Jim Smart
August 1, 2005

Las Vegas is like no other metropolitan area in the United States. It looks different, and has a distinct mindset and feel. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas-and so it goes 365/24/7 in this glittering metropolis.

Jay Jacquemoud was born and raised there, which is different because most people in Vegas aren't from Vegas. They've retired from somewhere else, escaped the snow, ditched the time clock, or are hiding from someone. Jay hides from no one-he's about as "in your face" as it gets, living the Vegas lifestyle and turning his passion for Mustangs into a business called Mustang Depot (3065 E. Patrick Lane, Suite 2, Las Vegas, NV 89120; 702-262-0011; www.mustangdepot.com).

One of Jay's dreams has long been to build, drive, and sell exciting automobiles. He liked the Eleanor look made legendary by the '67 Mustang fastback in the movie Gone In 60 Seconds, and wondered why the Eleanor look couldn't be applied to other Mustang generations. As a result, Jay built a black '65 hardtop he ultimately named "E2," now also a code name for a line of custom Mustang body kits from Mustang Depot. Without a doubt, it's one of the best Mustang body-kit executions we've ever seen.

Mustang Depot's E2 kit comes with everything needed to create an Eleanor-look '65-'66 Mustang hardtop, fastback, or convertible. Major components include the R-model-style front bumper, headlight buckets, billet-aluminum grilles, a choice of five different hoods (including the cowl version shown here and two with Eleanor-type "bumps"), side-exhaust rocker panels, fender flares, side scoops, and spoilered rear deck. By adding other components available from Mustang Depot, like the GT40 wheels and Dr. Gas functional side-exhaust kit, you can make your E2 as wild as you want.

Jay wanted something more than just eye-wash on four wheels for his rolling E2 showcase, so he built a 550-horse 302-inch small-block that's force fed a diet of air and fuel by a Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger. Inside the plenum is a Barry Grant Demon 650 carburetor, tuned for the high-pressure world of supercharging, on top of an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold. Comp Cams provided the roller bumpstick technology to expedite the cold and hot mix. When Jay gets after the hyper small-block, he shifts the Tremec TKO five-speed with fury using a JMC Motorsports hydraulic clutch system, getting sideways, and going for the gusto in aggressive classic Mustang style. That's a JMC Motorsports dual master cylinder combo packaged tastefully with the hydraulic clutch reservoir.

While we were in Las Vegas shooting Jay's black Mustang rocket ship, we visited Silver State Motorsports, just around the corner from Carroll Shelby's shop, where Jay was spinning the cam lobes on the chassis dyno. He made three passes on the dyno, producing a peak of 570 hp at the rear wheels. Not bad considering this is a 302 mill pegging the tachometer at 7,500 rpm.

Understanding that power without handling would be a bad example for anyone, Jay ordered a complete Total Control suspension system along with Force 10 disc brakes from Stainless Steel Brakes. He also opted for modern rack-and-pinion steering, making the underpinnings complete in every respect.

Inside, the E2 is just as high-tech with a JME instrument cluster, Flo-Fit bucket seats, a LeCarra wheel, and a Perfect Fit air-conditioning system from Classic Auto Air. Again, all of the components are available from Mustang Depot.

Jay's E2 "Sinister 'Stang" hardtop makes a powerful statement for the body style that's the most plentiful out there. It demonstrates what you can do with any Mustang generation with a little imagination and a whole lot of Vegas attitude.