Watch a Honda-Swapped, Mid-Engine Ford Mustang Race LeMons

a race car on a track
This 1967 Ford Mustang Has a J-Series In Its Rear24 Hours of Lemons

The popularity of Honda engine swapping is largely owed to the commonality found across the brand's platform. From petite four-cylinder packaging to shared ECUs, some swaps are as close to plug-and-play as is mechanically reasonable, but dropping a 3.5-liter J35 V-6 from a 2004 Honda Odyssey into a 1967 Ford Mustang isn't exactly that.

That didn't stop the Dead Horse Beaters team from creating the engine-swapped monstrosity of their racing dreams, however. Starting with a shell of a 1967 Ford Mustang Coupe back in 2016, the team did some basic calculations and realized that the 240 hp J35 engine would fit almost perfectly, so long as you completely re-engineer the chassis.

1967 mustang on track at thompson speedway
24 Hours of Lemons

Sitting on an aluminum subframe from an Acura TL and with the front clip off of a 2004 Honda Accord coupe welded to the rear, this Mustang is more Honda than Ford, and that ethos continues on to where the engine is mounted. To keep weight off the front end, the Honda V-6 was mounted in the mid-section of the Mustang. Opening up the engine bay allows for a mix of stock Accord suspension pieces and custom-modified tubular suspension arms, as well as a front-mounted, transmission-tunnel-fed Honda cooling system and 22-gallon fuel cell.

Fitted with AP racing calipers up front, front-end Honda Accord calipers in the rear, and BC racing coilover suspension, the results on track speak for themselves. The Dead Horse Beaters have managed a number of podium finishes as 24 Hours of LeMons races in the Northeast, most recently winning the Index of Effluency at the 2023 LeMons Thompson Connecticut. In true LeMons fashion, not everything has gone according to plan, either.

Sporting a 6-speed manual transmission (with a limited-slip-differential) out of an Acura TL, the team was missing reverse gear for some time. Similarly, the poor horse was hit almost immediately at a LeMons race, but "we're too dumb to quit" the team says. Now in its eighth year of competitive racing, the team and the car must be doing something right.

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