Project Smokeyvette? Sign us up!
Every gearhead in the world has been part of numerous “what-if” discussions, where the “this is what I’d build if I had the money/time/know-how/tools/garage space/uncomplaining wife/etc” car is conceived, bought, rebuilt, raced, and shown all in the same conversation. It’s a time-honored tradition for hot-rodders, and has resulted in some beautiful works of automotive art. Then there’s the flip-side, the cars that are built for a utilitarian purpose – an old GMC box truck converted into a race-car hauler, diesel trucks converted to run on biodiesel, etc.
It’s in the diesel vein that we bring you today’s find. While this car doesn’t really exist (at least not that we could find) it is an intriguing idea if you’re not the TDI kind of guy. Tim Odell over on the eBay Motors Blog recently came up with the idea of taking an eBay-sourced C3 ‘Vette and sticking a 6.2 or 6.5 GMC diesel into it to use for a commuter car in Southern California. He picked through the available C3’s that could be had for a decent price on eBay motors, discovering that Corvettes of this era in “repairable” condition can be purchased for under two grand if one is willing to forgive exterior appearance. In addition, a GMC workvan with a 6.5 diesel could also be had for under two grand.
The writer has scienced out every part of the project down to the choice of a 4L80E overdrive transmission with controller, projected gear ratio, and tire size. It would take some finagling to build up a set of motor mounts, a transmission crossmember, and a custom driveshaft, but none of these tasks is above the heads of many enterprising hotrodders.
Sure, diesel costs a little bit more (or it did, before California’s recent gouge-fest kicked in) but the MPG goes way, way up . In any case, the the cool factor instantly outweighs any negatives. eBay’s Odell has proposed the challenge of building this car – anyone up for it?