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 |  Jun 23 2011, 1:08 PM

In hot rodding circles, GM Performance Part’s E-ROD, a 1955 Chevrolet powered by modern 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 has been generating a lot of buzz.

Fresh off the Hot Rod Power Tour this year, the car, along with a second E-ROD; a 1955 Chevy pickup, built by Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and sporting a 5.3-liter E-ROD motor,will be on display at the GMPP stand as part of Barrett-Jackson’s Orange County collector-car auction this coming weekend.

The purpose of the display is to highlight the benefits of dropping a modern, 50-state certified low emissions V-8 into an older car. California’s ultra stringent emissions laws incorporate strict guidelines when it comes smog requires, even for ‘specially constructed’ vehicles such as modified collector cars or hot rods, which can sometimes make a minefield for hobbyists who want to build and modify their own special interest cars.

The E-ROD 6.2L V-8 attempts to take away much of that hassle , thanks to being granted an Executive Order (EO) number (D-126-30) from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). This makes the engine legal for installation in pre-OBD II (1996-and-earlier) vehicles in that state. In addition, depending on the driveline and suspension components added, it’s capable of delivering 23 miles per gallon under certain conditions.

Although most hot rods and classics are driven as pleasure vehicles, where gas mileage isn’t generally much of a concern; GM Performance Parts’  product integration manager, Dr. Jamie Meyer, said that, “with fuel prices not showing any signs of retreating, greater fuel economy is definitely a welcome benefit.” He’s got a valid point.

Both the ‘55 Chevy and the truck on display at Barrett-Jackson’s event this weekend, feature 4L65-E automatic transmissions, along with a GMPP Supermatic transmission controller, to enable the trans to work in conjunction with the E-ROD V-8′s engine control system. Combined with complete wiring harnesses available from GMPP, this essentially makes the E-ROD and automatic an essentially plug and play affair, even when installed in an older car.

While the 6.2 E-ROD is already CARB certified, the 5.3 version, featured in the Chevy truck, is still undergoing tests, though GM hopes to have a CARB EO number granted sometime this summer.

In addition, GM Performance Parts is also working with state legislators and CARB to allow the E-ROD engines and related hardware to be installed in newly built specialty vehicles, essentially cars and trucks that use brand new reproduction parts and late model chassis, have new VIN numbers, but maintain the appearance of a classic.

The Lingenfelter pickup is actually an example of this, riding on a late-model Trailblazer SS chassis, while sporting a Dynacorn reproduction 1955 Chevy truck cab and bodywork. For more information on the E-Rod engines and related components, click on the link below:

[Source: GM Performance Parts]