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i prefer the LS1 engine over the LT1, but the LT1 is still a proven design that works really well also. 95 to 97 are probably ur best bets with LT1 cars. personally i like the formula/trans ams better, but thats merely looks. if you go for an LS1, id go for a 99 or above. 98s are still really good, and i wouldn't pass one up if its a good deal, but it has a few differences like a steel gas tank that is smaller than the plastic tank on the 99+. is the car going to stay stock or is it gettin some work done to it?
 

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with the trans, it really depends. a lot of highway, defenately a manual. a lot of city, probably a auto. a manual is really fun, but a stalled up auto is a blast. the issue is that with a turbo, you will be making some power, and the 4l60e, the factory auto isn't all that strong and might not live too long on a turbo car. upgrading to the 4l80e is an option, but requires a little bit of work, which i doubt u will want to do. the factory manual trans is built tough. your clutch is the biggest issue. more power means a stronger clutch which usually means a much stiffer clutch pedal. especially with the manual, the rear end becomes a weak link. if you don't drag race, then the stock rear will probably hold up on an auto, and maybe a manual.
 
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