Snow Paint – Red Gut LS Swap 1980 Corvette Packs 750 Horsepower

Updated February 7, 2017

There’s a difference in sixties and eighties cars’ restoration, and even though former might seem more expensive at first thought, latter often end up in the same range. This snow white 1980 Corvette in front of us was supposed to be mildly refreshed LS swap, but ended up being a full rebuild. Terry Beaty of Cleveland, Tennessee, who already went through a few similar restorations bought it from one of his family members a few years ago, and immediately started working towards that same goal once more. Since we’re already talking about late C3 Vettes, you might also like to take a look at this low mileage barn find specimen.


Terry didn’t have to go far away in order to get his LS swap. Local LSX Power and Development, and Ryan Martin were more than happy to oblige; and more than that. In fact, only the original frame ended up being untouched, with the entire drivetrain and suspension departments are new.


At the heart of the LS swap lies BluePrint Engines’ 427 ci LS3-based stroker engine. Bottom part of this high-performing aluminum block is serviced by Callies crankshaft and connecting rods, and Diamond Racing pistons. At the top, Ryan fused it with another set of BluePrint Engines parts – LS3 cylinder heads this time. 625 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque weren’t enough for Terry, so he instructed Ryan to install a supercharger. Edelbrock E-Force unit is responsible for the additional power, together with custom Comp Cams blower. This new setup is capable of putting up 125 hp more, pushing the total output to 750 horses. Of course, it needs ideal combination of boost and fuel in order to achieve that. That is, it needs 12 psi supercharger boost and 93-octane pump gas. The rest of the drivetrain consists of Hurst shifter on TREMEC TKO-600 five-speed manual tranny, while Jimmy’s Pro Muffler in Dayton, Tennessee constructed a custom 2 1/2-inch exhaust system with MagnaFlow mufflers.


As far as the undercarriage is concerned, Ryan first lowered the car two inches using Hotchkis lowering springs. Frontal end also features Bilstein Touring shocks and Eckler’s sway bar, while rear end gets fiberglass monoleaf spring and another sway bar, together with additional Bilstein shocks. Stopping power in this 1980 Corvette comes from 12-inch Wilwood four-piston calipers which have found their way to all four corners of the car. Bridgestone Dueler H/L tires have 17-inch Boyd’s Junkyard Dog five-spoke wheels in their middle which are unsuccessfully hiding the red Wilwood calipers behind them.


Interior was furbished by Kyle Wilson at Fully Loaded Interiors. OEM-style red and white dual tone upholstery really breaks the monotony of a white 1980 Corvette painted by Bobby Ledford from Cleveland Collision Center. White and red seem to be working wonders on this car which shines even without any extra exterior parts (apart from mentioned wheels). Pretty much everything else outside has been kept intact, as Terry’s Vette is as stock as it can be with almost full rebuild. He can now finally enjoy his C3 1980 Corvette and all of its 750 horses, while we can enjoy gazing upon its blinding white surface.



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Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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