LSX-Powered C3 Corvette Is a Super Sleeper

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C3 Corvette

If you’re looking for discreet power, how about a stock-looking C3 with a brand new LSX 454 crate motor?

It’s difficult to think of any Corvette as a sleeper. After all, we’re talking about America’s sports car, a fiberglass wonder built for speed. But there was a dark period in American history when government imposed smog regulations took the fun out of everything on the road. From the early ’70s through much of the ’80s, there weren’t many cars you might call “fast.” Including later years of the C3 Corvette.

In fact, performance began to take a dive as early as 1973. With a host of underpowered V8 options to choose from, even this lightweight ride was lethargically slow by today’s standards. But on the flip side, the C3 Corvette makes a fantastic base to build an incredibly fast ride. Modern LS engines fit under the hood very nicely. Plus, everything you need to make the swap is readily available in the aftermarket.

But the owner of this C3 Corvette, which we spied over at The Collector Car Network, decided to take things a bit further. Instead of opting for the uber popular small block, he ordered up an LSX 454 crate engine. The modern, fuel-injected mill pumps out a stout 627 horsepower. Which is obviously a far cry from the 275 ponies offered up by the 1973 version of the big block.

With a beefy┬áTremec TKO 600 5-speed transmission and 4.11:1-geared rear end behind it, this C3 Corvette is undoubtedly fast. But you wouldn’t know it at first glance. The outside of this vintage ‘Vette looks pretty much as it did in 1973, minus the hood. And even though the car comes with a set of Cragar wheels, we’d leave it just as it is.


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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Corvette Forum, Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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