Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Chevrolet set to show off new crate engines in delicious vintage Chevy builds at SEMA 2018

1873 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna build - SEMA 2018
Photo: Chevrolet Pressroom.
If the term “crate engine” makes you think only of the “Put a 350 in it, man!” crowd, it might be time for you to take a fresh look.

While it may be true that, as Matt Farah observed during a chat with Jalopnik’s Kurt Bradley on The Smoking Tire podcast this week, a lot more people are talking on the Interwebs about doing crazy LS swaps these days than actually doing them, the Chevrolet crate engine lineup offers a considerable depth and breadth of swap-friendly options, with nearly 50 motors to choose from.

Yes, you can still get the traditional classic small block and big block GM crate engines that make enthusiasts from the Baby Boom and even Generation X cohorts smile. But the offerings also include LS, LSX, LT, Circle Track and COPO crate engines.

And now, the lineup has grown again with the addition of new crate engines that GM will showcase in Vegas later this month at SEMA 2018 (October 30–November 2), in the following vintage builds that demonstrate new options available to enthusiasts to power their projects:

1973 Chevelle Laguna with the all-new LT5 6.2L supercharged crate engine
1967 C/10 with the all-new ZZ6 EFI 5.7L V-8 crate engine
1978 Silverado with the L96 6.0L V-8 crate engine

“Chevrolet Performance’s expanding crate engine lineup offers something for every enthusiast and his or her dream project,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “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.”

Many Chevrolet Performance crate engines are offered as Connect & Cruise combinations—for the uninitiated, that’s the car world’s equivalent of the tech world’s “plug and play” concept—and emissions-legal E-ROD systems.

Connect & Cruise combos match crate engines with transmissions and the necessary controllers, while the E-ROD systems include emissions equipment that make them eligible for installation in millions of 1995-and-earlier vehicles in California.

It’s a setup that delivers a prepackaged solution to some of the most challenging aspects of making a modern powerplant work in a vintage vehicle—and it supports evolving interest in preserving more modern, “emerging classics.”

Aficionados of classic cars from the 50s through the 70s and older may lament a lack of flair and a lot of sameness in what the major automakers have produced in decades since. But the sharpening lens of time is now starting to cut through the detritus and put a clearer focus on cars from the 80s, 90s, and beyond that are well worth saving from the crusher.

Prepackaged powertrain solutions like Connect and Cruise combos will go a long way toward making it easier to sort out more technologically complex issues that come up in restoring more recent vehicles, so that fresh new takes on our understanding of what makes a classic car can continue to be integrated into the enthusiast hobby and the car show community.

To further support these needs, in addition to crate engines, Chevrolet Performance supports builders with the complementing components such as accessory drive kits, fuel and spark, and other parts that help complete an installation and get the engine running.

The performance division also offers an expanded range of transmissions, including the all-new 6L80-E six-speed automatic that’s designed for LS/LT engine swaps.

Chevy showcases their lineup of crate engines, engine parts, transmissions, and other components in the 2019 Chevrolet Performance catalog. To get your greasy hands on a copy, roll into your local Chevrolet dealer. Or you can download the catalog at

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