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LS-1 Power! 1968 Chevrolet Camaro

To LS or not, that often seems to be the question. Find an old Chevy of some sort, and the suggestions fly, “Put an LS in it!” Some say yea and others say nay. Well, I say “right now” because here’s a completed LS swap in the form of a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro. This conversion is located in Cedar Grove, Tennessee and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $10,000 with twenty-five bids tendered so far.

Image Courtesy of Jegs

Most of our readers know what an LS is but in the event one doesn’t, it’s a GM V8 engine that was introduced in model year 1997 to replace the aging Chevrolet small block which was introduced in model year 1955. There was a revision to the small block in ’92, and those are referred to as SB II’s but they’re basically a small block Chevy with some non-interchangeable revised parts. The LS was pretty much a clean sheet with the bore-spacing being the only commonality between itself and the SB II. Displacements have included 4.8, 5.3, 5.7, 6.0, 6.2, and 7.0 liters. There is more than one series of LS engines and there could be other displacements but these listed are the commonly found versions. The architecture is still overhead-valve, utilizing pushrods, and stock power ratings range from mild to wild.

Our Camaro subject has an LS-1, which is the original 5.7-liter version and was initially used in Camaros, Firebirds, and Corvettes. The seller states, “It starts and runs but needs the computer set. It idles high and pops when started“. And that’s the main issue with an LS, one needs an ECM to make it operational. There are plug and play units available and they can be programmed with the proper software loaded on a laptop computer. Backing up the LS is a six-speed manual transmission and a Ford 9 inch style differential. Someone was counting on doing some real hot footin’!

This ’68 Camaro is shaky looking, and that’s unfortunate as this is my favorite year! First up is the cowl induction hood, an item that only adorned the ’69 Camaro in original form and is known as option RPO ZL2. I know it’s a matter of taste but I don’t understand the desire to put one of these on every blasted model of old Chevrolet that ever existed – but yes, it’s a matter of personal choice. The seller suggests, “Car needs to be stripped and reprimed before paint. Primer is peeling“. It’s also missing all of its glass except for the quarter windows and the floors will need some patching. The sub-frame, however, is supposed to be sound.

As for the interior, there isn’t any, just a driver’s seat that badly needs to be reupholstered. There isn’t even an instrument panel, just a steering wheel and column. There is however a center console so it’s not completely naked. An entire new Camaro interior can be acquired, however, as there are several different online/catalog suppliers.

The more complicated aspects of this project have been finished as the LS swap and upgraded drivetrain are completed; now it’s the standard paint, body, and interior finishing that has to be accomplished. Not to make light of what still remains, of course, it’s a pretty significant amount of effort and expense. Looking at this project in its entirety, if some spies this car in its current state and says, “Hey put an LS in it!” the new owner can say check! already done, right?


  1. Valentine

    All true LS engines have aluminum blocks. If the block is iron it’s not an LS, it’s simply a Gen III truck V8 (as shown in the engine-only photo). GM’s definition, not mine. The engine referred to here as an “SB II” is actually the LT engine used in ‘Vettes and F-bodies; the SB2 was GM’s NASCAR engine from 1998-2006 and never saw mass production.

    Like 4
    • jerry z

      You know the the L33 that came in the Trailblazers/Envoys/Rainiers are all aluminum. So is this not a LS engine?

      Like 1
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      The stock photo image is referred to as a:
      Chevrolet Performance 19370163 LS364/450 LS Crate Engine

      Chevrolet Performance’s definition, not mine.


      Like 0
  2. Ike Onick

    Well that engine swap will cut the comments in half.

    Like 2
  3. 433jeff

    You had me at “It idles high and pops when it starts”, the Ls is a great setup and will be when the issues are ironed out of this one. For my money, i will go with 350 inches, my tool box will have an extra HEI in it as well as the 2 bolt fuel pump on the block feeding my Rochester quadrajet. For me less is more, you can set it and forget it.

    Like 4
  4. John Oliveri

    I’m so bored of LS this and LS that, car deserves a vintage motor, like a nice built 427 w a tunnel Ram, you wanna go 6 speed, hey that’s cool, it’s like today’s drivers, even truck drivers, can’t drive stick, starting to loose what classic muscle is, if you want dependable transportation, buy a nice grey on grey Camry and blend into the scenery

    Like 2
    • Pugsy

      Drive an LS or Vortec powered old car and you may change your tune. My 69 El Camino with the 5.3 Vortec runs fantastically.

      Like 1
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $12,300.

    Like 0

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