Survivor: Keep original or modify the engine/drivetrain?

Discussion in 'Original Drivetrain Topic' started by queue, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    Ontario, Canada
    I 2nd that.
  2. 70lt1z28

    70lt1z28 Veteran Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    Beavercreek, Ohio, USA
    Kind of depends on what you want the car to be. If you want your 79 to be a 10 second car, it will never happen while looking stock and I wouldn't do it as it would kill the car's value. If you want a 12 second car and want it to look stock, I would suggest pulling the motor and building a 383 or 406 crate motor and putting the original valve covers,intake etc on it with a rear gear change. No cutting and the stock parts can be easily (relatively) put back in if you want. You will be limited this way and if yuo do really want to go farther, than like most of the others here I think it would be best to sell it and start with a clean sheet that you don't have to worry about.
    That's my 0.02.
  3. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    It's only original once. If it's a true never been apart survivor, I would be hard pressed to take a wrench to it. I have a '71 SS/RS LS3 that I have owned for quite some time and years past I went the go fast route, all bolt on stuff. At that time it was pretty close to a survivor. Fortunately I kept the original born with drivetrain and thinking of putting it back to stock. That 396 with close ratio trans. and 3.42 gears was so nice to drive.
  4. McCune

    McCune Veteran Member

    Aug 22, 2015 utah
    GM built 84,877 Z28s in 1979. I wouldn't get to worried about keeping it original for value.
    72BIGBLOCK likes this.
  5. flowjoe

    flowjoe Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2006
    Sure, but how many are left unmolested today?
    Pontiac produced 72,287 GTOs in 1969 but it would be silly to modify my 50,000 mile survivor even though it’s a base 400 car with a bench seat and a stick.

    There is a reason survivors draw attention and fetch good money (even late 70s cars like TAs & Z/28s)
  6. McCune

    McCune Veteran Member

    Aug 22, 2015 utah
    Everyone knows that 1969 and 1970 cars are the only cars worth restoring. At least that is what I have been told when I tell someone I am restoring a 73 Z28. Sounds like you have a neat GTO. Bench seat and a 4 speed is something I have always liked.
  7. flowjoe

    flowjoe Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2006
    People that question your restoration of a ‘73 Z will just never “get it”...and they surely have never met our very own twozs :D
    twozs likes this.
  8. mallard

    mallard Veteran Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    SK, Canada
    IMHO, a '79 Z28 in "original" condition isn't likely to garner a significant price strictly because it's original. It's probably going to bring just as good a dollar modified so I think you do as you please. If it were '74 or older I'd likely think a lot differently.
  9. ol' grouch

    ol' grouch Veteran Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    Evansville, In.

    It's your car, do what you want with it. Personally, I'd sell it to someone who wants a survivor, possibly for nostalgic reasons such as they wanted one as a kid and can now afford it. Then you can get a nice car and really go hog wild.

    A guy I work with bought a nice survivor Charger with desirable drivetrain that was all numbers matching. He paid some big bucks for it. He then swapped in a different transmission and modified the tunnel with a sawzall and hammer. He butchered the wiring, painted it a different color even though the paint still looked new, and generally trashed it. He thinks it'a worth more now that he's "improved" but he can't drive it very far due to the butchered wiring.He paid around 18K and was offered 7K when he tried to sell it. Left like it was, it would be worth twice or more what he paid.
    flowjoe likes this.
  10. 70-SS/RS-L78

    70-SS/RS-L78 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Phila area
    I feel your pain, My 81 Z is a survivor, It still has its born with fan belts and rad hoses. Problem is the car will not get out of its own way. I was originally going to drop the whole frame assembly and original drivetrain out and put a Lingenfelter LS stroker n 4L60 and a new frame section in the car, If I wanted to put the born with drivetrain back in just swap frame sections. I decided to just leave it alone... BUT.. Next time a Hugo passes me its swap time.:(


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