Recently in the NHRA tower, a debate erupted between a couple of us when the question was posted, “What’s the fastest, cheapest car ever?” Of course it will cause a veritable rock fight below, hence the “reader brawl” title but we’re interested in your opinion because the question is pretty danged good. From the Omni GLHS to the SRT4 Neon to the various “hot hatch” offerings throughout the years, there have been some real low buck screamers out there and we’re going to force you to pick the best one. Now, you don’t have to look at the stuff of the last 25-30 years. You can go as far back as you want but remember to account for inflation. A $3,500 1964 Pontiac GTO (which was probably more than $4,000 in most cases) costs $26,000 in today’s money. The cheap needs to be kept in mind with inflation, kids!
Look, we live in times now that are so far beyond what any generation of automotive enthusiast has ever experienced on all fronts with respect to OEM performance, it is pretty weird, actually. What was “fast” to people 25 years ago is sluggish and sad compared to what even base model cars are running now. Having spent a little time in the seat of an SRT4 Neon, that is a hellacious little car and one that needs to be considered. These are not going to be the premium named automobiles here as we’re looking for the CHEAP stuff. Basically, we’re seeing if you can decide on the fastest factory tin can ever built.
Should be easy…right?
Put on your helmet, wade into the field of battle below and submit your choice for the fastest, cheapest factory car ever!