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May 19, 2023

Diesel of the Week is presented by

In the world of performance engine building and racing, engine swaps have become commonplace – but every so often someone decides to do something crazy enough that it captures the attention of automotive fans everywhere. Some of the particularly odd, yet interesting, amalgamations happen when builders decide to swap a diesel engine into a more exotic sports car.

Last year, we saw Ashley Whitsey's 5.9L Cummins Supra come to life, but this year, we’ve found something even more unique.

The guys at 1 Way Diesel Performance are known as diesel connoisseurs down in Eastern Texas. They offer several services to customers including parts manufacturing, engine repair and full custom builds. A few of those builds have been featured on Texas Metal's Loud & Lifted, a Motortrend show where the team checks out up-and-coming diesel customization shops in Texas.

Ironically, the vehicles featured from 1 Way Diesel in a recent episode is anything but "lifted." In fact, you could barely fit a playing card underneath the frame of it. The car in question is a 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo, complete with a 5.9L common rail Cummins in the rear.

The process of putting a Cummins engine into a Lamborghini Gallardo is no small feat and requires a great deal of skill and expertise. However, the team at 1 Way Diesel Performance was up to the challenge and spent countless hours carefully installing and tuning the engine to fit the unique characteristics of the Lamborghini.

Even more impressive is the fact that the car was completely totaled when 1 Way Diesel acquired it. The jumble of mangled metal that once resembled a Gallardo was on its way to being scrapped, but after repairing the framework, installing new body panels, and giving it some general maintenance, the car was ready for a new engine – a Cummins diesel straight-six.

The three-month project car is a shop vehicle first and foremost and will be taken to the drag strip from time to time. That means it wasn't simply given a standard diesel swap – the team at 1 Way Diesel upgraded the connecting rods, camshaft, main studs and head studs, and added a ported cylinder head with upgraded springs. Larger injectors and a unique twin-turbo setup help to produce the ~1,000 horsepower the engine is making, which is more than double the horsepower of the Gallardo's stock 5.0L V10.

The primary issue was finding out how to fit the engine into the Gallardo's rear engine bay in the first place. To shoehorn the Cummins engine into the bay that was originally only made for an engine five cylinders in length, the team had to cut about 1 foot into the original firewall and fabricate a new one.

The end result is a truly impressive car that defies expectations and pushes the limits of what you can do with an engine swap. Other than their lesser-known line of Lamborghini Trattori tractors, you’ll be hard pressed to find another Lamborghini that can roll some serious coal!

Diesel of the Week is sponsored by AMSOIL . If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].

Diesel of the Week is sponsored by AMSOIL . If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].