That Crashed Ford Mustang With a Chevy Camaro Face Has an Amazing Back Story

We thought it was a tasteless custom job. We were wrong: It was a craftily built track car that was taken from this world too soon.

byJames Gilboy| PUBLISHED Jan 9, 2023 5:23 PM
That Crashed Ford Mustang With a Chevy Camaro Face Has an Amazing Back Story
Copart, commenter oi8achevy on The Drive
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When that Ford Mustang-Chevy Camaro mashup hit Copart last week, I gloated; I was glad to see a car I'd dumped on back in 2019 end up disfigured. But now I feel bad, because someone who knew the owner reached out, and it turns out that car wasn't some tasteless custom job. Instead, it more than just looked like a Camaro—it was powered by one, because its Chevy DNA went more than skin-deep.

This info comes via an acquaintance of its owner, who says they ran autocross and track days with this car before its Chevy conversion. Back then, it was just a V6-powered daily driver, one that started out stock but gradually got chassis and brake upgrades. It was a well-traveled track toy, having visited circuits across the northeastern U.S., but its hard life began to catch up with it around 100,000 miles. Right around that time, the desire for more power set in. And there's where things get interesting.

Chevy Camaro-faced Ford Mustang. Copart

It would've been too expensive to replace the car with a Camaro SS or Mustang GT, and then prep the car for track use. At the same time, it wasn't easy to swap its engine where the car was registered—New York. So, the owner did the craftiest thing possible: They bought a wrecked 2015 Camaro SS convertible and fit as much of its front end and interior to the Mustang as needed to get it titled as rebuilt.

That meant not just the front bumper and dashboard, but also its 6.2-liter LS3 V8, complete with a big cam and supporting valvetrain upgrades. They also brought over its clutch and six-speed Tremec manual transmission, which was hooked up to a Mustang GT rear axle with a taller final drive and a limited-slip differential. Suffice it to say, this setup did the trick, and the Mustang chimera returned to daily and track duties for a couple of years afterward, notching up another 20,000 miles.

Chevy Camaro-engined Ford Mustang. Commenter oi8achevy on The Drive

But we all know how this story ends: the car showed up on Copart last week with major front-end damage. A deer apparently unalived itself on the front bumper, and the owner doesn't have the time to repair it. No shop would touch the car due to the nature of its custom work, so the insurance company totaled it.

And so we bid farewell to a car that was way more interesting than its outsides let on. Rather than being the product of too much lead paint, it turned out to be a shining example of transcendentally weird individualism. Whoever built this, shine on you gobblessed diamond, because you've reminded us not to judge a book by its cover—and we can't wait for the next chapter of your strange track cars.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com