Efficiency isn’t a word typically associated with hot rods, but when the GM Performance Parts E-ROD 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air hit the road for this summer’s Hot Rod Power Tour, it delivered an average of 23 mpg on the drive from Florida to Michigan.
That was with a 430-hp LS3 V-8 under the hood and emissions performance comparable to a new Camaro SS, according to a press release.
Behind this classic cruiser’s balanced performance was the GMPP-engineered E-ROD crate engine system, which features emissions equipment designed to make it compliant with increasingly stringent emissions laws. In fact, the E-ROD LS3 in the ’55 carries Executive Order (EO) number D-126-30 from California Air Resources Board (CARB), making it legal for installation in pre-OBD II (1996-and-earlier) vehicles in that state.
It also delivers on the expectations of a new generation of hot rodders and custom car builders, where greater fuel economy and lower emissions play more important roles in their projects, the release added.
“The world of hot rodding is changing, and GMPP is leading the way with engine systems and supporting components that enable enthusiasts to build a car that complies with the law, satisfies their desire for a cleaner hot rod and doesn’t sacrifice the performance they want,” said Dr. Jamie Meyer, product integration manager for GM Performance Parts. “With fuel prices not showing any signs of retreating, greater fuel economy is definitely a welcome benefit, too.”
Fresh off the Power Tour, the E-ROD Bel Air was shown at the GM Performance Parts display at the Barrett-Jackson Orange County summer auction. It was joined by the Lingenfelter E-ROD 1955 Chevy pickup, which is powered by the new E-ROD 5.3-liter. A CARB EO number is expected for the E-ROD 5.3 this summer.
Both vehicles feature the GMPP 4L65-E electronically controlled automatic transmission and new GMPP Supermatic transmission controller, which enables a simple plug-in installation to match the plug-in features of the E-ROD engine control system.
GMPP engineers are working with CARB for approval to allow E-ROD engines to be installed in “special construction” vehicles. They would include vehicles with new bodies that come with new vehicle identification numbers, such as the Lingenfelter E-ROD ’55 truck, which features a Dynacorn reproduction body and the chassis of a late-model TrailBlazer SS.