Monday, April 29, 2013

5k: Cocked and Loaded: 1996 Chevrolet Beretta Z26 w/3400 V6 Swap

Half way between a Cavalier Z24 and a Camaro Z28 was the Beretta Z26, an attempt by Chevrolet to add zip and zest via Z's.  The Z26 was neither zesty nor zippy, but is an interesting footnote in front wheel drive failures from friends at General Motors.  Find this 1996 Chevrolet Beretta Z26 with 3400 V6 swap for sale in Chicago, IL for $3,250 buy-it-now on ebay.

The Z26 package took the basic L-Platform Chevy Beretta (the successor to the Celebrity Coupe) and added a 3.1 liter V6, a 4-speed automatic transmission, some "sporty" suspension bits and "wicked" looking wheels. Most '90s vintage L-Platform cars have peeling clearcoat and packing-taped on side view mirrors, but this particular cars looks in fair shape with the noted exception of some rust pointed out by the seller.

The 3100 V6 would have made 160 horsepower when new, but this car has had its engine swapped with a 3400 V6 from a 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo.  The LA1 3.4 liter V6 makes 180 horsepower and 205 ft-lbs of torque. 

We don't suggest you go off half-cocked and buy this Beretta on a whim and expect to achieve automotive nirvana...but it would certainly be a conversation piece with your Chevy friends and it is cheap!

See a better Z out there? email us here:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I always wondered about the feasibility of such swaps on this vintage of GM FWD car. How well the tranny hold up to a little more power, and would there be much difference with wiring, clearance, cooling, etc?

    This swap is cool, but maybe a DOHC 3.4, like from a Lumina Z34 would make the swap effort more worth your while.

    If you wanted to be even more exotic, you could go with the 3.1 Turbo out of a 89 Grand Prix and stick it in an Isuzu Rodeo. (according to Wikipedia, they once carried GM's 60 degree 3.1L V6). In my dreams these parts all fall together like legos. But where would you find a donor car? Oh, here's one:

    1. ~ that may be the last, best use of the poor old GrandPrix parts. sad fate but beyond salvage. this Z26 shows great ingenuity and resourcefulness - exactly what i like best about Daily Turismo!


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