Two of GM’s LS motor’s key features are that it’s relatively compact and very powerful, so it’s a perfect swap candidate for virtually any application. The light-weight, electronically controlled mill has been shoehorned into all kinds of stuff, but here we get to see what happens when it’s shoved into a classic Beamer.
Atlanta Performance and Fabrication of Woodstock, Georgia clearly holds the answer with their new LS1 powered, BMW 2002 rat rod that we originally discovered on Chromjuwelen. The rat rod Beamer is a “hodgepodge” of parts, as described by Atlanta Performance representative, Austin Skipper. He also tells us that the 2002 was formerly a daily driver of shop founder and owner, John Lee during his high school years.
As is evident by our feature video (NSFW Language) and photos the Beamer has made a radical transformation, but it’s changes have happened just as much underneath the car as they have on the surface. Skipper tells us that the Euro rat features a C5 coilover front suspension, and the rear end is a 10-bolt from a late model Camaro. The upper control arms on the black 2002 are hollowed aluminum pieces from Panoz, while the lower control arms are from an F-body. In the rear, the Euro rat rides on a custom four-link suspension system.
As for the drivetrain, the car makes use of an LS1 with a stock bottom end and heads, but utilizes a 0.580/0.110 custom ground cam that Atlanta Performance secretively calls their “#6.” A set of hardened pushrods and 918 springs from Comp round out the modifications that give the car an estimated 400 rear-wheel horsepower, which by Skipper’s estimate translates to around 480 horsepower at the crank. To transfer that power, the ratted Beamer’s stout LS1 chases a TH350 transmission with a 2,500 stall converter.
The LS swap is cool, but the visual essence of the Euro rod lies in its Rust-Oleum semi-black top-coat, which Skipper indicates that Atlanta Performance and designer, John Lee, intend to keep. In the end, the 2002 rat rod is a creation of Lee and Skipper makes it clear that the car was born exclusively from Lee’s own imagination, telling us “It’s his project…he built it to show off what he could do.”