Garage-Built GM LS-based V-12 Built for Airplane, Suburban, Next Bound for 280 Z

Few have accused the GM LS-series third and fourth-generation small-block V-8s of being underpowered or not big enough. The engine’s near-universal ubiquity as the engine swap of choice for just about anything on four wheels (and some on two) is a testament to the engine’s popularity as a relatively compact and lightweight powerhouse. But for some, eight isn’t enough. For those, a gentleman in the Pacific Northwest known as “Ray” is building several V-12s made from joining one and a half LS-series blocks together. While most V-12s of foreign provenance are overhead cam and multi-valve, these Yankee-Doodle Dandy creations are two valve pushrod engines, just like the LS engines they were created from. So far, two fully-built, operational engines have gone into a P-51 aircraft replica for a customer in Norway, and one under the hood of a Chevrolet Suburban.

Doing some quick math, if it’s based on the 5.7-liter LS1, a V-12 would be 8.6 liters or 519 cubic inches. If you were to start with the 6.2-liter LS3, that would give you a 9.3 liter or 564 cubic-inch engine. As insane as this engine is, the car it’s going into is even more insane. The builders are reportedly going to shoehorn this beast into a Datsun 280 Z. To say that would make for an entertaining ride would be an understatement.

The block is a carefully-welded together marriage of one and a half LS blocks, with the middle cylinder re-sleeved. The engine built for the aircraft reportedly had a custom-built single-piece crankshaft, but subsequent engines will reportedly use a more affordable two-piece design. Those of you concerned of what will become of the other half of the engine not used for the Franken-engine, fret not, a V-4 was made that could conceivably be used in a motorcycle application. Check out the video below of the walk-around of this monstrously marvelous creation.


LSV12 walk around from LSV12 on Vimeo.

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