In the early 1980s, American automakers started playing around with the idea of putting diesel engines into their cars to meet increasing emissions and fuel economy standards. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the half-assed efforts of American automakers left a serious distaste for diesel cars among the car buying public. These days though, these old diesels are almost cool, in a weird sort of way.
We’re not sure what the motivation behind this 1978 Corvette with a diesel engine is, but as you can see and hear in this video, it is most definitely a diesel engine under that two-tone silver hood. Judging from appearances, it could be one of the worst diesel engines ever created, the Oldsmobile 350 diesel conversion.
The Oldsmobile 350 diesel was a half-hearted attempt to turn the standard 350 engine into a diesel motor, and, well, it was awful. But 30 years of advances in diesel technology have made these engines almost acceptable, if you know what to fix (pretty much everything). Throwing a diesel 350 into a Corvette? Well, while you won’t be going anywhere too fast, the gas mileage would probably be pretty astounding.
As for the rest of the car, there appears to be a CB radio and an abundance of gauges measuring who-knows-what. The car itself looks pretty clean, well-restored, and cared for. But that engine? if you really want a diesel Corvette, why not drop a more-modern (and powerful) Duramax diesel under the hood? Now that’d be something worth the time and effort if you ask us.