Part 02 – Donor Vehicles

The next step is to find a suitable donor vehicle.  Quickly enough, a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass presents it’s self, complete with a 350cid V8, and Turbo 350.  This too was some prior owners ‘project’ which never saw completion.  Perfect for the purposes of this build.  Careful evaluation of the front end frame and suspension will be given to determine the appropriateness for use as a front end for the Chevy.

Using goggle I was able to determine that this was not the original motor. The original would of been a 305 cu. in. whereas the motor in the car, using the serial number, was from a 1974 Cutlass and was a 350 Olds. cu. in. When this swap was done, I have no idea. No matter what size the engine, it had to come out.

With the help of a friend I was able to pull the engine and get it placed on a work bench.

Donor Engine?

I broke the engine open to see what kind of condition it was in. On examination, it was very dirty inside (presume it was burning oil) but found that the cylinder walls were in good shape, the bottom end appeared to be sound and the heads were good. It was viewed by a couple of friends and it appears it can be rebuilt. I could possibly get by with having the crank polished, new bearings installed, having the cylinders honed , new rings and have the heads redone.

I’m not sure if I will proceed with this engine or look for a Chevy motor.  As I’m in no hurry for an engine at this stage, I have decided to put this phase on hold for now and see what might come up. The motor has been bolted back together and placed in a corner of the garage.

Now that the motor is out and I have satisfied my curiosity regarding it’s condition I can concentrate on the front end frame swap.

Initial measurements look promising.


In mid to late August, I decided to go tour the local auto wreckers to see what they had in their antique row as I was still in need of some parts. Well the last place I went, Brocks Auto Wrecking, just south of Warman, I found a gold mine. There to be had was a 1958 Biscayne four door sedan, basically complete, except for the gas tank and instrument cluster. What really caught my eye was the perfectly good windshield, very good front grill and both bumpers. I needed the windshield and both the grill and bumpers were much better than what I had. So a deal was struck and they delivered it to the yard and to top things off hauled away the remains of the l78 Cutlass which I had cut the front end off and attached to the project 58 as you will recall. The vehicle also had a 100% complete 235 cu. inch. straight six engine and a three speed manual transmission with an add on floor side shifter (these items will come into play in a later update).

P1020674 P1020676 P1020675 P1020680 P1020679 P1020678 P1020677


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