After reading this:

... and the preceding article where people made suggestions, it’s clear to me that at least half of the Jalops don’t know what the hell a ‘sleeper’ is.

So I’m gonna explain it.

First, I’ll explain what a sleeper is NOT.

It’s not a BMW, Jag, Lexus, turbocharged Saab or any other car from a brand that has performance cred.


A sleeper is also NOT a car that has spoilers, hood scoops, wheels/tires that look high performance or have any badging that suggests performance.

Thus, of the 10 cars on the list, only one of them (the Buick Park Avenue Ultra) qualifies as a true sleeper. No, the Volvo 240 ain’t a sleeper either... not with that automatic transmission and naturally aspirated 8V SOHC 4 cylinder engine. All that is, is a durable Swedish commuter car. It doesn’t have the performance to surprise anyone... and thus, isn’t a sleeper.

A sleeper is a car that is known for being mundane, ordinary and nothing special in terms of looks and performance, but actually has performance that are far greater than the looks and performance of that car would suggest.


So... I shall give you some examples of a sleeper:

-The 1st gen Oldmobile 88... it was a lighter Olds 76 with the Rocket V8 dropped into it. It had performance that was much greater than anyone would expect from an Olds at the time:…

-A 3rd Gen Altima 3.5L SE with the ‘3.5L SE’ badging removed:…


-An old Dodge Dart that looks like this:

... But has the heavy duty suspension, brakes and either a high compression RB engine or a high compression 340 LA V8 and a manual transmission (3-on-the-tree with a lower geared rear end for the ultimate sleeper)


-This Ford Fairmont wagon:

-The Oldsmobile LSS from the 1990s with the optional supercharged 3.8L V6... compared to the Buick Park Avenue Ultra, it’s less flashy, has less weight, same power and handles better


So that, ladies and gentlemen, is what a sleeper is.