Out With the Old, In With the New – Mid-Year Gets LS7 Power

We imagine there aren’t too many daring enough to modify a $250,000 classic like Motivational’s Mike Saiki just did for his customer Terry Converse. It must take nerves of steel to work on an irreplaceable classic, especially when you’re changing the entire powertrain. The Saikis are no strangers to 60’s and 70’s Corvettes however, as they have built several for drag racing, most of which run in the single digits in the quarter mile… and that’s with Corvette independent rear suspension too.

But Terry’s car is tad more sane than a 1,000 horsepower small-tire drag ‘Vette; this ride looks like your typical high-end show-winner, but under the classy exterior is a modern LS engine and TREMEC TKO transmission that both look and function like they were right at home.

Instead of the bulky 427ci big-block the Corvette came with, Saiki replaced it with a 427ci stoker LS powerplant from Blueprint Engines. A modern gearbox with a hydraulic clutch was also added; can you imagine how tedious it must be to yank engines in and out of the ’67’s small engine slot without gouging the paint? Yikes. 

Other Features:

  • Custom side-exit exhaust mates to LS headers, yet looks factory.
  • Large-by-wide custom radiator. Runs 160-170-degree temps all day.
  • 2008 Corvette oil pan for more ground clearance.
  • Hidden electronics.
  • Custom-made cold air inlet system.

About the author

Jake Amatisto

Jake Amatisto has been a writer and photographer in the automotive industry since 2001. A drag racer at heart, Jake is an enthusiastic gear head with a never-ending thirst for knowledge about anything with an engine. Whether it's a classic hot rod, high-powered drag car, or bad-ass truck, Jake is up for it.
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