Video: First Start of LS3 Powered ’64 Corvette

There’s just something about a classic performance car with modern technology. Even though Jerry Popejoy considers himself an old-school hot rodder, he whole heartedly agrees with us on this point. We recently found this video on YouTube of the first start of Popejoy’s LS3 swapped 1964 Corvette convertible at Auto Specialties of LaFayette, and wanted to know more about this impressive project in progress.

Popejoy's C2 rides on a modern suspension from SRIII that uses C4 and C5 components.

Popejoy tells us that he’s owned the car for just over four years, and has been steadily working to transform it from a basket case into the beauty he has always envisioned. “When I bought the car it was just a shell,” he tells us. “I really wanted to build something that I could use as a cruiser and show car, but definitely not a trailer queen. I want it to be a driver.”

The Corvette rides on a fully independent front and rear suspension from SRIII, which utilizes late-model Vette control arms, coilovers, and a C4 Dana rear end. The C2 will be rolling on a set of C5 wheels with 245/45/17 and 275/40/18 Michelin Pilot sport tires, and brought to a stop with a big brake kit from SSBC.

The LS 376/480 Crate Engine from Chevrolet Performance is essentially an LS3 with a Hot Cam. Power output is 480 versus the stock LS3's 426.

For the powertrain, there was really only one option for Popejoy. “For power and drivabilty, LS engines are just the way to go,” he tells us. To that end, an LS 376/480 crate motor from Chevrolet Performance was the perfect choice. This mill is based on the LS3, but Chevrolet stabs in one of their Hot Cams before sending it out the door. Even though the Hot Cam is pretty mild by most of our readers’ standards (.525 lift, 219°/228° duration) it bumps the LS3’s output up by 54 horsepower and still maintains its street manners.

Popejoy tells us that now that the car is up and running, it will next be headed to the body shop. We’ll definitely be checking back on this awesome C2 and getting some pics for you of the finished product. Stay tuned!        

About the author

Clifton Klaverweiden

Clifton has been a car fanatic since his late teens, when he started the restoration of his '67 Camaro. He considers himself a student of automotive science and technology, and particularly loves all things LSX. And, although he has an appreciation for everything, from imports to exotics, his true passion will always be for GM musclecars.
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