Select Page

10 Times Tuners Built Awesome Cars Everyone Forgot About – HotCars

by Nov 2, 2022Blog0 comments

While most of these tuners are globally renowned, some of the builds that earned them success are already forgotten.
People started modifying their cars in the United States back in the late '30s. Hot Rods were all the rage back then. Around the '60s, gearheads with a true need for speed and enough resources set up their own shops. The trend was not limited to the United States. A similar phenomenon took place across the Atlantic Ocean. The tuner scene as car fans know it today was born.
RELATED: 10 Of The Most Famous Tuners And Their Creations
Today, professional tuners can be equally respected as car manufacturers. Some of the most tuner-friendly cars ever built underwent transformations that helped smaller companies make a name for themselves. These tuners are admired by gearheads throughout the world. Their builds are not always as memorable as the companies themselves.
BMW started showing some teeth back in the '70s. The Bavarian carmaker created the BMW Motorsport division. The very first car to come out of the newly-created division was the legendary M1. Following a series of successes, tuners came up with packages that would outdo what would come out of the sportier side of BMW.
The BMW 6-Series E24 is one of those classic BMWs that are worth every penny. Back in the mid-80s, the holy grail was the M635CSI. Its engine produced 282 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque. Alpina upped the ante by slapping a turbo on the M30B34 inline-six unit. Rated at 325 hp at 5,800 rpm and 378 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm, the B7 Turbo E24 is what the original M6 should have been.
Koenig Specials is no stranger among European car fans. Established in 1974 by race car driver Willy Koenig, the tuning company became notorious shortly after its creation. Piston heads of the mid-80s to early '90s know that Koenig Specials takes fantastic sports cars and turns them into unique track-ready beasts.
Based on the 1990 Ferrari 348 TS, the Koenig Specials F48 is a monster like no other. First, it is important to remember that the 348 TS is perceived as one of the worst Ferraris of the '90s. Realizing the huge potential of the 348 TS, Koenig Specials developed a package that includes two Garrett T3 turbochargers and an aggressive body kit. With the power going from 320 hp to 520 hp, the F48 did not fail to attract the attention of piston heads.
The '90s were not the best decade for the American auto industry. Emerging from the Malaise Era, American car companies were still trying to counter the Japanese invasion. While most domestic cars made during the '90s are flat-out disappointing, Dodge came out with the Viper. Being a huge '90s icon, the Viper would go on to become the most popular American supercar.
The Dodge Viper SR-1 comes bone stock with an 8.0L V10 that cranks out 400 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers were bonkers back in the '90s. Being a young company at the time, Hennessey decided to do whatever possible to generate some clout. The Texan-based tuner released the Venom 600. Dodge's V10 was modified to produce 635 hp at 5,500 rpm and 635 lb-ft of torque.
When gearheads think of Callaway, they think of insane GM cars modded to the fullest. Created in 1977 by Reeves Callaway, the Connecticut-based tuner built a variety of insane Chevy cars over the decades. One of Callaway's most successful projects, the Sledgehammer, was so insane that it is still talked about among domestic car fans.
The Callaway C12 looks like it came straight out of an action movie taking place in the future but filmed in the '90s. Its retro look definitely aged well. Back in 1999, the LS1 found on the Corvette developed 345 hp. Callaway revisited the LS1. The C12 can produce a maximum of 440 hp 6,300 rpm and 383 lb-ft of torque. This insane Callaway must be remembered.
Audi used to be looked upon as Volkswagen cars with some extra bells and whistles. The German automaker put serious efforts into shaking off this reputation. Things became increasingly appealing during the mid-80s. From that point onward, Audi released one beast after another. ABT did not fail to notice the quality of cars Audi was manufacturing.
The Audi A4 wagon is among the performance wagons that can easily be modified into supercar slayers. In fact, this is exactly what ABT did. In 2005, ABT presented the breathtaking AS4-R. The AS4-R comes with a twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 480 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. This is far more power than the mighty RS4 of the same year.
American car fans heard about Saleen at least once in their lifetime. Known for its performance packages for Ford vehicles, Saleen is one of the go-to companies for a solid build. As the company collected successes, it grew in size and wanted to offer more. In the early 2000s, the project S7 was unveiled. It is one of the most insane supercars made in America.
RELATED: This Is What Makes The Saleen S7 So Special
The Saleen S7 is jaw-dropping. The mid-engine supercar comes with a twin-turbocharged 7.0L Windsor V8 that pumps out 750 hp at 6,300 rpm and 700 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. Those are Italian supercar numbers. The Saleen S7 now goes for over $700,000. It is fair to assume that its value will only increase over time.
Tuners that made a name for themselves tend to work on high-end sports cars and supercars. However, others simply do not care for the performance aspect. Companies like Rauh Welt Begriff and Fab Design focus on aesthetics. When it comes to Swiss tuner Fab Design, power is never an issue. Fab Design only works on the most exquisite cars ever made.
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren comes stock with a supercharged 5.4L M155 SLR V8 that makes 617 hp at 6,500 rpm and 575 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. The hand-built engine develops more power than most gearheads can handle. Fab Design came up with an aerodynamic package that helps the SLR be even more effective.
Carroll Shelby is hands down the most legendary American race car driver. After taking part in some of the most challenging races on the planet, Shelby went on to build his own shop. Today, Shelby is synonymous with power and exclusiveness. While most Shelby cars are based on existing vehicles, the company did produce its very own cars.
RELATED: 8 Cars You Didn't Know Were Built By Carroll Shelby
There are several things everyone forgot about the Shelby Series 1 and 2. These collectibles come with all the bells and whistles one could look for in a classic Shelby. The Series 2 is a bit special as only a handful of them were made. The convertible comes with a supercharged 4.0L Oldsmobile Aurora V8 rated at 550 hp. The power is sent to the back wheels thanks to a six-speed manual transmission.
A lot of tuners specialized in Porsche cars released insane builds over the decades. From the earlier race-oriented 911 of the '70s and '80s to the most recent twin-turbocharged made by Bisimoto, there are tons of ways and options to turn a regular Porsche into a monster. However, no one ever came close to building anything as crazy as the CTR3 Clubsport.
The RUF CTR3 Clubsport is the RUF every Porsche fan should drive. Being a cross-breed between a 911 and a Cayman, the CTR3 Clubsport is a mid-engined rarity that will trigger a serious adrenaline rush. RUF included a twin-turbocharged 3.8L inline-six engine that was pushed to 770 hp and 720 lb-ft of torque. Despite its beautiful figure and outstanding performances, the CTR3 Clubsport did not become an icon.
Mansory was founded in 1989 by Kourosh Mansory. Focusing only on the crème de la crème, Mansory is the ultimate luxury company in the aftermarket parts scene. Vehicles such as the Lamborghini Urus Venatus prove that Mansory has bright years ahead. One of Mansory's most insane builds, the Le Mansory, seems to have been completely forgotten.
RELATED: 10 Of The Absolute Greatest Creations By Mansory
The LeMansory is based on the Ford GT of the same year. It is well-known that the 2020 Ford GT comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost V6 that makes 660 hp. Mansory revisited the Ford GT both inside and out. The EcoBoost unit was modified to produce 700 hp and 620 lb-ft of torque. The fact that the Le Mansory received some harsh criticism must be the reason why it was quickly forgotten.
Max Veron is an avid fan of anything equipped with a powerful engine. Spending time between Southeast Asia, Europe and the US, Max is travel bug with a great taste for cars.