GM has been producing small-block and big-block engines for decades. Throw a few extra parts on one of these bad boys and you’ll be burning tires in no time. Before we talk about the best GM crate engines, let’s start by answering a few basic questions. Ooh, shiny. (source)
This crate engine is hand-assembled in its own special facility, presumably so as to not risk contamination by one of those plebian engines we saw earlier. Gone are the days of solid lifters and cast-iron heads this beast combines an LSX cast-iron block, LS7/Z06 aluminum heads, forged steel crank and rods, forged aluminum pistons, hydraulic roller cams, and 10.2:1 compression.
The powerplant behind them was the legendary 427 “L88”, a 450-horsepower 7-liter engine found in many other GM cars including the Corvette. But this version had high compression, required race fuel, and made an insane-for-the-time 450 horsepower.
The Stow ‘n Go seating is standard equipment in the Town & Country and there are more creature comfort options available than you will find in the Dodge Grand caravan. For buyers who really want to stick with a Dodge or Chrysler product, the Town & Country is a better offering than the Dodge. It still falls short of used minivans built by Kia, Toyota, and Honda.
They’re even saying it will beat the old ZR1’s Nurburgring lap by a full 20 seconds. And if the current GM Performance Catalog is any indicator, in a few short years you’ll be able to stuff either one of those engines into your grandma’s old woody wagon. What a time to be alive
This is the beginning of the pickup truck era for Ford, and while not the most exciting choice on our cool old ford trucks list, it was one of the first mass-produced trucks out there and helped build the foundation of the truck market we know today.
As if that wasn’t enough, GM then throws on a gargantuan 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger pushing a full 16 PSI of boost. All of that cast iron and forging means strength, and the COPO 350 can set dragstrip records day in and day out without breaking a sweat.
It’s not that we’re going in cost order here, the LS9 crate engine ranks near the top because of its insane rarity. According to GM they aren’t building any new ones, they’re just selling the leftovers from the 2009-2013 Corvette ZR1. You know, the first Corvette to ever exceed 200 miles per hour. The one that lapped the Nurburgring four seconds faster than a Nissan GT-R way back in 2009. Nevermind that this happened nearly a decade ago the 6.2-liter LS9 is still insane today.
That’s right, in the GM Performance Catalog of crate engines an 8-liter V8 is considered “small”. With max revs set at just 4500rpm, the Vortec 488 is a mill designed not to power the car you’re racing, but the truck you’re hauling it with. With 375 horsepower and 475 lb-feet of torque on tap at only 3200rpm, the 488 can tow that high-dollar enclosed trailer without breaking a sweat. Or it could pull your boat, your cattle, your neighbor’s house, or the grandstands at your local dragstrip. You get the idea.
On paper, the Toyota Sienna seems to offer everything. It is roomy and has plenty of cargo space. Unfortunately, what looks good on paper isn’t always good in real life.
With so many used minivans on the North American market today, we decided to narrow our list to the used minivans that should have an average retail value between $6,000 and $15,000 according to KBB.com and nadaguides.com. Our assessment of the quality of these used minivans is based on information from Consumer Reports, owner reviews, and professional reviews.
If any car was worthy of carrying the original ZR1’s torch, it was that one. The numbers are huge: 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft, with 90% of peak torque available from 2600 to 6000 rpm. Translation: lots of power on tap, whenever you want it.
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.