Our favorite Ship of Theseus, Project X began life as an ordinary Chevy 210 coupe way back in 1957. The car’s rise to fame began a few years later, when it was purchased by the folks at Popular Hot Rodding to serve as the magazine’s perpetual project car/test mule. Fast forward a few decades and the humble Chevy has appeared in countless magazine articles, car shows, events, and even a blockbuster movie.

Now under the loving care of the Hot Rod and MotorTrend teams, the Project X legacy continues to grow. And after a brief flirtation with electric power, we think you’ll really, really like where it stands today.

front passenger side view of project x 1957 chevy 210 hot rod

That’s because under the Project X hood now lives 632 cubic inches of internal combustion magic.

Yup—remember when Chevy Performance pulled the wraps of its mighty ZZ632 Crate Motor?

Well, the MotorTrend gang felt that there’s no better place for it than between the frame rails of the most famous Tri-Five ever.

zz632 crate engine in project x 1957 chevy 210

Curiously, while the Rat Motor looks perfectly at home in Project X, the car’s previous electrified life meant that a lot of the things that came out for the EV conversion, needed to get back in.

In other words, the Chevy had to once again carry all the regular ICE stuff—like a radiator, fuel tank, transmission, starting battery, and exhaust.

rear view of project X 1957 Chevy 210 with ZZ632 Big Block

That’s where Summit Racing stepped in. And with Lucky Costa and Alex Taylor from Hot Rod Garage doing the heavy lifting, it didn’t take long before Project X was fueled up and ready to get back into gear.

Pretty soon after that, it was resting under the Summit Racing tent at the 2023 SEMA Show.

And that’s exactly where we found it.

Side view of project X 1957 Chevy 210 with ZZ632 Big Block

Ever hear the cliché “The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same”?

Well, that’s Project X in a nutshell.

Even after the significant amount of invasive surgery required to convert the 210 to an electric drivetrain, the retrofit work was so clean that, even today, you’d never know that Project X has been cut up and rebuilt a few dozen times.

interior steering wheel and dash view of Project X 1957 chevy 210

Yet still, you’ll notice little nods to the previous lives of Project X all over the place, like the “X” logos embossed on the tailfins and the trim, or the deep bulge in the trunk pan where a massive battery once sat. Even the Strange rear axle has returned to handle the torque from the 632ci Big Block powerplant.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that even now, with 1,000 hp on tap, we’re resisting the urge to call this “Peak Project X.”

…Because if there’s one thing that’s certain—you never know what this Millennium Yellow Chevy coupe will turn into next.

front view of project X 1957 Chevy 210 with ZZ632 Big Block

Project X 1957 Chevy 210 ZZ632 Parts List

Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or roof leaks in an old Corvette ragtop. Thanks to a penchant for vintage Honda motorcycles, he spends the rest of his time fiddling with carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.