While there are plenty of cars that have a following comparable to the cars that made the LS1 popular, there are not many engines with quite the fan base of the LS1. It is not at all surprising that LS swaps have become as popular as they have. Chevy’s Gen-III small blocks are known for being able to put out and handle a ton of power from the factory and there is plenty of aftermarket support for them as well. Additionally, most of those aftermarket parts cannot be used in the cars that debuted the engines either which leads back to the engine swap. Celebrating everything LS, Holley’s LS Fest is a major event where professional car builders, DIYers, and enthusiasts can get together and admire the beauty of the LS engine and see how others are pushing the limits of GMs Gen III powerhouse.
Some of the more expected vehicles to make appearances at LS Fest include F-Bodys of all generations, Corvettes, nearly any muscle car from the 1960s or 1970s, or even a few trucks but a Datsun 510 was probably not on anyone’s list. However that is exactly what attendee Marcus Fry showed up with. This LS powered Datsun started off as a media blasted 510 shell covered in rust and vegetation growing through the floor pans.
After fixing the body issues, Fry built an LS3 with a relatively small cam and topped it with a Hilborn intake manifold. Admittedly, the 12-inch 8-stack intake is a bit too much for the engine as it is currently set up, but it is still enough to rocket the 50 year old Datsun through the autocross track and down the quarter-mile track in an astonishingly quick amount of time. Other modifications to the car include massive amounts of weight reduction and the relocation of accessories to aid in weight distribution. Holley’s HP ECU is currently being used to control the powerplant. It has been on the car for the past three years without issue and, according to Fry, makes the car very easy to tune.
Elizabeth is hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!