Project JDMvette begins

Our endurance racer is starting the transformation into a one of a kind, unique vehicle that no sensible person would ever dream of creating.

After the car’s maiden voyage on the race track at Iowa Speedway, we learned a couple things. The first was that the stock 1.6 liter four cylinder engine is able to withstand 24 hours of abuse at the hands of four sleep deprived amateur racers. The second thing we learned was that the stock 1.6 liter four cylinder is only marginally faster than walking at a brisk pace as witnessed in this in car video. Check your speaker volume before starting the video, there’s a bit of wind noise.

After our team had accomplished its goal of finishing a race at Iowa, we set our sights higher. The 1.6 motor had served admirably but it just didn’t have what it took to duke it out against the myriad BMWs we were facing. We needed a different solution. After racking our brains and searching for dirt cheap cars on craigslist we came upon an idea.

We figured buying an old beat up Mitsubishi Eclipse, tearing out the engine, and stuffing it into the Chevette engine bay seemed like a good way to go. Surprisingly it fits.

Over the next few weeks I plan on documenting the engine swap and our efforts at bringing Project JDMvette to life.

4 thoughts on “Project JDMvette begins”

  1. First, Great Post!!
    We race Jalopy Endurance also, 3 Lemons, 1 Chump so far. We run the old Chevy Malibu with giant Homer Simpson head on top. I have a 76 (first year) Chevette I bought for $350 that I’m try to sell. It is complete and un-altered. I don’t want to send it to pull-a-part. Would you be interested? I’m in east Tennesse.

    My originals plans for the ‘Vette were to pull & junk the motor & trans. Install a 1.9l, all aluminum saturn dohc motor (125 hp STOCK!). Take out original 300 lb motor, install new 200 lb motor, even less weight on front end. From what I can gather, the Saturn 4 cyl engine uses the GM 60 degree bolt pattern bell housing. Apparently you can grind a 1/2″ or so off the end of the input shaft of a T5 manual transmision, from a 2.8 V6 S-10 pickup, and they will bolt right up. ‘Run the motor with either the stock Saturn computer or with a Megasquirt.

    Let me know if you’d be interested in my Chevette


    1. Stumbled on this while doing some research for my next project, a turbo Quad4 W41 powered Chevette. Last project was a 2002 Z24 Cavalier putting down 420whp out of a turbo LD9 (2.4).

      Scott, it’s a long shot, but still have that Chevette?


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