This is quite possibly the hottest Chrysler PT Cruiser ever.

    American Gasser Hot Rod Shop has converted a stock 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive to a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine and rear-wheel drive.

    According to The Drive, PT Cruiser owners Bruce and Kay, in their 70s, commissioned American Gasser Hot Rod Shop in Saginaw, Michigan to rebuild their vehicle which they bought brand new in 2002.

    Bruce and Kay’s only request was to keep the interior as original as possible.

    “All the factory interior panels, seats, and even the console were retained and fully functional, even with the added transmission tunnel and raised trunk floor,” Justin Airbets from American Gasser Hot Rod told The Drive.

    American Gasser Hot Rod Shop added the front suspension from a Ford Mustang II, plus new coilovers and disc brakes. The rebuild also includes a custom-built stainless steel exhaust, new mufflers and resonators to make its V8 engine hum.

    While the company hasn’t confirmed the outputs of this engine, in a Chrysler 300 from the 2000s this Hemi 5.7-litre pumped out 265kW of power and 528Nm of torque. Even the most powerful PT Cruiser – the turbocharged GT not sold here – produced just 172kW and 332Nm.

    American Gasser Hot Rod Shop has made minor changes to the body kit to give the car “more attitude” and hint at the major mechanical changes made.

    According to The Drive, Bruce and Kay decided to change the vehicle’s original silver paintwork in favour of a metallic green with gold accents for a “unique look”.

    It’s not hard to believe that aftermarket body panels for Chryslers built in the 2000s can be hard to find.

    Mr Airbets said a lot of time was dedicated to ensuring the aftermarket body parts were up to the company’s standards.

    “Bruce and Kay have recently taken delivery of the car and plan to drive and enjoy it all summer,” he said.

    “Between taking it to car shows, trips to the grocery store, and everything in between, this car will be getting a workout,” he added.

    Click an image to view the full gallery.

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Also on CarExpert