Enter the LT4 crate engine. Power comes on fast: a 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger spins at 20,000 rpm to force 9 pounds of boost into this 6.2-liter engine. That results in the same 650 horsepower and 650 torques you’ll find in the Z06 that’s sitting over at your local dealership, but for a fraction of the price.
The single engine option after the 2008 model year is a 3.5L V6 that delivers 266 hp and 245 lb-ft of torque. The engine is always paired to a six-speed automatic. The combo offers middle-of-the-road fuel economy of 20 mpg combined. Where the Toyota Sienna stands out among used minivans is the available all-wheel drive system. This is a great option for buyers who must contend with a lot of snow and ice.
The modern equivalent of that engine is GM’s ZZ427 crate motor. It stays true to the cast-iron block of its forefather, but runs pump-gas-friendly 10.0:1 compression, sports aluminum heads and an all-forged rotating assembly.
Another party trick of the 488 is its ability to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum (LPG) in addition to regular pump gasoline. That’s thanks to the stainless valves and hardened valve seats. A forged crank, rods, pistons, full-length cooling jackets, and cast-iron head and block ensure maximum durability and longevity even in high-stress situations. Just add your choice of intake manifold, carb, and all the regular bolt-ons we talked about earlier, and you’re good to go.
This is why you should be equipped with recovery gear. Tow and/or ratchet straps can come in handy in countless ways and you should always have a full size spare. These also stow away easily so they don’t take up much space or make a mess of your interior. When it comes to changing that spare, you may also have to look at a jack that can overcome your increased ride height.
Check out this article where the Hot Rod staff weathers a ZZ427 to look like a 40-years-used L88. And if you have 12 minutes, let Tim Allen and Jay Leno walk you through the best of both worlds: a 1968 Camaro COPO clone with a modern 427 at its heart.
Stoppe’s shop could further customize a Baja with a large selection of optional parts. Roll cages, winches, and off-road lights were popular, as were suspension upgrades. The Baja cost almost $2,000 more than the standard Bronco, which was big cash back in the day; its high price limited sales. While not a huge seller (only 650 were produced) this is one of the coolest old Ford trucks on our list.
The alternative is to either rebuild an old engine yourself, have an engine builder do it for you, or buy a custom-made engine directly from an engine builder. Each of these options has a fair share of hurdles, and often it’s cheaper to order a crate engine than it is to go those other ways.