In the late 1980’s MerCruiser was contracted to produce the groundbreaking all-aluminum DOHC LT5 Corvette engine for the new ZR-1. This exotic engine was powerful, beautiful and expensive; The ZR-1 package was a $27,000 option!
In 1991 MerCruiser, Chevrolet, and Baja Boats collaborated on a one of a kind project for the Miami International Boat Show: A 24ft Baja Bandit powered by Chevrolet’s LT5 engine “Marinized” by MerCruiser and fitted with their Bravo One outdrive.
The “Wette Vette” was a huge hit at boat shows across the U.S. and Canada, appearing in a number of magazines. The story took a turn however when the Wette Vette was stolen along with its red ZR-1 tow vehicle. The boat & trailer were later recovered and eventually sold to a Canadian collector. It is rumored that the owner of the Wette Vette was killed in an accident while driving the boat, and that it was re-powered with a more conventional 454 Big Block.
The Wette Vette powerplant ended up in the private museum of Rick Kirk in Ripley OK; owner of RK Machine who was heavily involved with the development of the LT5 engine. Mr. Kirk passed away earlier this year and the contents of his shop and museum were sold at various auctions.
Automotion Classics has acquired the complete Wette Vette engine and custom outdrive. This is the one and only marine version of this engine with stainless dual-wall TIG welded marine headers, custom tuned ECM, Bravo one outdrive with custom gearing and special prop all designed for this project. The engine appears to be in good working order; clean oil is in the sump and most components required to run the engine are included right down to the custom electrical panel from the boat.
Now is your chance to own a functional piece of Automotive and marine performance history!
We will also be offering at least two new LT5 engines still in the GM crates. Contact us or check back soon for details.