Here's a Good Idea: Swap a Trailblazer Straight Six Into a Checker

Illustration for article titled Heres a Good Idea: Swap a Trailblazer Straight Six Into a Checker

The Checker Marathon (you know it as the classic New York City taxi cab) was basically a sedan like you’d buy in the 1950s, beefed up and produced virtually unchanged into the 1980s. It was like a best-of compilation of old school American cars. Now somebody’s cramming one of the best engines of modern America into one.

That’s the straight six from the Chevy Trailblazer. It’s a 4.2-liter, dual overhead cam, all-aluminum engine, which made decent horsepower around the 275 range, but never cracked the 300 mark stock.


But they’re interesting engines and we wish more people would hot rod them.

And that’s what’s going on here, from Fuel Injection Sucks, jamming one into a 1967 Checker.

The swap just started so we don’t know how it will go, but it should be a fun one to follow.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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GM should have kept developing and refining the Atlas series of engines, but instead, they just killed the whole line when they stopped making the Trailblazer/Envoy/Ascender and the 1st-gen Colorado/Canyon/290/370. My 2008 Colorado has the 3.7L 5-cylinder in it, and it’s been a fantastic engine for the decade that I’ve owned it. If they’d have given the 4.2L the same upgrades that they gave to the 2.8L 4-cylinder and 3.5L 5-cylinder (to make them 2.9L and 3.7L respectively) back in 2007ish, then the 4.2L would have ended up being 4.5L and making over 300HP without any additional work. It’s aggravating to have a good series of engines that was killed off before its time because the bean counters didn’t care.