipers, or GT500s? Good options, but don't forget that eBay motors is a very diverse marketplace. This is the world bazaar of cars; Tumeric! Rat rods! Indian tea!  AMGs! Semi-trucks are sold in the same area as pasta from Italy. 

 You can find and bid on any car ever imagined. During my wandering I had the face of an open-minded-yet-traditional grandmother accidentally ending up on a porn site and clicking "vegetables". I've seen Veyrons here, crazy project cars, and full-blown race cars. Then there's always someone selling a tank. 

I don't even want to think about what grandma saw that is akin to a tank... 

BUT, that variety brought up the thought, "What is the most power you can get per pound on eBay?" If you just want to buy horsepower, what should you buy?* 

(This graph won't be linear, because there's a physical ceiling to how much power we can make, but not how much we can spend.) 

- Categories - 

If we're going to do this, there have to be rules, otherwise we're no different than the animals and their eBay guides. 

I broke them up by price. 
0-£5,000 
£5,000 - 15,000 
£15k-30,000 
£30k-50k 
£50k-100k  


Each price category will have one stock "store-bought" car, and one home-built anything. I don't care if it's a battleship engine on a bicycle, it's eligible. 


* To clarify something: I didn't read literally every ad on eBay, because if I did, I'd have died of something long before I finished. Probably  "Oxygen intolerance in July" or  whatever disease is fashionable that year. If you find a more powerful car for the money, prove I'm a loser and  post it in the comments!

Under £5,000

Cheap ponies.
0-£5,000
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0-£5,000
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0-£5,000
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Home-built: RX7 w/ a V8

This is about as simple as it gets: a 1987 RX7 with a 358ci. V8. Someone took a nameless Chevy 350, bored it a little, put some scavenged parts on it, sprinkled some Summit seasoning on there and put it in the car. It has an automatic trans, no AC, and the Buy It Now price is £5,000. 

*Honourable mention to this 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse. The motor is completely built, and it's probably making more power than the RX7. I love these cars, and this could be a cool driver, however, I don't think it will stay in the price category.
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Store-bought: 1996 Camaro Z28

Price: <£4,000  
£/HP: £13 per pony. 

After 30 minutes of browsing the country for a car for the right price, in stock form, this was the best I could do. This price bracket allows you to buy cars with lots of cylinders but little power. It's teeming with V8s but most of them make under 200HP. 

This is the best one I found. At time of sale it's 5.7L V8 made 305 horsepower, or about as much from a V6 Accord. Yeah, but you're tough with your flat black, aren't you?

From five large to fifteen.

Surprising speed at incredible prices!
£5,000 - £15,000
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£5,000 - £15,000
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£5,000 - £15,000
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Home-built: 1991 Mustang LX

Price: £13,000 or less. 
£/HP: There's no dyno number, but I'm guessing it's making 6-800. It's about £16 per horsepower.

The easiest way to find a lot of horsepower is search for the kind of car built by people who care about nothing else, and those people build drag cars. 

Are there brakes? Yeah, because mandatory. 

This Mustang runs the 1/4 in  8.90 seconds. That's when you use the 200 shot of nitrous. Anything that can take 200 horsepower, already has several hundred of its own. Whoa. Buy it now for £13,000.
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Store-bought: 2006 Dodge Magnum 6.1

This one was a squeaker. A C6 Corvette was threatening to beat the rare and beloved Dodge Magnum by 5 measly horsepower. Rules is rules but then light shone down: although the £12,600 bid hadn't cracked the C6's reserve, it was the Dodge's Buy It Now price. Sold. 

425HP, 420TQ, wagon.

From fifteen to thirty.

You can get a whole lot of speed for this money. Reliability and life insurance not included.
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Home-built: No joke.

I think this guide could also be called, "The inverse relationship of money and quarter mile times."  A turbo Civic may have a better power/£ ratio than this car, but this car is way faster. 

I thought this authentic 2000 Jeff Gordon NASCAR race car would win this. Then I thought a C5R race car-with 592WHP- would, and then there was the 1,100HP Lexus SC400. 

I was wrong, by a lot. I almost settled very low. I almost turned down a trip to Paris for a sample of "Artisan cheese" at Costco. 

I almost missed this 1997 "C4 Corvette." It runs in the Pro Modified class. It has a 2-stage nitrous system. One nitrous wasn't enough for this, it needed two. "Dear Fast and Furious, I am your demon king, send me all your shift knobs or feel my wrath." 

Six hundred and thirty two cubic inches. 2,000HP. 

Cute Veyron, send it to my hotel room later.
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Store-bought: 2008 Mercedes E63 AMG

There are a lot of contenders in the price bracket, including 2007 Mustang GT500s, 996 Porsche Turbos, and other AMG cars. 

At the top, by only a few horsepower, is the 507HP E63 AMG. 

It has a salvage title, but if you keep criminals out of arm wrestling competitions, you won't have any.

Thirty to fifty thousand

It's used Porsche Turbo time. It's Z06 Corvette, V12 Mercedes, and CTS-V time. Vipers, turbos, blowers, oh my.
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Home-built: The Quintessential Toyota Supra

When you have some money to play with you can enter fun search phrases, like, "turbo fast", "turbo Corvette", and "built Supra." The results are fun, and the power is huge. 

First thing I found was a Porsche 959 tribute car making over 600HP. It has modern GT2 power on a 1977 frame. Its aero was stenciled in a barn. Guts. 

I moved on and saw this 2003 Corvette Z06 twin-turbo making 725HP, which is almost enough to escape the regret of slicing up an appreciating car.  Then there was the turbo LSX-powered Camaro sitting on huge rims with tyres as thin as Trump's hair, but then I saw it: a clean, beautiful 925WHP Supra. If I was rich enough to build a silly Supra, this would be it. 

This Supra makes (at the wheels) what the Camaro makes at the crank. The power-band won't light until the Camaro is 1/8th of a mile ahead with two cracked  rims but in this game of bang-for-buck, the victory goes to the Supra. 

It's just beyond the price cap but I think you could offer £50k in cash and take this home.
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Store-bought: 2008 S65 AMG

There's simply nothing else that can compete for the money with Mercedes' twin-turbo V12. 

"604"- A horsepower number supercars of today are barely touching. 
"738" - A torque number most companies will never earn the task of printing. Good god. 

£48,000 ono. Takes it home.

From 5-figures to six: £50,000-100,000



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Home-built: Murder 'Vette

I'm calling this car "Murder Vette."  It has 2,000HP and it's ******** street-legal. That's insane. That engine bay looks like the plumbing system for SpaceX. 


£50-100k can get you a 1,200HP Viper, or any number of mildly-modded Cadillacs. 

But this terrorises people. It makes kids wave and cops nervous. This is Hot Wheels come to life. I imagine that this 2,000HP Corvette frightens other cars into pulling aside. 

The owner says, "The car handles and steers as a corvette should...". I think that's true, if you strap a volcano to your trunk and bike tyres up front.. 

2,000HP, on the street; like doing your laundry with lava.
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Store-bought: Dodge Challenger Hellcat

707HP for less than £100,000, brand new. There wasn't a Hellcat on eBay when I wrote this, but I know there will be within weeks. 

Nothing else touches this much power for the money. The Corvette ZR1 is 70HP behind. The GT500 is closer, but is kind of the Ghost Chili pepper to the Hellcats fresh Sriracha. Those cars (and plenty more expensive ones) are slowly plodding past the 600HP mark, fighting to stay on top without throwing down any real gauntlets. 

Dodge leapt ahead. While everyone else hiked to the summit, Dodge called a helicopter. 

707HP for about £70,000, with a  warranty. We live in strange, wonderful times, my friends.
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