GM LS swaps have to be one of the biggest car trends there ever has been – from Miatas, to Mustangs, it seems like everything with wheels has gotten an LS dropped in it. This is especially true for old school muscle cars, and even truer when that car is a GM model.
It’s easy to see why this is such a common swap; a lot of engine bays have more than enough room to accommodate the compact sized block, that makes more power than older engines, runs more efficiently, and the performance parts aftermarket has treated the engine like their darling. That being said, it becomes a little mundane when you see an LS under the hood of a show car, but when you see a nice American-built classic that’s escaped the trend, it’s actually pretty cool.
Johnny Teunissen is the owner of a stunning 1967 Pontiac Tempest that he’s kept from having a GM LS swapped into it, on purpose. When he wanted to upgrade the powertrain under the hood of his muscular Pontiac, he instead kept it closer to the original family of engines, and lifted a 455 cubic inch engine from a 1970s Pontiac Trans Am. The swapped engine has a mild cam and 6X-8 iron cylinder heads, and Johnny estimates the engine gives the Tempest 400-horsepower, but power is not the focal point of the build.
The 455 cubic-inch engine is mated to a Turbo 400 three-speed automatic, but he does plan to update with a modern transmission, the popular 4L60E that came in a variety of cars, including the 4th-generation F-bodies. He has the kit on hand for the swap, and in addition to that, he’s already upgraded to front brakes to Wilwood disc brakes, a complete air suspension, billet steering wheels, and set of alloy wheels. This Poncho is a great marriage of old school and new school, to make one sinister looking ride!
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!