Oddball projects that I think would be fun

Today’s post kind of follows from yesterdays.  Today I am going to talk about oddball projects that I think would be fun. By that I mean projects that are outside the normal engine swaps etc.

While I like seeing classic cars with original engines, or modern engine swaps, I also like seeing something different.  Either cars you don’t usually see, or engines that you don’t normally see.

Yesterday I talked about modifying the six cylinders from the muscle car era.  There is another classic six cylinder that I think would be fun to work with.  That is the GMC 60 degree V6 that was produced from 1960 through 1978.

While there were many versions produced, I think just the 305 and 351 V6’s were used in light duty trucks.  The largest was 478 cubic inches.  The highest horsepower ratings for the 478 was 254 HP, and 442 lb-ft of torque, at just 1,400 RPM.  So not exactly a high RPM screamer, but I think the larger engines would bolt right in taking the place of a 205 or 351 in a GMC pickup.

Sure, it wouldn’t be rocket fast, but when is the last time you have seen a GMC V6 engine?

And if that isn’t enough, there was also the GMC twin-six which was basically two 351 blocks made as one with 702 cubic inches.  Only 250 HP, but 585 lb-ft of torque.  Too bad it wouldn’t fit under the hood of most vehicles.


Another fun one would be an old International pickup with an International V8 in it.  The 392 was another truck motor, so it was a lot of torque at low RPM, and not a lot for horsepower.  But low end torque makes an engine seem faster than it is.  Plus the old International trucks are just cool.


How about a diesel powered idea?  For some reason, I have a fascination with the two stroke GMC diesels.  While the 71 series are too large for a light duty truck, the 53 series isn’t.  While the 53 series was made as a 1,2,3,4,6 and 8 cylinder, the 4 cylinder is about as large as you can go in a 3/4 or 1 ton truck before you start having to do some major beefing up on the front end to survive.  They are a heavy duty diesel, with the weight to match.  But they have an awesome sound, and are pretty close to indestructible as long as you treat them right.


And on the Detroit Diesel theme, I like the M35a2 Deuce and a half military trucks.  I think it would be fun to swap a two stroke Detroit into one.

One last idea, this time closer to regular, is to take the engine, transmission and suspension from a Toronado or Eldorado (the FWD ones) and put it into the back of a pickup.  That way you get a mid engine vehicle with a big trunk up front.  Or you could put one engine in front, and the other in back, and basically end up with a version of this:


Minus the blowers, and with modern tires, it would be fun, and a lot less likely to try to kill you.  Or maybe that is just me.

How about you, anyone else have any unique project ideas?


Oddball projects that I think would be fun — 2 Comments

  1. Currently working on a 1978 Moskvitch 412, which I’m converting from a 4-door saloon to a 2-door coupé. This is more than a matter of welding the rear doors shut ; the front doors are about 30% longer than originally and the B-pillars have been moved back. The rear panels and taillights come from a Moskvitch 408 I owned for a total of less than 3 hours. I may also lower the roof and increase the angle of the windscreen. Lots of welding.

    The car will have a more powerful motor ; 1.7l version of the UZAM-412, with a mild racing cam, Volga pistons and valves, a ported, polished and gas-flowed cylinder head, dual DCOE 45 Webers and a tubular extractor (I may make an EFI Turbo cylinder head later) and either a VAZ or Ford Sierra 5-speed manual transmission.

    I trust this qualifies as “unique”.

    • Yes, that does sound unique, and fun. I like doing things differently. And ending up with something that is completely yours when you are done is a great feeling.

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