Engine swaps are common; seeking more ponies than what your stock motor can muster is nothing new. Back when compact cars were rear wheel drie, we saw four cylinder engines replaced with V8 power. Full size cars typically got a bigger V8.
But what happens when you swap a V8 with a diesel? Unheard of, right? Who would think to put a diesel engine into a classic car like a Chevelle? Mike Racke would, he’s the owner of this insane 1970 Chevelle.
Different is an understatement for this engine swap. At first glance, it’s a nice looking Chevelle with mile-wide meats under it. Pop the hood and it looks like another chromed out, twin turbo big block. Closer inspection and you start seeing more tubing and piping than a typical turbocharged engine.
If it looks a bit more like a 6.6L Duramax Diesel, like you might find in a Hummer H1, then you’re absolutely right. That’s where the idea first hit Mike after a ride in a friend’s H1. Mike was impressed with the power and the rest, as they say, is history.
While a Duramax Diesel might seem like an unlikely choice in power plants for a classic muscle car, maybe these numbers will make it sound a little more interesting. This diesel is pumping out 950 horsepower at 30 psi of boost. Torque is at 1,700 lb/ft, and it gets an incredible 32 mpg.
Mike doesn’t plan on stopping there, either. Future plans are to upgrade the nitrous to try to reach 1,200 horsepower and 1,900 lb/ft of torque. Currently, it’s not much of a chore to get this Chevelle to paint fat black rubber stripes on the pavement when he lights it up.