The early British sports cars of the 40s, 50s, and 60s (some lingering into the 70s) were true classics and introduced the affordable sportscar to the world.
But they were also abominably underpowered. Some of the engines used by British manufacturers in these sportscars were literally tractor engines, and some even dated back into the 30s. And then there were the endless issues with the electronics… terrible, and a stiff upper lip will only get you so far.
So what do you do when you love the car but not the engine? Replace it all, from start to finish.
We’ve seen swappers mash together bizarre Frankensteins of weird cars with engines that were never offered – and most often that nobody would think would even fit. That’s how engine swap enthusiasts think. So here’s a Chevy V-8 that in “normal” swaps would probably end up in a Silvia or a Miata. But not in this case… it’s a Frankenstein swap into a TR5. A unique TR5 – with attitude (look at that gas tank!)!
This Brit-with-an-American-heart-and-soul reminds us of what the Brits in WW2 said about the comparatively well-paid American soldiers encamped in Britain while the invasion forces were being built up and trained for D Day. The quote is “Overpaid, Oversexed, and over Here“. There was a certain attitude inherent in the “Yanks”: healthy, well-fed, plenty of money to spare, an attitude, a different approach. And it got the girls too. We’d have to think that most Brits would complain along the same lines for what’s happened here to their car!
This was a really interesting find at the May Cobb Tuning First Thursday event in Austin TX. It’s one of those cars that immediately draws you to it… although admittedly at this show, with plenty of Japanese tuners present, it wasn’t the biggest draw. But it should have been, because the workmanship was immaculate and the entire swap was creative and unique. Personally, that’s what we look for at these shows – something that really stands out. This was the one.