Pete Epple Technical Editor
March 1, 2009

While most 16 year olds are hanging out at parties with friends, Jason Schembri could be found at the local street race scene. It was at these gatherings, in the outskirts of Detroit, that Jason's love for power was born. Once the bug bit, he knew a Mustang would be his vehicle of choice.

When Jason, who is the lead Performance Parts Purchaser for FRPP, set out to look for the Pony that would ultimately become his pride and joy, he knew exactly what he was looking for. "I wanted an earlier square-light Mustang," explains Jason. "I liked the hatchbacks but preferred the look of the notchbacks." So he set out to find a ride that not only had the look he wanted, but housed the potential to become the monster he envisioned.

Jason's search ended in the spring of 1994 when he found this car sitting for sale at an ice cream shop. An '82, 3.3L, V-6 coupe would now be the base for his project.

"The car needed a lot of work," adds Jason, "and all of the body panels needed to be replaced." Once the bodywork was complete, Chrome Yellow was the color of choice for this, now not-so-rough, '82 V-6. Jason's first powerplant was a very mild 302 with a Ford Racing Performance Parts B303 cam and stock cylinder heads. It bolted up to a C4 with a 2,500-rpm stall converter, which supplies power to the rear hides through a set of 3.73 gears. This mild setup yielded a best quarter-mile time of 13.30.

Feeling the need for more power, Jason decided it was time to step his game up. He turned to Wayne Kutchyn of Head Winds in Westland, Michigan, to spec out the build. The block was stripped and bored 0.030 over bringing it to 306 cubes. The stock crank was reused with a set of Eagle I-beam rods and JE pistons completing the rotating assembly. A very aggressive 0.632-inch lift solid roller camshaft from Cam Motion opens the Ferrea valves inside the Edelbrock Victor Jr. aluminum cylinder heads. The combination is topped off with an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake and 650-cfm Barry Grant carburetor.

With the significant power gains expected from the new engine combination, Jason knew he had to make upgrades to the rest of the driveline. The transmission was pulled and fitted with a six-pack clutch kit, full reverse manual valvebody, and Kevlar bands to ensure it would hold up to the added power. The old converter gave way to a 10-inch 3,800-rpm stall replacement and the 3.73 rearend was yanked for a fresh set of 4.30 gears from Ford Racing. An Eaton posi unit and 31-spline Moser axles were also installed with a T/A girdle holding it all together.

"The car pulls amazingly strong and I'm happy with the performance," Jason exclaims. "I can spin the engine to 7,200 rpm with no sweat." On the chassis dyno, this beast put down a fierce 340 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. With the car weighing a mere 2,840 pounds with Jason on board, the number at the track is a strong 11.62 at 118 mph. "I'm happy with the e.t., but am looking for more once I install my new Team Z Motorsports rear suspension, as well as an antiroll bar, a K-member, and Strange coilovers."

"My favorite part of having this car is cruising with my four-year-old daughter Carmela and three-year-old son Nino," Jason states. "Luciano will be one in January and I can't wait to take him for a ride. I put the baby seats in the back and we just go cruising. The kids love it."

Jason's future plans for his Mustang include a Boss block 331 stroker with a set of fully ported cylinder heads from Fox Lake. He also wants to add a 150 hp shot of giggle gas to get this once tame streetcar into the low 10s.