Saturday, June 23, 2018

Autocross Beast: 1998 Dodge Neon R/T SRT-4 Swap

Fewer cars have a worse reputation for being a cheap ride than the Dodge/Plymouth Neon.  It is true that the interior materials used in these cars is low rent, but the layout is decent enough and very functional.  First gen ACR model Neons made due with same DOHC engine that was available on lesser models.  It wasn't until the second gen car was introduced that Dodge blew the horsepower doors off the competition with the 2.4 turbo engine.  Today's feature has the very best of everything in the Neon universe on this R/T two door.  Find this 1998 Dodge Neon R/T for sale in Mamaroneck, NY for $8,500 via craigslist.

Extensive details from the seller:

18k miles on the body. 2.4 turbo engine with 55k miles. Mopar stage 3 with toys (intercooler sprayer, dial a boost, high octane mode), made 310whp and 350wtq on dynojet. Has keyless entry and trunk release, A.C., power mirrors, power steering. 
Custom sway bars 29mm front 25mm rear
Inverted BC RM coilovers
14k front, 8k rear springs
Quaife limited slip differential
HD transmission 3:55 final drive 0.81 5th gear 
Recaro front seats 
Equal length axle setup with extras
K&N intake with heat shield
3" stainless turbo back exhaust
Magnaflow cat and dynomax vt muffler, also have slip on straight pipe for when you want to get roudy
11lb odyssey battery in lightweight aluminum tray
Custom lightweight aluminum side motor mounts
Custom 2.5" piping from turbo down
14:1 fast ratio steering rack. 
Pt front knuckles, mopar hubs, timken bearings ( have extras as well)
6 piston wilwood big brake kit
Act 6 puck sprung hub clutch and flywheel combo
Mishimoto dual core radiator
Spal dual fans with custom aluminum shroud 
Earle oil cooler, Greddy thermostatic sandwich plate
Autometer oil pressure, temperature, and boost gauge in dash mounted pod. 2 5/8"
Spc adjustable rear lateral bars for easy rear toe and camber adjustment
Magnecore spark plug wires
Custom heat shield for coil
Spare srt4 cluster 
Enkei rpf1 wheels
Brand new Michelin pilot sport 4s tires 

Very reliable always starts up and runs cool. Only problem is that it is a 20 year old car. Certainly not a show car, but is Damn good for racing. You can find tons of videos on

The build is chock full of high quality parts installed like the Recaro seating.  There are no better lightweight wheels on the market than the Enkei RFP1's.  This is one of those cars that there is no way you could replicate for the asking price.  The real question is whether potential buyers can get past the car being a Neon.

Take some dramamine before watching the Neon autocross video below.

See another American economy car that can tear up a track? email

Cory is making a game plan for summer Mercedes projects


  1. What's the saying? "Make a silk purse out of a pig's ear."

  2. It should be pointed out that thin sheet metal, lack of sound deadening, parsimonious dustributionn of interior plastic and other decontenting costs an arm, leg, and a small child’s montessori tuition in a Porsche, so in that light this is a huge bargain!

  3. Back when the SRT4 came out, I made a quip to an EMT friend of mine about a "new" Neon that could go over 150 mph and had 230 HP. He remarked that it was "socially irresponsible" for Chrysler to do that in a car that rattled itself apart structurally in 50k miles, and had the crash worthiness of wet paper mache. And that was with the "newer" Neon platform, not this original Neon. Part of what made these things so great at auto-x (weight reduction) was the same thing that made them death traps.

    I wouldn't go anywhere near this thing without at least a 6 point cage & a fire suppression system.

  4. The problem with this is what class will it run? I think it is too modified to be competitive. What made these great was out of the box they landed in a good class for the car. Start modifying it and you end up competing against better platforms that will eat its lunch.

  5. I had a 1996 Dodge Neon Competition Coupe and it was a blast to drive. Even with only 150 HP. Granted that year "only" had a top speed of 136 mph. I never had a rattle or squeak in that car until the head gasket went at 126K. Looking back, I should have had the head redone with the newer gaskets at that point, but only had the money to buy a $1000 beater to get back on the road.


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