Choosing The Right Engine For Your Muscle Car
By Mark Weisseg
Let’s pretend you just bought this cool classic. It has a 340 V8 engine it it. Very good power for the times but now we are in the year 2017 and engine choices are limitless. What do you do?
Leave the 340 in it and be cool? Or, how about a big 383? They came with a 383 as an option. Well, if you want to go that big what about Chrysler’s famous 440 engine? You know that engine is big, heavy and fast so why not throw caution to the wind and let her rip? All the choices are good ones.
But, they are the standard choices and few will be that impressed. You know, a Viper V10 can be dropped in without too much trouble. Now that will make the car hot. But the purists will stake out your house and picket your work. They will accuse you of shameful misdeeds and try to convince you that you are in the wrong. The younger crowd will love it. They don’t know why but they will think you are the boss man. Then there is the crowd who could care less what you have under the hood.
So, what do you do? Put a slant six in there and convert it to a three speed on the steering column? So, what started out as a simple engine swap will turn into everyone has an opinion. the question should be if you want to keep your car stock original. If not, then it’s really open season what you can do. Once you start adding any OEM parts originality goes out of the window, so you might as well go the restomod route. Then anything goes.
Crate engines are a safe bet, but will cost you the most. Restoring a junkyard engine can always be hit and miss, but will cost you far less.
Essentially, the choices are endless, but the safest bet is to start with a budget and a crate engine then go from there.
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