The Chevy Corvette has carved itself a prominent position in the annals of Americana, a drivable legend that has inspired multiple generations with its sleek looks and high performance. Many an engine swap has been performed on these Corvettes, often going for big cubic inches and forced induction to find the torque and horsepower desired by the owner. But some people like to be different.
Like, really different.
Though this information is nearly as old as the Internet itself, we’ve stumbled across some data and a couple of videos of a turbodiesel C3 Corvette that gets up to 46 MPG and has 520 ft-lbs of torque on tap.
We rediscovered this Corvette on the DieselPages, where the owner, Canadian resident Buzz Bradley, talks about dropping a 6.5 liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 engine into his 1977 Corvette. Buzz claims no body or chassis modifications were necessary to perform the swap, though he did have to reduce the depth of the oil pan due to ground clearance issues. Initially he went with a 6.2 liter non-turbo, afraid what the heat from the turbo would do to the Vette’s fiberglass body.
But after fabbing up the heat shield he dropped in a GM 6.5 liter turbodiesel motor, often found in fullsize Chevy trucks. The big oil burner has 195 horsepower and a whooping 520 ft-lbs of torque on tap – a lot more than that era Corvette ever came with and more torque than any modern ‘Vette except the ZR1. Admittedly, it is kind of off-putting to hear a Corvette that sounds like a semi-truck, but Buzz claims his Corvette doesn’t lack for power.
It’s a cool take on a classic Corvette, and makes us wonder what other kinds of diesel engines we can cram under the hood of a Corvette…