Swap Insanity: 454 LSX Engine – In A ’96 Honda Civic!

civic2We’ve seen the LSX engine swapped into hundreds of Mustangs and other traditional hot rods, and even quite a few different rear-wheel-drive imports, like the Nissan 240SX and 350Z, 3-series BMW coupes and sedans, Subaru BRZ, and even the odd Porsche 911 here and there.

But this is something radically different – a rear-wheel-drive converted 1996 Honda Civic. Now, before you go and condemn the owner, step back a moment and appreciate this as a traditional hot rod.

Back in the day before you could sign a check and have someone build you a car, you had to work with the limitations of what you could do yourself, and engine swaps from Chevy to Ford were much more common. Just think of all the ’32 Fords you’ve seen at the local car show sporting a small-block Chevy powerplant stuffed between the fenders – they were built because the cost of the engine was reasonable, but the owner wanted the Ford-based car. It’s no different in this situation; the owner had the car, and had the remains of a wrecked Corvette, so why not marry the two and see what happens?

civic3The owner said, “My dad bought me this car when I was 16 to drive to school, and I’m 27 now. I had a hunch one day, got a wrecked Corvette and decided to build a street car that I could hit a quarter-mile dragstrip and break some records with. I stripped the unibody and firewall out of it, and used the front subframe out of a Z06 Corvette.” The car has also had a complete rollcage installed for safety.

There is a ProCharger on the way; the engine currently wears a F.A.S.T. manifold and throttle body to go with the Holley Dominator EFI system and a bunch of other go-fast parts including an 800-horse nitrous system. The car has been stretched three inches to match the actual wheelbase of the Corvette, and the torque tube and transmission are pulled straight from the wrecked Z06.

Don’t think that this is just a backyard build – the owner seems to have a pretty good handle on what he’s planning for the future. He’s nine months into the build with another three months planned for work before the car will be ready to roll. The plan is to make 2,000 horsepower, and we can’t wait to see this thing on the track. There is a ton of work that’s been done to this car – check out the video!

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws upon nearly 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry. Collaborating with many of the industry's movers and shakers assists him in the creation of compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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