GM PERFORMANCE PARTS' E-ROD 5.3L CRATE ENGINE DEBUTS IN A CUSTOM '55 CHEVY PICKUP
LAS VEGAS – Dave Ross, the GM designer who conceptualized the E-ROD '55 Chevy that debuted at the 2009 SEMA Show, revisited 1955 as the inspiration for a new project that would blend modern driveability and efficiency with classic looks. And rather than a car, he went with the capability of a truck. The result is the E-ROD '55 Chevy Pickup and it introduces the new E-ROD 5.3L crate engine package (part number 19258004).
The truck weaves together its vintage design and the new E-ROD 5.3L and combines them on the chassis of a late-model Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS. The Chevrolet 3100 Series body is from Dynacorn Classic Bodies Inc. (www.dynacorn.com), which is a new GM Official Licensed Product that is available from GM Restoration Parts (www.gmrestorationparts.com).
"A couple of years ago, you never would have used the words 'environmentally conscious' and 'hot rod' in the same sentence, but that was before E-ROD," said Ross. "This truck is perfect for cruising in style and it doesn't sacrifice any of the great driveability traits people are used to in modern vehicles. It also has the emissions efficiency of a modern vehicle."
The Dynacorn body comes with a unique vehicle identification number, qualifying it to be considered a "special-construction" vehicle, depending upon state and local requirements for registration. GMPP engineers are working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a process to have E-ROD systems, including the E-ROD 5.3L, approved for specially constructed vehicles in California. For these aftermarket applications, GMPP expects a California Executive Order for the E-ROD 5.3L will be forthcoming in early 2011. That would allow the engine system to be installed in original, older vehicles, with vehicle identification numbers earlier than 1996.
Like some other elements of the truck, the E-ROD 5.3L is linked to modern Chevy trucks, and is similar to engines offered in the 2010 Silverado lineup. It is rated at 315 horsepower and 335 lb.-ft. of torque; and it features camshaft phasing. That technology actively advances or retards the camshaft timing to optimize power, efficiency and emissions across the entire rpm band.
With an aluminum engine block and other proven LS-family engine features, the E-ROD 5.3L is the most affordable E-ROD engine system. It carries an MSRP of $7,150, but most enthusiasts should be able to find the engine at a street price of around $6,000 through the dealers offering it on www.gmperformanceparts.com. At the site, customers can search and compare prices with GMPP dealers across the country.
The engine is matched in the classic truck with GMPP's 4L65-E electronic automatic transmission (part number 19156260), which is controlled by the new GMPP SuperMatic Transmission Controller (part number 19244043).
Although the '55 E-ROD Pickup is clearly a classic Chevy when viewed from any angle, design manager Dave Ross incorporated a number of subtle custom touches, including a custom grille, hidden fuel door and smoothed trim. It wears a custom green exterior color mixed by Wanda Paint.
"It's a truck that everyone will recognize, but the more you look at it, the more you see the differences," said Ross. "It's a great body style for customization and personalization – a trait shared with the modern Silverado, too."
Central to the project's success was basing it on the GM Official Licensed Products Dynacorn truck cab and other body parts. It is based on the exact dimensions of the original 1955 body, with production tools and manufacturing methods similar to those used more than 55 years ago. Additional GM Offical Licensed Restoration Parts were supplied by Classic Industries, while C.A.R.S. Inc. contributed a custom interior. Many of the restoration parts are available at www.gmrestorationparts.com.