“Just A 318”: This Turbocharged, 650 Horsepower Chrysler Centura Is Killer!

“Just A 318”: This Turbocharged, 650 Horsepower Chrysler Centura Is Killer!

The LA 318 is one of those V8s that isn’t often seen done up to the nines. You can find build Fords, small block Chevrolets, even the 340 and 360 cube small Mopars, but the 318 was supposed to be the entry-level mill with entry-level horsepower and nothing more. Even more unfortunate was the timing of it’s arrival…it appeared just in time for the dawn of smog motors. Awesome. That means that the most potent 318 ever cranked out in the States carried a whopping 230 horsepower…and that was in the 1990s Dodge trucks. The baddest old-school version never came near to that figure.

Now take a look at this little Chrysler Centura. It has origins in the Chrysler-Simca 180, but was sold in the Australian market with the Hemi Six for a powerplant. The nose was lengthened over the French original, and at one point Chrysler Australia was contemplating stuffing in 318s from the factory, but a light rear axle and a bendy body structure ended that plan. Well, safe to say that the body structure has been strengthened considerably from stock form. A turbocharger shoving 24 PSI of air down the throat of this 318 does wonders, doesn’t it? Check out this little beast in action…then go scour Craigslist for cannon fodder for a duplicate build!

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4 thoughts on ““Just A 318”: This Turbocharged, 650 Horsepower Chrysler Centura Is Killer!

  1. Iain Starrs

    Haven’t seen a Chrysler 180 for thirty years in the U.K. Basically a bigger version of the Plymouth Cricket…. which was actually a Hillman Avenger made by the Rootes group in the U.K. before they were bought by Chrysler. Oh and I remember seeing more than one Avenger in FM3? Pink in the U.K. when the face lifted Chrysler Avengers were introduced.Most rotted away long ago as they had a built in Rust maggot .

  2. Gary Smrtic

    Plymouth Cricket? Did you have to remind me? God; Chrysler’s offering to make a car worse than the Vega or Chevette….

  3. RK

    We had a Rootes made Sunbeam Alpine GT, sold by Chrysler Canada. A lot like this but with two doors and a huge back window / fastback. A pretty awful car but the one look at front of this car took me back forty years in one second. It was kind of fun to drive though, with it’s 1725cc engine, twin Stromberg SU carbs and four speed. Right after that Chrysler started sourcing their little cars from Mitsubishi

  4. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Simca 180?

    You might have seen two or three in England but they always seemed to be blue. mottled with rust and sitting unloved and forlorn in the gutter. What is surprising is the fact that they were nearly new cars whose owners had the life sucked out of them by driving such a boring car….

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