I was going to make this one a “CC Wordless Outtake”, but I couldn’t keep silent. Nope. I realize I write a lot about having grown up in Flint, Michigan, and of its place in the legacy of the automotive industry in the United States, being the birthplace of General Motors. Today, I bring up the Vehicle City (yet again) for two reasons: a.) This Frankenstang was spotted at Flint’s annual car show held downtown traditionally in the third week of August; and b.) It seems to me that a creation like this one could only be born from the wellspring of automotive know-how that exists in much of Genesee County. I’ll bet you won’t find anything like this tooling around the streets of a city like Chicago, Illinois… or its suburbs, for that matter.
You may join me in pondering the “why” of putting a small-block Chevy 350 V8 into a Ford Mustang, but I hope most of you will agree with me that this is a very unique creation. Have you ever seen a Ford 302-powered, F-Body Camaro or Firebird? (I have not.) This goes beyond a mere “heart transplant” – this is a straight-up mixture of two different species. I’ve always thought its powertrain is, and has always been, a huge part of what defined a Mustang as such. Perhaps dropping an SBC in this ‘Stang was in a partial attempt to make this Ford more acceptable in what is still a very GM-centric town.
Before anyone points out that the front bumper cover is from the Mustang’s 1983 – ’84 model years, note that its color is slightly different (dark maroon) than the rest of the car (Hershey’s brown), though this was really hard to notice at first. I did get a good look at the back of the car (no picture, sorry!), and it’s definitely from the first four years of this generation’s production. I also seem to remember on a placard somewhere in or on the car that it’s an ’82. There’s no doubt in my mind that this entry has been a one-of-a-kind at the entire show, for years. As for me, I look at this car with (lots of) curiosity, and with kindness. After all, this conversion must have taken a lot of imagination and even more skill… much more than I possess, anyway.
Downtown Flint, Michigan.
Saturday, August 21, 2010.
- From William Stopford: Curbside Classic: 1979-1982 Ford Mustang – A Clean Break; and
- From SavageATL: Curbside Classic: 1979 Ford Mustang – A New Hope.