By on August 29, 2013

Toyota V8 - Picture courtesy of LextremeIn my role as Chief Justice of the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court, prospective racers often ask me questions that go something like: “I have a (car type known to be fast and/or expensive) that I got for (credulity-strainingly cheap price) and I would like to race it in LeMons without getting hit with penalty laps. How can I do this?” In most cases, the car will turn out to be a BMW M3, Acura Integra GS-R, or C4 Corvette, and I tell the questioner to seek another type of car. Still, you can get genuinely horrible C4 Corvettes for LeMons-grade money, provided you sell off some trim parts and so on, and that’s just what happened with this bunch. No problem, I said, just drop in an engine that will anger the Corvette Jihad and all will be well (it helps that the Chief Perpetrator of LeMons racing was the owner and editor-in-chief of Corvette Magazine for years, and he can’t stand the Corvette Jihad). I suggested the Toyota 1UZ V8, as found in Lexus LS400s and SC400s, but perhaps there’s an engine that would raise the blood pressure of Corvette fanatics even higher. What engine would that be?
LeMons-Phoenix10-0895In fact, we’ve seen two C4s in LeMons racing. There was this one, which was overpriced at 300 bucks, came with a very tired LT-1 350, and got stomped by a couple of bone-stock VW Rabbits and a slushbox Neon running on three cylinders.
309-LVH12-UGThen there was Spank’s “Corvegge”, which featured Olds 350 diesel power and ran on straight vegetable oil. Some Corvette guys were made upset by this, but at least the engine came from General Motors.
pickup2So, what engine would elicit the most rage from the Corvette Jihad? The team would prefer something with sufficient power to get around the track at least as quickly as, say, a Saturn SL2, which rules out my first choice (a Model A flathead four). Ideally, it should be an engine that can be purchased cheaply. Chrysler 360? BMW M50? Ford Modular 4.6? Nissan VH45?

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

152 Comments on “Question: What Engine Swap Would Most Enrage Single-Interest Corvette Fanatics?...”


  • avatar

    5 cylinder MB turbo diesel, or an Audi 5 driving the front wheels!

  • avatar
    OneidaSteve

    C’mon it is so obvious, a ford 4.9L 302 from the 90s. super cheap and it proudly wears the oval right on the intake. Oh and a plexi glass hood window to show it off….

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      Gotta agree, anything that once powered a blue oval would be heresy, exasperating, exubertating and probably jihad causing in some circles.

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      OneidaSteve got it. Nothing would irk a corvette guy like a straight six Ford truck engine. I’d even put F-150 badges on it.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        I’m gonna go with the 2.3L weezer from the Tempo years. Its Ford, its a four banger, originally was in a Pinto, and it gets this thing called gas mileage. In a pinch, it could be turbo charged and timed to blow up right at the end of the race. However, I also think the 2.5L Renault/Chrysler engine from the same time period would be le grande faux pas.

        • 0 avatar
          fiasco

          The HSC/Lima Tempo 2.3 is different from the Pinto 2.3. It’s allegedly based on the old 200CI 6 cylinder (if Wikipedia can be believed).

          Still an HSC would be a butt-turrible idea for a Corvette, way worse than a Pinto 2.3!

          • 0 avatar
            skor

            Very true. The 2.3HSC mill was Ford’s way of recycling their old inline 6 molds, they just lobbed off a couple of cylinders.

            Over the years the Pinto 2.3 developed into quite a good and reliable engine with some very good performance variations to boot.

          • 0 avatar

            Not only is it based on the old Mustang/Falcon 200, its made about the same power! The 200 was so choked by the integral cast iron 1bbl intake manifold it was only rated at about 88hp in its final years.

            Because the Tempo HSC motor was based on the 200 its throttle body fuel injection will bolt right up to all kinds of old 1bbl motors

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        The Ford 300 CID 6 would work well only if painted as a “Blue Flame Special” and mounted in a white car with a red interior (to keep it looking like the 1953 originals).

    • 0 avatar
      Maniacmous

      I’ll one up you – the 1.0L Ecoboost motor. Ford for heresy, small turbo motor because “there is no replacement for displacement”, and low power, so as to disgrace the Corvette.

      Either that, or a Mazda Wankel – again for the displacement, but also because its not “Murican.”

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Agreed, a nice roller cam 5.0 with the fuelie stuff removed and replaced with a carbed intake. Probably wouldn’t even need to swap out exhaust manifolds as the fox era stockers were pretty small.

      Its shame I don’t have that 347 sitting around, would have loved to donate it to this project.

  • avatar
    MWebbRambler

    How about the drivetrain from a Ford Ranger? The 2.3 four cyl with the slushbox should get Vette nation worked up. Otherwise, I’d vote for the 318 V8 out of a Dodge Diplomat.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Anything engine will do. When I picked my 2004 CTS-V that shared the same LS6 as his Z06 he was livid. So any engine would send them over the edge.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    a) If price was no object, and it didn’t have to do an endurance race? Tesla Model S drivetrain…

    b) For this purpose: ANYTHING from a Ford, Dodge, Nissan, or Toyota TRUCK. That way you get the GM vs {Ford/Mopar/Japanese} hatred, AND the “car guy vs truck guy” hatred, and yet you might actually be able to get a good cheap-enough engine that you can compete with an SL2…

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Ford truck engine, hands down.

    6 cylinders good, but an I4 from a Ranger FTW!

  • avatar
    patman

    I’d say a twin turbo Supra I6 would be pretty offensive but I don’t think that’ll slip in under a LeMons budget.

    How about dropping a complete 3 cylinder FWD Geo drivetrain under that glorious clamshell hood? Blasphemous number of cylinders, offensive orientation, wrong driven wheels, pathetic amount of power… even more points if its and automatic.

  • avatar
    afflo

    I’m still laughing at the traverse FWD powertrain. Put big tires on the front so you can do some front-wheel burnouts!

    • 0 avatar

      The amusement value about it is not great. I know that Chrysler 2.0 DOHC engine (found in e.g. Neon) was used in small formula specs, mounted longitudially of course. There’s really not much to turrning an engine sideways.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    This one’s easy!

    Weld the front end of a 1st generation Prius onto a Corvette body.

    It’s slow, Japanese, efficient, and front wheel drive. It’s also reliable, so it might do well in a 24 hour endurance race.

    Thank you, thank you, and those are some mighty fine pitchforks and torches y’all have there….!

    P.S. The Prius hacker community has the car largely figured out. The engineering challenges would be about the same as any oither mismatched engine swap, IF you kept the same engine/inverter/transaxle/battery together. But the cosmetic bastardization from welding on a Prius front end would totally be worth the effort, and would prevent the need for grafting an FWD suspension and engine mounts into a RWD car.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The engine from a TC Maserati, By Chrysler.

  • avatar

    Dodge slant 6

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Some sort of straight 8 that necessitates a grotesque power bulge in the hood. Corvette jihad is all about image, so make sure to put 22′s on it, and turn it into a donk. Is a proven performance upgrade.

  • avatar
    Aquineas

    How about the Nissan VG30DETT from the 1990-1996 Nissan 300zx Twin Turbo?

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    In the spirit of COMPLETE and TOTAL degridation of the car…

    Any Chrysler EGA or EGH V6 (3.8L/3.3L) from the 1996-2000 Caravans.

    They’re extremely cheap, epically abundant, and made about as much power in 3.8L form as the old Ford 302 5.0′s but to express that your powerplant not only came from a Chrysler, but also from a damn MINIVAN, Corvette jihad will want to burn it to the ground.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    Oh, in the cars you WANT to see, I’ve yet to find an Aztec cheap enough. Because otherwise I’d get one, put in a roll cage, and get a team in Haz-mat suits…

    (Of course, the team name would be “Braking Bad”. :) )

  • avatar
    Monty

    352 Windsor? 225 Slant 6? Hotrod Lincoln V12?

    I think part of the enjoyment would be swapping something terribly underpowered from Chrysler or Ford from any decade past; something anathema to hi-po cars. Or even worse, something so plebeian that it’s found in every basic car around the globe, like a Toyota 1.6 liter, or a Renault 4 cyl diesel.

  • avatar
    ggbox69

    Taurus SHO Engine from the 90′s.

    Found in Fords? Check.
    Designed in Japan? Check.
    12 Spaghetti-Like Middle Fingers? Check.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    13b

    but you’d never make it last any length of time

  • avatar
    ash78

    1.6L Ford Ecoboost, probably. C4-like power at a fraction of the displacement, plus the underlying GM vs Ford anger.

    How about the 2.4(?) from a Honda S2000. Then they can’t say “you’re cheating, it’s a turbo”

    And you could throw a “powered by Nihon” Kanji sticker on the back.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    M21 BMW Diesel mill that Ford bought for my Continental and numerous Mark VIII’s.

    German engineering with the Ford oval on the intake manifold. A v belt that wouldn’t make half of a lap and a head that would take incredulous material science engineering feats to repair should it crack on the first half of a lap.

  • avatar
    mklrivpwner

    Any Nissan RB series.
    Ford Ecoboost anything?
    Or my personal favorite, a 90′s Neon SRT 2.4L Turbo (with the Turbo removed, of course).

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Infiniti V8 – there’s got to be a wrecked M45 in a wrecking yard somewhere with a functional engine trans. Or a Nissan truck V8 the 5.9 that all Titans proudly proclaim they have.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      LOL the Titan badging is just offensive. I notice it each time I see one.

      • 0 avatar
        Aqua225

        Must not see it that much —- it’s 5.6L :) Got one, love it! Dad has a GMC 1500HD, only 100 lbs heavier than my Titan, and I can literally leave that thing in the dust (and some tire smoke before the tracctrl catches up with the 5.6L).

        My only complaint is that body shops can’t deal with all that lettering very well, since they totally got mine wrong when a deer cleaned out both driver side doors. Now I do see the lettering and cringe because of that :( The place was incompetent, they never did fix some other issues surrounding their repairs.

  • avatar
    Hans Shtick

    Pinto I4. Self-explanatory.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    This probably shows how much of a pervert I really am, but I have always wanted to put a Mazda turbocharged rotary in a C4 Corvette.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    Honda S2000 mill.

    Vtacks just kicked in y0!

  • avatar
    Dawnrazor

    Anything French. Would enrage because – FRENCH.

    Iron Duke 2.5. I mean it WAS good enough for the Camaro, so dropping it in a ‘Vette doesn’t seem too outrageous (and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some middle manager idiot at GM seriously considered it at one time).

  • avatar
    segfault

    The 2.2 liter (pre-Ecotec) four cylinder that was used in the Cavalier, Sunfire, S-10, and Sonoma.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Olds 350 diesel. The V6 would be even better, on the off chance you could find one still operating.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    Either a Ford 300 inch I-6 with a 4 barrel and split headers or ….my personal favorite; VW 1200cc flat four with a big bore kit…punched to oh..1385cc’s or thereabouts. . Heck..might as well pull out the entire rear end and drop the engine & transaxle in to keep it a smooth 4w independent suspension. This would open the front engine compartment up for a kegerator.

  • avatar
    autojim

    Some of these have been mentioned already:

    - Cummins 4BT
    - Saab 3-cylinder 2-stroke
    - Ford/Saab V4
    - 1200cc VW flat 4
    - along the same lines: 1st-gen VW I4 diesel (from A1 GolfRabbit), normally-aspirated.
    - BMC A-series. The smaller, the better.
    - The driveline out of any gas-engined EZ-GO or ClubCar golf cart. Bonus points for retaining the auto-start-upon-gas-pedal arrangement.
    - Subaru Justy I3 or Daihatsu Charade I3 (NOT a Suzuki/GEO I3, because that would be in the family)
    - Obscure, unreliable, hilarious: Braised copper Crosley I4.
    - Continental or Lycoming flat-4 or flat 6 aircraft engine
    - Ford 1.6L Kent (none of that fancy overhead cam nonsense here: good ol’ tractor engine!)
    - Speaking of tractor engines: 2-cylinder John Deere “poppin’ Johnny”
    - Yugo/Fiat 127 1.1L

    That oughta do for now.

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      Poppin Johhny FTW, can you imagine how much the suspension would bounce at idle. It would be so cool to open the hood and have those flywheels spinning around and around. Wonder if the vette transmission would hold up to all that torque?

  • avatar
    vcficus

    Most embarrassing?

    Late 1970s Corvette V8… easy to install, family heritage…

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Renault F1 motor (Red bull) or the V6 they use for their Megan racing series, that’s a pretty sweet motor, VW’s V6 turbo diesel from the Toureg or a Mazda rotary engine (RX8).

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Funny you should ask. I’m hoarding a 2.3 Turbo Coupe T-Bird for just the right C4 Corvette engine swap. That and a T-5 trans is exactly what a C4 needs after dumping its boat anchor 350. Imagine the crisp, point and shoot handling. The C4 is exactly what the 2.3T needs too.

  • avatar
    Windy

    The need to push it about at Saturn SL2 speeds also knocks out my first choice the flathead 4 from a WW2 MB jeep. but I think a flat head is needed perhaps a ford v8 flathead with a supercharger? one might be found cheap from a fire damaged old hotrod with the early 50s performance heads and carbs and manifolds. A truck sourced flathead straight 6 would be another winner (well not winner but you know what I mean) as others have said a truck engine should ruffle their feathers.
    a Perkins or Detroit marine diesel would be a nice touch

    perhaps a DD 3-71 aux engine to create a diesel electric GM Electromotive locomotive branding and theme? think what it would have to weigh! the suspension might be a bit of a challenge though as it would need to turn and stop after a fashion …

    sounds like a job for Speedy Cop Racing

    • 0 avatar
      wstarvingteacher

      I was scrolling down to see if anyone mentioned the V8. The big Mercury one even better. The irritating aspect of that would be that they were the bellybutton engine before the SBC. There were so many flathed six cars running around pre SBC that it should be easy. Hudson or Ford would probably be my pick. Owned a bunch of old fords and always thought the six was better than the eight. No doubt a Hudson would roll.

  • avatar

    Get a Mopar V10 and enrage both the Vette purists AND the Viper purists.

  • avatar
    DanDotDan

    I think a crappy old Mustang V6 with an autobox should do it. It’s cheap, reliable enough, and has enough torque to get it around the track. Make sure you have a big “Power by Ford” plaque in the engine bay somewhere.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Instant death will befall those who dareth place a Honda four cylinder beneath the sacred fiberglassed-reverse-opening-racing-flag-badged cover that is the C4 hood.
    The car itself may die out of spite from rejecting the new “organ”. Worse yet, don’t you dare put a “Type-R” sticker on it if you do such a conversion, for all red blooded Vette enthusiasts nearby may fall ill and expire.

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    -International 6.9 IDI diesel, found in early-mid 80′s Ford F-250s and F-350. Looks, sounds, weighs, clatters like an old wheezy semi tee-ruck. Naturally aspirated too, FTW!

    -Early 80′s VW Rabbit diesel. In a Corvette, should offer times of 0-60 in about 15 minutes.

    -Ford does make farm tractors-maybe a 3 cylinder diesel from one of those? Low RPM, but will run FOREVER….

    -Already mentioned, but I’ll second the Mopar 3.3/3.8 V6 with FWD. I know that engine, not at all gutless, but converting a ‘Vette to FWD would elicit RAAAAGE :)

  • avatar
    Redshift

    Project Car “Payback” is high on my project car bucket list.
    I plan to find the cleanest version of some significant Corvette I can find, and swap in a ported 3-rotor Mazda Wankel with the biggest turbo on it I can bolt on.

    It’s a win all around. Payback for all of those clean RX7′s that had their hearts ripped out and swapped in Corvette motors, and maybe offend them for a change while I’m at it.

    On a semi-related note, I had my race car at large local car show a few years back, and started chatting with some Corvette Club guys who were wandering past. Should have seen the looks on their faces when I mentioned the local guys running a 63 Split Window Corvette in GT1 in some Canadian series that is very much not stock. They built it back when it was just a cheap old Corvette.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Two Iron Dukes welded together for a 10hp V8.

    Otherwise, a 3-Cyl diesel engine from a European VW Polo EcoBlueCrap.

  • avatar
    Cirruslydakota

    Navistar/Ford 7.3 IDI diesel from a late 80′s early 90′s F-series truck. Bonus points for keeping the clunky PTO manual transmission behind it.

    Or…

    Amc/Chrysler/Jeep 4.0/4.2.

  • avatar

    Nahh lets really think out of the box.

    Pull the drive train, and with some fab work, lets just mount up a a complete Porsche 911 drive train. Preferably something horrid like a 1976 2.7. It will piss off any Vette Guy, any Porsche guy, and have truly lethal handling characteristics. Not to mention famous unreliability and be very costly to repair.

    Someone must do this.

  • avatar
    I've got a Jaaaaag

    Miata engine, it is really the best of both worlds, Japanese and associated with Ford.

  • avatar

    Porsche.

    But a 912 four pot, just to be extra-offensive.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Buick Turbo 3.8

    Corvette guys loooove it when you point out that a lowly Regal could smoke a contemporary Vette back in the mid 80′s.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I was going to suggest an old Chrysler 2.5L, but I’m not sure any exist any longer. That or a Chrysler 2.7L!

    Throw in an Ultradrive for good measure, too.

    ………..running away, now.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    In my mind, Corvette and Chevy are separate brands, and the engine used in the Corvette is definitely a Chevy motor, being shared with Tahoes and Caprices and so on, therefore it wouldn’t bother me if a non-Corvette part was swapped in favor of another non-Corvette part, if that makes any sense at all.

    I think what I’m trying to say is, the 350 is a great motor, but its a means to an end, much like the Toyota engines in Lotuses. Now if this was the Lexus LS you mentioned and you dropped a 350 in it, now that wouldn’t work, and you’d end up with a worse car, and less of a Lexus.

  • avatar
    Lynn E.

    Having a good time reading the engine swaps but I wonder about the wisdom of racing a Corvette on a road course.

    The only Corvette I know of that was able to move from a straight line was one drag racing on a narrow crowned 2 lane county highway. It was able to turn 180 degrees and go into a tree backwards.

    So maybe the French 2CV front engine is a good idea for a swap. The car would then be light enough so that the driver could get out at each corner and shove the front of the car over to match the corner.

    • 0 avatar
      Austinpowerless

      So … Corvette’s seven Le Mans class wins, beating the likes of Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Porsche, Viper, Saleen S7′s,et al, is because they don’t handle road courses well?

      • 0 avatar
        Austinpowerless

        Sorry—at least nine, actually.

        • 0 avatar
          panzerfaust

          True Austin, Vettes have made a reputation in GT1 but having grown up in the 70′s I’ve seen Corvette dragsters that had more oversteer than a lot of dedicated track cars. Most of the guys I knew who drag raced for a living thought Corvettes (which you would think were ideal for drag racing) were unlucky, they seemed to have weird problems and crashed a lot-or so the superstition went.

          • 0 avatar
            Austinpowerless

            Hey, I’m only defending Vettes as road racers. It’s not just the GT1′s by the way, a corvette won its class in ’72 and ’60.
            As to ideal for drag racing–since 63 they were using independent rear suspension; surely for drag racing you’d prefer a solid live axle.

            Edited–actually, a question; other than amateur bracket racers, I’m assuming the guys you’re talking about were putting a solid axle in there–still oversteered? Definitely spooky on a drag car.

  • avatar
    skor

    The only thing that would cause Vette fanboiz more embolisms than stuffing a Corvette with a Ford mill is stuffing a Corvette with a hybrid system out of Prius.

  • avatar

    Blue Flame Six. The fanatics would be enraged but powerless.

    • 0 avatar

      One of my lottery list projects is to put a supercharged Blue Flame Six in a late model ZR-1. Ken Lingenfelter owns the ’54 Corvette that McCullough bought as a test mule for supercharged version, but the introduction of the SBC V8 in ’55 moooted that effort).

  • avatar
    kjb911

    1982 Cadillac L62 (V8-6-4) with the cylinder deactivation still activated would be a great kicker

  • avatar
    carve

    Anything by Briggs and Stratton, or designed for farm machinery

    Anything French

    An old VW flat 4, or anything horizontally opposed.

  • avatar
    cardood

    Slant 6 salvaged from a rusty ’70s vintage Dodge Dart. Has to use the Mopar starter motor that made lots of bad noises.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Big block 60 degree V6
    Or
    IH scout engine

    But BBC V6 first

  • avatar
    99GT4.6

    They ALWAYS make a big deal about the low hoodline that is possible with a compact pushrod engine. If you want an engine that still makes decent power then swap in a Ford Modular 5.4 preferably with the really tall intake from an F-150 and then put the most offensive bulged hood on it and stick on a few “Powered by Ford” emblems. Or use the supercharged one from a Lightning pickup. Tall, OHC, Boosted, AND made by Ford.
    If you want to offend them even more a FWD conversion with a B18 Honda engine is in order. Or an SR20DET sans turbo.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    “So, what engine would elicit the most rage from the Corvette Jihad?”

    Someone trying to sneak a ‘vette into LeMons is not necessarily a Corvette fan, just someone that knows a solid light platform that comes with a powerful V8.

    That said, something from Ford will be funny.

    I say give them the old Fox body 2.3, no turbo. It should be pretty plentiful with the Ranger also using it longitudinally to its death.

    A number of people have mentioned the 2.3 above, so I am just echoing them since they are correct.

  • avatar
    Michael S.

    For maximum infuriation I would go both Asian and transaxle. The Toyota 2GR-FE mated to a 5-speed auto a la the Rav4, Avalon, and Lexus should be both inexpensive and powerful enough to have fun in. Getting the car and engine to work together might be beyond the reach of your average tinkerer, but it could be quite impressive.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I also want to point out, in regards to the title photo, am I the only one who would be concerned about running an coolant hose inside of the serpentine loop?

    • 0 avatar
      Aquineas

      It doesn’t just look like it’s being run through the belt, it actually looks like the belt is making contact with the hose. I of course could be mistaken…

    • 0 avatar
      autojim

      You’ve obviously never looked under the hood of a ’99-’02 Ford SuperDuty with the 7.3L — the OEM upper radiator hose was trapped by the belt. Most owners have since replaced it with the hose from the dual-alternator version that goes around the belt (and was originally supposed to be used on ALL 7.3Ls until Jac Nasser, that sawed-off little prick, started waving his cost-cutting ax around indiscriminately. The shorter hose cost less up front even though it severely complicated belt service).

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    If we’re playing this game, I want to OFFEND corvette owners. the best way to do that (in my mind at least) is to get a ratted last year C3 or first year C4 and put a 2.7T (and manual transmission and drivetrain) from an audi Allroad. Boost teh living crap out of the twin turbos and maybe enjoy a few glorious laps until the inevitable explosion. Bonus points for using the original cross-fire intake manifold as a blast shield.

    If we’re staying in-brand, then i’d cobble together a drivetrain identical to a similar year GMC Typhoon or Syclone with awd and wedged-open waste gate. Vette owners would find this offensive becuase it makes the car faster by using the one car GM built that embarassed their own flagship sports car.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I would like to revise my suggestions to include a Briggs and Stratton (preferably rope start) single..say 12 HP. At least it’d consistently finish,,,dead last.

  • avatar
    ICARFAN

    Going way outside the box, but how about setting up that C-4 like a Morgan trike? V-Twin Hog motor mounted as far forward as possible and it would look like it is missing it’s rear wheels going around the track.

  • avatar
    kkt

    4 cylinder from a malaise-era Mustang.

  • avatar
    davew833

    Subaru EA-71 flat 4 from a 1978 BRAT. And the underhood-mounted spare tire, too.

  • avatar
    RS

    Ford Vulcan 3.0L V6.
    Chevy 3.1L V6.

    Both good choices.

    My favorite: Air cooled VW Bug or Corvair motor…with appropriate front end air flow mods. Mount it in the rear for extra points.

  • avatar
    Glen Eckart

    I think that the ultimate tweak would be to shoehorn a Jaguar XK or V12 in there.

  • avatar
    1998S90

    I initially thought the 351 cleveland or 427 SOHC motors were the obvious answers. Until I saw the 1.0l ecoboost.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I love Corvettes, and I have concocted in my mind a very heretic one.

    You made the whole thing difficult with that “cheap” bit.

    I’d say:

    1) 4G63T
    2) Said Lexus V8. The I-6 from an SC300 would be nice too.
    3) Saab 2.3T.
    4) Said Modular 4.6, extra points for scoring one with the galloping horse on the plenum. A Cobra one may be fun too.
    5) A 5.3 from a garden variety Silverado
    6) Quad4
    7) SC 3800 V6, this one must be dirt cheap, light engine, good power, good souping up potential.
    8) 4AGE with turbo, then use the “Fujiwara Tofu Store” livery.
    9) I6, some ideas come to my mind: AMC 4.0, Atlas, AUS Falcon. Maybe a turbo slant six?
    10) At this point GM’s HFV6 must be available for cheap, so one of those. 3.6 DOHC.
    11) V10 TDi from a Touareg. Yeap, that one won’t be cheap. Or a W8 from a Passat? or a 1.8T 20V?
    12) A Camry V6 (beware of sludge) o 5S 4 banger engine.
    13) 95+ 7.3 Powerstroke.
    14) Alfa Romeo V6, from a 164 or 75.
    15) Chrysler 2.2/2.5 Turbo II

    I would love to make a C3 for myself with a Ford Coyote or Miami V8.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Howsabout a nice 429-horse, 5.0L V8 from a Hyundai Equus, backed with the mighty A200 tranny that GM coupled with so many 305′s back in the day?

    Edit: OK, I recognize it might be hard to meet the price requirement here, but it does have a pretty high blasphemy factor in its favor.

  • avatar
    lozz

    ’66 Beetle motor and gearbox mounted in the boot. Paint it hot pink and write “Herbie” on it.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    1. Harley Davidson shovelhead (preferably built during the AMF period).
    2. Air cooled Wisconsin V465D (177 cu. in. (2901 cc) V4cyl 66hp.
    3. Continental TME27 164.7 cu. in. (2700 cc) Inline 4cyl. 74hp.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      What were the Wisconsin and Continental used for? Planes? Tractors?

      • 0 avatar
        panzerfaust

        They were/are used for just about everything but planes (too heavy). The Wisconsin is an air cooled aluminum block V4 used extensively for agricultural equipment in the 60′s and 70′s today they’re used for mowers, generators, etc. They’re very reliable and can run all day at full throttle. The continental is an iron block inline four used for power generation, material handling equipment, manlifts, welders, etc. and reliable as an anvil. But also the antithesis of Corvette.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Ah, I tend to think of Continental as aircraft because Continental has made aircraft engines for almost as long as there have been mass-produced aircraft.

          Like the classic Contintental O-200, source of power for aircraft like the Piper Super Cub and Cessna 150.

        • 0 avatar
          JaySeis

          If your going all stationary…how about a gas Waukesha I-6 with the same bore & stroke as a Jimmy 6-71? At least there’s some kinship with the General. They’d rev to at least 1600.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    Oh what evil ideas lurk in my mind, ha!

    If cost were no object and the idea were to purely offend, a Nissan RB26DETT out of a Skyline GT-R, but that would be expensive, so a no go for Lemons…….

    So….. how about a Ford 4.2? No, not the Essex derived V6 from the F150, but the ultra malaisey 120 hp weakling that saw duty in LTD Crown Victoria, Mustang and Fairmount.

    Or how about something that was the Corvette’s equal in the 80′s, the VG30E out of the 300ZX, or better yet the Turbo VG30ET?

    Or the Toyota 3VZE 3.0 V6 out of the later Hilux and 4Runner, probably the worst engine Toyota has ever built, underpowered, thirsty and fragile, bring extra head gaskets.

    The Mitsubishi 3.0 V6 comes to mind, standard features include a standard built in smokescreen!

    Or if you want to keep your call all GM, how about a Quad 4? Iron Duke? Turbo 301? Tech 4? Or the worst Corvette engine ever, the “California 305″ which had less power then the then lukewarm Z28 Camaro of the late 70′s and early 80′s… oh and it was automatic only……

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    How about a 4-cylinder Mitsubishi 2.6L that Chrysler used and actually put a Hemi name on it.
    Perfect:
    4 banger – check
    Japanese – check
    Chrysler – check
    Hemi – check
    no power – check
    front drive – check

    “Got a Hemi” signs painted all over it and stick a big Daytona tailfin on the back.
    A General Lee paintjob would be great too.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Only if you can actually FIND one.

      And they were RWD in the Galant Lambda/Challenger/Sapporo and the Starion/Conquest…but good luck finding either of those. The Starion, while a bit cooler than the equivalent Supra in wide-body form, definitely didn’t hold up as well.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Well, guys/gals, the 6-cylinder engines won’t fit with out major firewall remodeling, so my suggestion is a junkyard Ford, Flathead v-8.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Audi 2.7 Bi-Turbo!

      ..or, I’ve got an old ’89 New Yorker with a 3.0 Mitsubishi. Just add a transmission, and your good to go. To really tick ‘em off, I’d add some really underperforming transmission. I know- the one from another New Yorker!

      Or, go with the 1.9L (and auto T/A) out of a Ford Escort! Nothing says performance like an Escort!

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    Oh! I have another idea…. the engine out of a Maserati Biturbo…. top that one!

  • avatar
    drnoose

    Rambler flathead six. Every so often I think about buying a 928 and putting the rambler engine in it, just so I can go to one of the local cruise nights, pop the hood and watch the reactions it would get. The Bette would work just as well. And yes, I would have to figure out a column shifter for it!

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Oh, I’ve got it.

    Take off the hood, bolt a big outdoor generator in place of the engine, then wire that to an electric forklift motor belted to the rear pumpkin.

  • avatar
    niky

    The Ford 4.0 V6.

    Powerful enough and robust enough for endurance racing? Maybe.

    Absolute piece of crap? Possibly.

    Sacrilege? Definitely.

    Get it cheap, wrestle with wiring it in, cut a hole in the hood for it, and then watch the whole rat’s nest of custom wiring catch fire twenty laps into the race.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Chevrolet’s 262 V8.

  • avatar

    Let’s dispense w/ the half measures, please.

    I read endlessly on Rennlist about Porsche 928s ‘improved’ with ‘Vette engines of all types. Kinda drives me crazy – so here’s MY big chance!

    How about a 5.0-liter 4-cam M28 from a 928? Though the rest of the drivetrain would be a bit of a challenge, to say the least, this would really be turning the tables.

    PLUS – this would improve a Corvette about as much as a pushod Corvette engine improves a 928!

    And, as far as I know, Corvette people hate the 928 more than anything else. They’d rather drive a Chevette Diesel.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    Domestic
    The 4cylinder SVO turbo mustang

    European
    Engine from a M3

    Japanese
    Honda V-tec engine.

    Anyone is sure to enrage a purist, but since each purist has his particular peeve I figured I’d cover each major source for performance cars.

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    turbo busa

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Murilee, when do we get the answer? The suspense is killing me!

  • avatar
    Crapcan

    There is only one true answer to this question.

    It has to be a Russian engine! Think of the hate the Corvette jihad will have for a “commie” engine in a corvette.

    and you will probably win the IOM.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India