(Words: Kevin Brown) When it comes to engines many believe that there’s simply no replacement for displacement. But in all reality, every variation of engine size, and style, has its place. Turbo four-bangers make for excellent lawnmowers, while big block V8s rule the world of muscle cars. V12s are found to be right at home in exotic European cars, and everyone knows “six in a row will make it go”. But what makes it fun is when we start planting these engines into different engine bays, and into cars that were never intended to have such a power plant. There’s some crazy swaps out there, LS powered Chevy Sparks, Coyote swapped f100’s, even a V12 in a Mustang! …wait, what?
Enter Alex Reid, a 24 year old Canadian car enthusiast and the co-host of “Reidus and Cletus” on YouTube. He is what some may call a “mad scientist”. Alex is currently building what could be the most unique 1973 Mustang you’ll ever see. There are big plans in store for the car, and we’re going to tell you all about them!
But first, let’s back up and explain Alex’s inspiration for the car. The love for the power plant of choice came from a 1989 Jaguar XJS he owned a few years back. Alex loved the engine, boasting a wide power band that was as smooth as butter, and an exhaust note that seemed heavenly as it wound deep into the back half of the tachometer. However, the power plant had one major downside: the car that was attached to it. The XJS was a lumbering heavy shell placed on top of a 3 speed auto with a 2.88 rear gear…not exactly the epiphany of performance. Alex eventually sold the car, but still kept a soft spot inside for the V12.
Through time Alex hatched the idea of taking the beloved V12 and building what is, essentially, a poor man’s European sports car. He began scouring EBay and Craigslist in hopes of finding a Torino, or maybe a late 60’s A-body GM. Instead, a 1973 Mustang fastback roller popped up in New Jersey. The Mustang hadn’t seen the road since 1985. It had an altered stance from a past in drag racing, a sizeable dent in one fender, and was exactly what Alex wanted. The next step was surprisingly easy, as he was able to find a European spec V12 for sale locally, and brought it home in no time.
As of today, Alex and his friend Clayton, the other host of Reidus and Cletus, have recently lowered the engine into the engine bay for the first test fit. Surprisingly the V12 looks right at home in the long front nose of the Mustang. Alex plans to go for a late 70’s SCCA race theme with fat tires, low stance, and side pipes. For a transmission, he opted for a World Class T5 from a 1995 Mustang, which uses a custom adapter plate to couple the Ford transmission to the Jaguar engine. The craziest part of this whole build, in my opinion, is the SIX individual Weber carbs that will be fueling the V12. That’s 12 barrels worth of velocity stacks sticking out the hood.
My biggest wonder is if the T5 will survive the punishment dished out by the V12. Given that T5’s are known to sneeze out their internals when pushed above their rated 300 ft lb limit, it will be an interesting fight! However, I think that it will survive for at least few thousand miles due to the V12 being designed to make power higher in the rpm curve, and lacking the low end torque needed to snap the input shaft. My guess is that the synchros will give out after spinning to the moon and back between gears for a few months. Either way, I’m pumped to hear a carbureted V12 ripping gears!
I’m very excited to see how well this build turns out, and will be keeping a sharp eye on the duo’s Instagram page and YouTube channel for the latest updates, and strongly suggest you do too. This build has potential to break the internet, so start following it now!