Friday, October 31, 2008

Project Proposal: Diesel Disco Vette



As my screen name might suggest, I have some experience with the world of science and research. Funny thing about research: you can't sell it. Well, not in the traditional sense. With a normal good or service, the buyer pays upon delivery of the good or service. In the case of research, it's really the opposite. They pay you...and you get back to them with a report or something eventually.

And so is launched what might be an ongoing series I call "Project Proposal". Essentially, I'm selling you on my cockamamie schemes. Not like I think someone's going to fund me with a Project Car Hell Grant, but more because my wife wants me to stop sending her this stuff on IM while we're both at work.

That said...here we go...



My current (and for the foreseeable future) commute is a 45 mile (one way) dash against traffic from northeast LA to sprawltastic Santa Clarita, CA (ever been to Magic Mountain?). The '06 WRXagon is a fine steed, but I'd really love something more optimized for commuting, you know?

Thus I propose one of many Super Commuter Projects: the Diesel Disco Vette.

The C3 Corvette served as an unfortunate bridge for GM's premier sports car. Form the 425HP ZR-2 of 1970, it fell to the Malaise-o-riffic high 100s HP by the late 70s, the years most associated with the car in this author's mind.

With little in the way of prestige to be lost, I propose to swap a 6.2 or 6.5L GM diesel into a pre-smog (gotta love Kali-fuorneeya) C3 vette. As Saint Wiki will tell you, the Detroit Diesel engines were designed for economy, not power. Knowing these engines can return mid-20 MPG in the Blazers or military CUCVs of the day, I've no doubt it could deliver mid-30s MPG in something as light and pointy as a Vette.

...and it can all be had at bargain prices! Here's a project-special C3 with a (reserve no met) price of a little over 3 grand. It'll probably go for about 5, but I've seen rougher examples go for much less. Complete reman GM diesels can be had for a little more here. Thrown an NV4500 manual in there, and I figure you're cruising in oil-burning style for around 15 grand.

Oh, and then there's that whole biodiesel thing...

I could think of nothing better than to show up at a Corvette meet with a clattering, smoke-belching C3 with a matte green paint job, smelling of french-fries.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

so i dont think the engine will fault you, but how about the rest of the car?

your suooby is has new parts all around where as the 70s vett can fail anyplace besides the engine tranny.

getting stuck in the number one lane shoulder is no fun 20 miles from work or home.