Full MonteLS-swapped LS. Confused yet? Don’t be. Back in the ’80s, “LS” stood for the trim level package on many cars, including the Monte Carlo. This 1987 example is just so equipped, and while it had “Luxury Sport” stamped on it from the Flint, Michigan assembly line, it was anything but to current owner Jarrod Lucas. Out came the lowly 4.3L V6, and in went a 5.7L LS1 with a modified 5.3L truck intake and Pace Setter headers. The PCM received some work, and the mill is now putting out 340 hp to the tires – not bad. The column-shifted slushbox was swapped for something a bit more interested as well; a T-56 6-speed, backed by a 12-bolt sourced from a ’65 Chevelle stuffed with 4.11 gears. Jarrod prides himself in the fact that he and his father did pretty much everything themselves on this car; including the paint, the drivetrain swap, and even fabricated their own engine mounts, crossmember, and A/C lines. Jarrod also had to modify the aforementioned Pace Setters to work with the G-body platform, since they currently don’t offer LS-swap headers for G-bodies. He also swapped on a set of GM ZQ8 wheels, tinted the windows, and updated it further with 21st century Monte emblems, daytime running lamps, and get this – cup holders, something the factory overlooked back in the ’80s.
Perfect FormulaLooks can be deceiving, and Elizabeth Puckett’s ’98 Firebird Formula is just such a case. Although many may mistake it for a garden variety 6-shooter; this car is anything but. Under the hood, you’ll find the heart of a C5 Corvette; the venerable 5.7L LS1. Installed in the Ste. Therese factory brand new, this car left the assembly with a heavily underrated 305 hp. The original owner left it bone stock until 2004, when it was sold to a more enthusiastic owner, who installed a bunch of bolt-ons; a more aggressive camshaft, and a high stall converter behind the stock 4L60E. However, current owner Elizabeth swapped the slushbox for a T-56, installed a Magic Stick V3 cam, ported PRC Stage 3 heads, a Monster Stage 2 clutch, an LS6 intake, ported TB, long-tube headers, ORYP, and a Magnaflow catback. Elizabeth goes on telling us about the massive amount of weight she has taken out of the thing, hinting that it’s a lightweight all-rounder that surprises many unsuspecting competitors wherever she goes.
Slick SonomaIt’s not everyday you see a ’97 GMC Sonoma with an LS under it’s hood. Granted, S-10s are getting pretty common, but the Sonoma is the Chevy’s GMC sister, and it rarely gets as much love. Enter Brad, and his example. After owning it for ten years, he pulled the original boat anchor engine for a something a bit ore spicy; namely a ’99-spec LS1 with forged pistons and rods, a COMP LSR camshaft, Edelbrock Pro-Flo XT intake, FAST 90mm throttle body, and a pair of PRC Stage 2.5 cylinder heads. The fumes are expelled courtesy of Stainless Works long-tube headers and a Magnaflow muffler. The result is a very respectable 448 rwhp. Brad shifts his truck through a T-56 that sends the power to the 8.5-inch rearend. If you think this is just a pickup with some power that can only go fast in a straight line, you better get your facts straight; Brad built this truck to take on the twisties. It sits in 18x9.5-inch wheels wrapped in Nitto 275/35/18 rubber at all four corners, and relies on C5 Corvette front brakes with larger Blazer rear discs out back. Brad has since taken 2nd place in the autocross challenge at the 2013 Holley LS Fest. It’s truly an example of doing a lot with very little.
LS MafiaMitchell Taylor is becoming quite famous in the world of Facebook. Being the owner of the LS Mafia Facebook fan page and growing garment business, it’s becoming a well-known fact that he has quite the GTO in his garage, too. Not exactly bone stock, it’s pumping out 435 hp and 418 lb-ft to the rear tires, thanks to a full array of bolt-ons, including a FAST 102mm intake, Mantic clutch, a few suspension tweaks courtesy of BMR, and a completely upgraded exhaust system. Throw a Lunati VooDoo bumpstick in for good measure and what you have is a Goat that will easily dip into the 11s with enough practice. Mitchell gives props to KY Speed for all of their efforts in making this GTO truly unique, and he plans on swapping out the mild LS2 for a 454 LSX at some point, so things are just getting good.
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