This month, we wanted to show you how Primo Restorations in Rancho Cucamonga, California, bought a clean ’92 Chevy Camaro, pulled out the engine (and transmission), and swapped it into an American classic. The 355-c.i.d. engine was painted to match and hooked up with several accessories that got the ‘57 Chevy Bel Air rolling like a modern day custom.
The engine swap is one of the classic build techniques that we’ve been telling you about in past issues of . With our new Lowrider Garage, we want to give you all of the options that are available when you build your own car. This donor car was bought for around $600 and after the engine and transmission were pulled out, the car was sent to the junkyard for $175, bringing the engine in at $425.
We normally don’t like to suggest this method for an engine swap, but this engine was strong and the Camaro that was used had been in a small fender bender and the shop knew that the car was destined to be a donor vehicle. The engine was given several upgrades, including roller lifters and double timing chain. A comparable engine would have cost around $2,500 to start with.
After ordering a few parts, the engine was ready to be built. Once completed, this engine came in at under $5,000, making this engine swap the modern day budget build that we’ve been taking about. Now follow along as Primo Restorations assembles and drops this newer engine into an American classic.