1957 Chevy Classic - Updating A Classic

LT1 In A Shoebox. This Owner Saved The Best Swap For Last!

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Tom Stotts of Mena, Arkansas, acquired his '57 Chevy in 1971. He was a senior in high school at Loveland, Colorado. Like most Shoebox enthusiasts of the time, performance was the first thing on his mind. Out came the original 283ci and three-speed combination. The original engine was bored to 301 ci and assembled with all the right stuff for a respectable street machine. Reinstalled with a four-speed and a 4.56:1 differential, it was good to go.

Over the next several years the car went through many transformations from 327 ci to 350s, four-speed to Turbo 400 and gears ranging from 3.08s to 5.36s. It had new paint on three occasions and interior twice. The last drivetrain was a 350/400 combination with 3.08 gears. The best mileage Tom could attain was a meager 10-12 mpg. It was time for a major change.

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Tom was already leaning toward fuel injection when he made a visit to Street and Performance of Mena. After a tour of the plant and a good look at the LT1, Tom's mind was made up. He had to have one!

A new crate motor and transmission would not fit Tom's budget, but a used one would.

Mark Campbell of Street & Performance supplied a low-mileage LT1/460E combination out of a '94 Corvette and the fun began.

Tom enlisted the aid of Archie Speer, owner of Hot Rod Assembly Line, to transplant the new powertrain.

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The Side Motor Mount Kit from Street & Performance bolts in, no welding is necessary. The mounts are positioned, drilled, and tapped directly through the frame crossmember. Then, they are bolted into place. By locating motor mounts & power steering first, we can clean, paint, and detail the entire engine compartment.

The spare tire hole was removed and a large Rock Valley fuel tank, with internal high-pressure fuel pump was installed.

With approximately 22 gallons of gas Tom should be able to cruise all day without stopping for anything but fun. The fuel is transported by stainless steel lines by Tube Tec of Mena. Power steering was added using a 605 gearbox, and Lokar accessories round out the cabin and engine compartment.

This beauty has front disc brakes, Dakota Digital gauges, Air conditioning, music from Custom Autosound, and a Griffin radiator.

The stock frame and suspension rides very well on four P245/60R14 BFG TAs wrapped around classic Crager SSs. Custom interior and a fresh coat of Black Cherry and white pearlcoats complement the striking brightwork which has all been polished, rechromed, or replaced.

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