Car Show Outtake: 1982 Chevy Mustang – Identity Crisis

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.

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