The promise of Gen IV small-block power netted a desire for great performance with a much more refined engine package. That led to the LS2-based, 366ci, all-aluminum engine. The guys at Wheel to Wheel Powertrain in the Detroit suburb of Madison Heights, Michigan, worked their magic, eventually squeezing more than 500 hp out of this Gen IV motor. That's as close to the actual horsepower number as Todd was willing to admit. "There are a bunch of guys around this area in Wisconsin who stay up at night trying to figure out how much horsepower we make, and I'd just as soon keep them guessing." We'll give you a hint-it's a lot more than 500.
The LS2 swap went even easier when AutoKraft added its custom aluminum oil pan swap that works in conjunction with the billet motor-mount kit for both GM A- and F-body musclecars. With the motor firmly in place, AutoKraft worked with Hooker Headers and got the very first set of LS1 Hooker A-body engine-swap headers that look like they belong on this car. This made the entire LS2 swap almost pain free. Todd then added the 4L60E automatic overdrive with the plan that both the engine and the trans would be controlled by the same Big Stuff 3 computer. This integrates control of the entire powertrain in one box.
In classic car crafter style, Kurt, Todd, and the rest of the AutoKraft gang finished the car just before the Car Craft Summer Nationals in St. Paul. "We didn't even have two miles on it when we showed up at the Nationals," Todd says. Of course, the CC staff (both of us!) jumped on the car immediately, and the rest is photographic history. It's clear that Todd long ago drank freely of the musclecar nectar to become a Buick true believer. So much so that he's turned his fervor into an Internet business, as the owner of diecastmusclecars.com, where you can find a plethora of 11/418-scale cars of all descriptions. If you want even more information on his GSX along with a ream of buildup photos, you can find them on the Web site.
If nothing else, Todd's GSX retrofit forward is on the leading edge of a wave of Gen III and Gen IV engine swaps that is about to engulf the performance scene. As the Doobie Brothers once put it, "What were once vices are now habits." What's in your engine compartment?