At one point in time engine swaps and JDM conversions were an unorthodox and expensive procedure. Performing either often forced you to take a vow of poverty and gear up for instant ramen for the next few months. Fast-forward to today and chances are that 240SX in your neighborhood is powered by an SR20 and all of your homies have Integras with JDM front-end conversions. But Jerry Fan's car is not your average engine or headlight swap.
Jerry is calling his car the "Muzilla," and if you haven't figured it out yet, it's a combination of the words "Mustang" and "Godzilla." There have been countless Mustangs with 2JZ swaps; one of the most well known JDM "Stangs" is from Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift, with an RB26 swap. Most gearheads might think this three-year-long project is nothing more than a widebody Mustang, but on paper Jerry's car is actually a '10 Nissan GT-R.
There aren't a lot of cars that will offend both USDM and JDM enthusiasts at the same time, but Jerry doesn't really care. He built the Muzilla without the same old story of boy grows up with Hot Wheels, or boy watches dad work on cars. His affiliation with cars wasn't by choice, either. It was his daily driven Ford Taurus with a consistent overheating problem that led him to learn about engines. Jerry made a bold move and pulled the engine and transmission out and without knowing anything about cars, he spent the next three months cleaning and rebuilding the engine. With knowledge gained from hands-on experience, he would later go on to help his friends rebuild even more engines.
During a track tour at Autoclub Speedway, Jerry fell in love with a '70 Ford Mustang Fastback. "I stared at the '70 Mustang Fastback for hours. Right then I knew I wanted a track car. I also wanted to complete a Power Tour. Blame it on too much YouTube," Jerry explains.
You might be wondering how the GT-R fits into the picture. "Well, the GT-R is simply a cool car," Jerry says. His dream car was something that handled like a GT-R but had the look of American muscle - a perfect description of Muzilla. If the very idea of cutting your fenders makes you squirm, imagine all of the hacking required to fit a Mustang body onto a Nissan chassis. Nearly everything had to be modified for it to work. Jerry will tell you the only similarity the Mustang and the GT-R share is the wheelbase. "Joining the unibodies together and making sure they are properly squared up was the most difficult part," Jerry says. With surgery complete, Jerry had a friend mock up a computer rendering to create custom fenders before the car was sent to PitGarage for a spray in Calypso Coral from a Boss Mustang color palette.
Modeled after a Mustang Mach 1, the interior is every bit as impressive as the exterior, and still retains bits of GT-R, such as the gauge cluster and center console. But it wasn't a simple interior drop as a lot of brainstorming and customization had to be done. "Integrating GT-R parts into the dash was difficult. Initially I tried to just use the stock GT-R cluster, but it was too big and can't properly be cut down," Jerry explains. Even after stripping and reshaping the cluster, he still had to find a way to fit all of the electronics that the GT-R had. In the end, Jerry found himself sitting on a Sabelt GT-200 carbon hybrid seat and behind the wheel of a bespoke Muzilla creation.
Since the GT-R already had ample amounts of power from the factory, Jerry kept engine modifications fairly simple. He turned to Church Automotive for a tune and debuted his car at the '16 SEMA show. "Watching people's reaction was the best part. Most would walk passed it until they saw the engine through the opening in the hood, and they just suddenly walked backward to take a closer look. Most people thought it was just an engine swap, but some you can tell know what's going on and they got on the floor and checked my axles," Jerry concluded.
No doubt there will be confusion seeing a '70 Ford Mustang accelerate and sound like a Nissan GT-R. It might be a little bent, but Jerry's Muzilla is easily one of the hottest USDM/JDM mix tapes we've seen in a long time.