Car hacks / Mods

1974 Corvette Gets a 55 MPG TDI Conversion

1974 Corvette Gets a 55 MPG TDI Conversion

tdi-vette-1By the mid 1970s, American cars had taken a serious performance and quality nosedive. One the lowlights of that era was the C3 Corvette, which lasted far too long, from 1969 to 1982 as an overweight, underpowered reminder of what America lost. Even today, C3 Corvettes can be had for pennies compared to more desirable models.

You know what makes a car like the 1974 Chevy Corvette better? A Volkswagen TDI engine. Up on Craigslist is a combination Corvette and Volkswagen TDI drivetrain that delivers a supposed 55 MPG and about 120 horsepower. It may not sound like much, but consider that a 1975 base-model Corvette only came with 165 horsepower from a 350 cubic-inch gas V8, and suddenly that TDI engine doesn’t sound half bad. A 1968 Camaro owner had a similar thought, though his conversion was arguably much better done.

Backed by a 5-speed Toyota truck transmission, the building claims the conversion cost him about $6,000, which is naturally his asking price. And if this ‘Vette wasn’t missing various components, like the rocker panels and dashboard, I’d almost say it was worth it.

Are TDI engine swaps into muscle cars a thing now?

tdi-vette-2 tdi-vette-3

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A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.