$2000 Challenge: When “performance-tuned” meant 126 horsepower

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Jan 31, 2024 | $2000 Challenge, Chevrolet, Cavalier, Cavalier Z24, Z24

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

Entrant: John Powell

Event years: 2004

Budget Spent: $1535.00

The ’80s were a different time: ALF, feathered hair and not a ton of horsepower from the factory. The “performance-tuned” 1987 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, like the one that John Powell trucked down to Florida from Wisconsin two decades ago, came from the factory sporting a 126-horsepower V6. And we liked it that way.  

John ran the car mostly stock at the event. The big mod was a set of used drag radials. The Cavalier posted a 16-second quarter-mile time–not horrible for a stock car in the ’80s–and finished mid-pack in the nearly 80-car field.

Make your own low-buck memories at the Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge Presented by Tire Rack, which returns to Gainesville, Florida, April 6-7, 2024. Watch 2000challenge.com for details.

The Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge is presented by Tire Rack, in association with CRC and Miller, with trophies from ACI Automotive and Performance and TrakkRats.

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camopaint0707 Reader
1/31/24 1:43 p.m.

what a nugget of a car

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/31/24 1:59 p.m.

really a nicely shaped car.  Reminds me of a VW Scirocco.

GCrites Dork
1/31/24 10:20 p.m.

There used to be so many of these. Now there are none. I wonder what happened to this one.

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