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Source of Power typography

s we continue navigating our way through the muscle car hobby, there seems to be no shortage of changes and innovations. That’s good for us as it keeps things fresh.

Decades ago, the average day two mods included a few basic engine bolt-ons consisting of performance carburetors, manifolds, headers, exhausts systems, mufflers, and the like. Aftermarket wheels and tires were a must if you wanted your ’60s muscle car to look cooler than what the factory offered. Over time, upgrades became more elaborate and extensive by way of suspension modifications, full chassis installations, and complete engine swaps. Today, seeing an LS or LT between the framerails of a classic muscle car is more common than finding one with an engine reminiscent of what the car originally came with.

When it comes to power, there are those who still prefer the looks, sound, and performance of a big-block. And let’s not forget about the small-block crowd—some just like keepin’ it old school. At the same time, LS and LT swaps are more common today than ever.

So, with GM still producing the extremely popular LS and LT engines, and most recently the new L8T block, Lingenfelter Performance recently announced a program dedicated to GM’s new eCrate Connect and Cruise. What!

Now, this begs the question: “Are muscle car enthusiasts ready to go all in on an electric motor to power their hot rods and muscle cars?” I don’t have the answer to that, but there is no doubt the eCrate will go down as the biggest change/innovation to the hobby since 8-tracks gave way to the cassette—actually bigger, much bigger! This is an absolute game changer on so many levels. But will it be accepted by the muscle car crowd?

That remains to be seen, as we do know that one of the main lures to the hobby is the rumble and sound of an engine with a lumpy cam vocalizing through an aggressive exhaust system.

And when a high-horsepower V-8 is screaming in the high-rpm range through a pair of open headers, well, that’s music to the ears of just about every enthusiast.

So, would the whine of an electric motor at full throttle stashed under the hood of a 1969 Camaro fulfill the expectations and awaken the senses the same way a V-8 engine would? Will a vintage muscle car running 8-second quarter-mile laps with an electric motor have a similar impact of a car running the same speed and time with a high-octane-burning LS engine screaming above 7,000 rpm? It wouldn’t seem so. It’s safe to say there will be no need to raise the volume on those Instagram Reels.

With that said, I don’t see the extinction of our traditional, fuel-burning muscle cars happening anytime soon. What I do see is the possibility of a new avenue paved with the potential to help keep our hobby thriving from a slightly different angle.

Obviously, this whole GM eCrate powerplant program is brand new to us all, so I propose we look at this new source of power not as a threat to our conventional muscle cars, but as an addition to the hot rods we currently drive. It’s uncharted territory, and I, for one, am curious to see where this new technology takes us.

You in?

Lingenfelter Performance Engineering has been selected by GM as the first aftermarket company in developing the Certified Installer Program for their eCrate electric Connect and Cruise. This 1972 El Camino rendering illustrates how the eCrate looks under the hood of a classic muscle car.
El Camino rendering illustrating how the eCrate looks under the hood of a classic muscle car
 I want to hear your comments on the eCrate. Email me at