Road Trip to Get Another Engine

The plan was to do a full rebuild, using the new block and the parts from the old engine. But then I saw a rebuilt 455 on eBay. It was too expensive at $400. Then I watched it drop to $350, $250, $150. Finally I couldn't pass it up, so I bought it. The only problem was that it was in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Sound familiar?

My dad was interested, so we made a road trip of it. We left on Thursday afternoon, and were there Friday night. We stopped at South of the Border on the way up. $2.25 for a taco!


We picked up the engine Saturday morning. It was pretty much as described, although it was missing the intake and distributor. It also had low-compression pistons. It was a budget rebuild, just change the rings and reuse the pistons without touching the cylinders. A valve job for the heads, and new lifters, oil pump and timing set. The cam might be new; it's hard to say. The cool part is that the rebuilder was setting it up for his late '70s Trans Am, when he went off to jail. That was eight years ago. I forgot to ask what he went away for. His father finally decided to get rid of all his stuff. We got the engine loaded into the back of the Cherokee and headed out. One head was off for inspection.


We decided to head down the Outer Banks on the way back. We took the short ferry from Ocracoke to Hatteras, and then a longer one after that. It was the first time I had this car on a ferry. It was a calm, sunny day. We could see the Coast Guard boats, the other ferries, and some construction.

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I also got some shots of my dad on the ferry, and posing with the engine, although you really can't see the engine in the back of the car.

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