General Motors is taking a flock of new Chevrolet-branded crate engines to the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas next month, packed under the hoods of a few very-cool vintage Chevrolet automobiles. The undisputed coolest of them all can be seen above: a 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna with the bowtie brand’s supercharged, 6.2-liter LT5 V8 engine.
Now, we know what you’re probably thinking: Dropping a 755-horsepower V8 into a car the Chevelle’s age sounds like a recipe for instant loss of control. You might be right about that, but at the very least, it’d be one heck of a ride leading up to your inevitable crash.
And lest you go thinking that Chevrolet is entirely reckless, the 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna SEMA build has been fitted with a modified suspension to help it cope with the LT5’s superfluous levels of thrust, although the details of that suspension are currently unknown. The car also rolls on a non-original set of deep, 18-inch wheels, providing far more of a contact patch at each corner to help maintain a grip on the driving surface.
Along with its 755 horsepower, Chevrolet’s supercharged LT5 V8 produces as much as 715 lb-ft at its peak, helping launch the all-new, 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 to 60 mph in about three seconds. The engine is a bolstered version of the 650-horsepower LT4 that debuted in the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, with a bigger blower, bigger throttle body, stronger crankshaft, and reworked fuel-injection.
The LT5’s advanced features stand in contrast with the old-school, analog Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna. Introduced for 1973, the Chevelle Laguna was the top-tier model range in the midsize Chevelle car lineup, based on the same A-Body platform as the Pontiac Tempest, Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Buick Skylark of the time. It made a name for itself in motorsport when Cale Yarborough drove a Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna to the first two of his three consecutive Winston Cup trophies, in 1976 and ’77.
Chevrolet’s LT5-powered 173 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna will appear at SEMA 2018 alongside a 1967 C/10 pickup with Chevy’s all-new, 5.7-liter ZZ6 under the hood, and a 1978 Silverado powered by a 6.0-liter L96 V8 crate engine. For more great Chevrolet SEMA news, stay tuned.