Camaros, Firebirds, Chevelles, trucks and even Mustang LS swaps are basically commonplace today. Once seen as “insanity” or unusual, or even over-the-tops, is almost passe’ in 2022. However, what if you want to power something with that engine platform, but want to wrap it in a body that most aren’t used to seeing?
At this point, it’s largely impossible to drop an LS-series engine into a vehicle that has isn’t already powered by one, or has received one as a transplant. So what’s one too do? Pick a car that you would think has been done a million times already, but oddly enough, hasn’t; an ’80s Cadillac C-body. In case you’re unfamiliar, this would be categorized as any ‘late-70s/mid-’80s Cadillac Coupe DeVille and Fleetwood. Similar to the B-body Caprices and Impalas in size, they’re large, comfortable, rear-wheel drive and can swallow just about anything under the hood.
For this ’83 Coupe DeVille, it had to be an LS. But not just any ol’ LS, this isn’t a junkyard Tahoe 5.3L, this is a World Products 427ci. Warhawk crate engine! Owned by American Powertrain‘s Matt Graves, it’s backed by a TREMEC 6-speed (obviously) for those back country road blasts around the corners. It’s lowered on QA1 B-body suspension, and equipped with Baer Brakes.
Back under the hood, is a Holley EFI Terminator X, 1000CFM throttle body, accessory drive, split-race manifold, 48-lb injectors, and much more. A Frostbite radiator to keep things cool, and a complete Holley/Hooker exhaust system. Dubbed the Chicken Coop, the ultimate goal is to turn it into a homage to the ’77 Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am; complete with black paint, gold pinstripes, hood bird and gold snowflake wheels.
Honestly, we dig the way it’s looking now with the patina, but hey, we love Smokey and the Bandit just a little bit more. We’re looking forward to it.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.