GM stuffs new crate engines into vintage Chevys for 2018 SEMA show

1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna LT5 Crate motor

Want a nice wallop of “go” along with that vintage “show”? There’s nothing quite like a brand-new, off-the-shelf crate engine nestled in a classic package, and Chevy is bringing a trio of such concepts to SEMA this year. Each car features a newly-available crate engine to help showcase the expansion of the Chevrolet Performance portfolio.

“Chevrolet Performance’s expanding crate engine lineup offers something for every enthusiast and his or her dream project,” Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports said in a statement. “That choice is matched with the peace of mind that comes only from factory-engineered systems tested to the same standards as production vehicles, for performance you can count on.”

There are three vintage concepts headed to Vegas for the show, including a 1973 Chevelle Laguna with the 6.2-liter supercharged LT5 V-8 from the Corvette ZR1, a 1967 C/10 pickup with the ZZ6 5.7-liter V-8 engine with electronic fuel injection, and a 1978 Silverado pickup with the L96 6.0-liter V-8.

GM Performance LT5 crate engine
GM
GM Performance LT5 crate engine

Unfortunately, we only have an early look at the LT5-powered Chevelle Laguna—a spokesperson for Chevrolet tells us that the other builds weren’t ready in time for a photo shoot to happen. Features that are particularly notable about this build—aside from the 755-hp and 715 lb-ft of torque—include the ZR1-inspired carbon-fiber hood, front and rear spoilers harkening back to ’70s NASCAR Chevelle Laguna race cars, 18-inch wheels, and an upgraded suspension.

The ’67 C10 will use a 420-hp 350-cubic-inch small-block. The ZZ6 engine boasts electronically controlled fuel injection instead of a carburetor, but you can still mount an air cleaner. Chevy says this car will have a “classic style...complemented with modern hot rod touches,” such as a lowered suspension, 20-inch wheels, a custom bumper and tailgate, and a fresh new interior.

Last we have the ’78 Silverado with—what else—an LS swap. The heavy-duty L96 truck engine settled in this square-body employs electronic fuel injection and pumps out 360 hp with 380 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a four-speed overdrive automatic transmission. The vintage truck at SEMA will be black and red, the beneficiary of a frame-off restoration at GM’s Milford Proving Ground.

To see these old-meets-new beasts in the flesh, head to SEMA October 30 - November 2.