Scott Lear
Scott Lear
6/8/09 11:59 a.m.

If you’ve taken a peek under the hood of any car built in the past decade, odds are you were greeted by a great big expanse of plastic bearing the manufacturer’s logo smack-dab in its middle. These covers serve a variety of purposes—hiding the potentially dirty bits of the drivetrain from the blissfully ignorant masses, for example—but one of their primary functions is packaging.

If nothing else, a big plastic cover gives the impression that it’s shielding an equally large complex of performance equipment, privately chugging away. If you can’t see the pavement when the hood is up, then certainly it’s because every square inch of space in the engine bay is being used to generate power, right?

A few quick turns of a wrench, however, can remove these plastic covers and peel back the facade, and doing so often invites disappointment. If the plastic veil is stripped away and air is found underneath, our natural response is to want to do something about it. Ideally, we’d prefer to pop the hood and see a massive lump that threatens to dent the engine compartment from the inside thanks to its sheer imposing volume.

Aaron Couper isn’t the first person to put a bigger engine in his car, but his story is a twist on the standard monster V8 shoehorn story. After all, big is relative when your starting point is a diminutive 1961 Austin-Healey Sprite. For Aaron, there was no better choice for his Sprite than the robust 3.8-liter Jaguar straight-six.

Read the rest of the story

moggiedog New Reader
1/11/19 12:00 p.m.

What a visually attractive, unlikely swap that was beautifully done.  If Tim Suddard liked the driving, it must be a treat. Nice work Aaron. I'd love to see it next time I'm in Vermont.

mrichlen New Reader
4/17/20 10:19 a.m.

Wonderfully unique hot rod.  I quit reading about SBC and SBF swaps into anything and everything years ago.  At one time it was clever and unique but now too common to interest me. 

mgmike69 New Reader
4/17/20 2:12 p.m.

That is way to cool

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/17/20 2:37 p.m.

One of the most beautiful engines, ever, and beautifully done.


914Driver MegaDork
4/18/20 3:36 p.m.

I saw that car at the Saratoga Auto Museum show!  Beautiful, neatly done, wonder if it's nose heavy.

noddaz UltraDork
4/21/20 11:20 a.m.
914Driver said:

I saw that car at the Saratoga Auto Museum show!  Beautiful, neatly done, wonder if it's nose heavy.

As a result, only 55 percent of the car’s 1820 pounds rests on the front end. He assures us that with two people and a full tank of gas onboard, the balance is just about neutral.

There is your answer!

Our Preferred Partners