History has a way of repeating itself, and it’s easy to see at the SEMA show. Back in 1997, Chevrolet released an all-new V8 when the LS1 debuted in the C5 Corvette. Nobody in the aftermarket wanted to support it because it was such a departure from designs of the past. Fast forward to 2017 and the 5th generation small block is all new and this time it packs direct fuel injection. New technology is always hard to stomach at first, which is why Chevrolet Performance has installed it into a familiar package: a 1969 Chevelle.
(Related – Chevrolet Unveils 2017 Camaro COPO)
To show the public that swapping in the latest engine is not impossible, the new LT376 engine and 4L75 automatic transmission are now available from your local GM parts department. The engine is a throwback to pre-emissions days, armed with a lopey camshaft and CNC ported heads. The complete engine is part number 19355378, and it was developed in the Gen 6 COPO Camaro we mentioned yesterday. The compression ratio is a wild 11.5, which would be unstoppable on race fuel. A pre-calibrated computer controls both engine and transmission, along with outputs for dual cooling fans and A/C clutch control. The new LT1 Hot Cam is a split pattern grind with acres of overlap. It has a few degrees of advancement for stump-pulling torque on the low end while delivering constant power to a screaming 6,800 rpm. With such a potent top-end this setup begs for long tube headers, but the EPA would end that party in a hurry.
As for the vintage Chevelle, it has new brakes from the latest Camaro SS and air ride suspension. An interior of Adrenaline Red is a nice contrast to the murdered-out paint scheme. If you enjoy Chevrolet’s extensive lineup of LS and LT crate engines, you should be happy. With all the press being directed at the newest engine, prices for junkyard LS swaps will become even more affordable. We always keep a few dozen Chevelles around if you have an itch for a new build, so check out the listings below and stay with us for more SEMA coverage.