Well, I'm not sure why it got into my head to have a diesel powered Corvette. I remember looking online at nearby cars for sale. I saw a Corvette for what I thought was a pretty cheap price (around $2500). That just sort of got the wheels in my head turning. Although I never was all that interested in Corvettes (not really a "sports car") I figured it might be a fun toy for a while.
I've been a diesel fan for years. Owned 5 different diesel trucks and have always been impressed by the power and potential for more power from a turbo diesel motor.
Back during the gas crisis in the late 70s GM engaged Detroit Diesel to design a fuel efficient diesel motor to power GMC and Chevy pickups. To save GM from doing a bunch of expensive retooling the 6.2L diesel was designed to bolt right in place of the existing gas motors. It used the same bellhousing bolt pattern and motor mount locations. This modular approach makes swapping out a gas V8 for a diesel relatively straightforward. The original 6.2L was rather gutless but is would return fuel economy in the mid 20s. Not bad for a full sized pickup. in 1992 GM increased the displacement to 6.5 liters and added a turbo. This was done to make more power to compete with Dodge and Ford. Even so, the 6.5L turbo diesel is no powerhouse.
So after much shopping around I found a 1980 Vette on Craigslist. I think I paid about $3200. The car was complete and unmodified but old and somewhat neglected. I figured I'd drive it for grins and make some initial measurements to see what difficulties I might run into trying to shove a 6.5L motor in place of the stock small block 350.