The Most Talked About Swap At SEMA 2018

I don’t get the chance to go to SEMA every year. Vegas isn’t a town that encourages the more responsible sides of my decision making so I approach it sparingly. That said, earlier in the year I caught wind of a project that was well worth a trip back to the city of sin. Better judgment be damned!

Tony’s approach to introducing the project was pretty slick. The words “check this out, it’s for SEMA” along with three photos: a side shot, a rear shot, and one final under hood shot.


The side shot showed the then primered version of Tony’s 1967 Mustang. It was a project he started over a decade ago at his shop American Legends. The then very-much under-construction car had already had its roof chopped 2.5″, moldings and handles shaved and wheel-well openings widened. Going a bit further still, Tony also fabricated his own steel deck spoiler, molded the rear bumper, crafted side skirts and constructed a custom front bumper just for good measure.


As non-purist as it could possibly be, I was on board with photos 1 & 2. I respected the fact that he was building the car himself, the way he wanted with the potential for something epic clearly there.

When I scrolled to photo 3 I darn near booked my flight to Vegas then and there!


With such a unique exterior any motor from the Ford catalog was instantly viewed as too mundane. Chevy’s LS and Toyota’s 2JZ were also never really a consideration. Both have been done and this wasn’t a lather rinse and repeat sort of affair. Tony wanted something that would be as much of a technical challenge as a creative one.

There isn’t a single person that can argue a Ferrari 4.3L F136 swap in a Mustang is anything but that.

However, should you be the argumentative type, to double down (or is it triple if you include the motor?) in the insanity, Tony didn’t stop at just the swap. He also installed mirrored Nelson Racing turbos on either side of the flat-plane crank V8 and dropped the whole lot into an impeccably-shaved engine bay.

Pictures hardly do it justice, such is the high level of execution. Considering the lunacy of this swap, everything seems to look right at home.


If you want to talk show stoppers, scratch that – show stealers – the Corruptt Mustang is as good as they come. The red carpet in front of the car had practically worn pink from the amount of people stopping by the Odyssey Battery booth for a closer look. Toyo Tires even awarded it with their SEMA Top Build award.


After leaving such a mark on the Ford’s exterior and engine bay, Tony turned his attention to the interior. Like the power plant it’s one of a kind, and extremely advanced.

Sitting on a carbon fiber floor pan and between custom door panels are one off seats with Schroth harnesses. The rear seat has been jettisoned and replaced with an exposed Odyssey battery set up.

Tony does plan to drive the car, so he’s installed heat, and air conditioning. Engine vitals are monitored via Dakota digital gauges and the power windows, locks, and even air suspension can be controlled via tablet or phone.


While much of the car is digitally controlled, Tony stuck with analog for the transmission. This car has three pedals, and a Tremec T6 mounted via a custom adapter plate.

Footwork consists of Avant Garde F461 wheels 18-inches in diameter. Toyo R888R tires are on all four corners, 225s in the front and a healthy 285 in the rear.

Behind the wheels are Wilwood calipers customized with the Corruptt logo. The paint on the calipers matches the same yellow of the intake manifold tying everything together.


The gunmetal BASF paint gives the car as understated a look as a car like this can get while the custom LED/acrylic lights really give the rear end a unique modern feel.

If you think this car is deserving of a more robust feature, along with a sound bite or ten, we agree and will have more to come on this project at a later date. Until then, if you want to take a look back at how Tony made this all work, take a wander through his Instagram profile @corrupttmustang.

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverything

Photography by Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: Trevor Yale Ryan



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Trev, your auto-correct kept correcting CORRUPTT (car's name) into CORRUPT with one "T" :P
Aside from that, this stupendous coverage from SEMA is making me absolutely wild with desire to see more of these cars!!! You guys have done an AMAZING job bringing us all of this quick coverage and I cannot wait for proper spotlights on all of them! Hi-fives and a bottle of whiskey to all of you!!!


Yeah that was me, hopping between planes, didn't catch that thanks TYR and Justin.


Hey now, it happened once. Also, I didnt write it ;)

But it's fixed, and thanks! So much good stuff it's hard to follow up with all of it lol but we'll do our best


Amazing build go Tony Arme and American Legends


Insane, incredible project. One thing to clarify - if it's really a Ferrari, flat-plane F136, then it's a 4.3 liter engine. All the 4.2 liter variants of that engine are cross-plane Maserati engines. Still cool, but if it really is the higher-revving, more powerful, flat-plane Ferrari variant...truly the most incredible swap I've seen.


Hey Evan, the sign board stated it's an F136, which would mean my 4.3L in the copy is incorrect. Looking back here Tony says it is 430 based as well. when we do a more in depth look I'll be sure to get things further clarified :)


you mean your 4.2L in the copy is incorrect (4.3L would be correct)


Absolutely love everything about this build!


I can't imagine what that must feel like to drive. The six-speed inclusion is perfect. That dashboard is all completely custom too (I'm sure TYR caught that).
Just when you think you've seen it all...


I dont know why, but I think the look of the car is kind of fugly, both inside and outside. I respect the hell out of the car and sure is a beast to drive but the aspect of it...not for me.


I think it's the roof chop. It ruins the proportions for me.


Enzo and Henry II are rolling in their graves, and that is why I love it!


I was going to comment on how appropriate a swap it is, as well, considering the history between the two companies. If only the Mach 40 were given a Ferrari engine.


holy moly that's cool


SUPER-cool engine swap to be sure, and the rest of the details unlike so many other cars at SEMA have been for the most part done to completion rather than "in progress"...whether they resonate with me or not.
Best Of Show IMO for me so far!

Daniel P Huneault

would love to know how he did the tailights and make them functional!


I'm sorry, 225 and 285 rolling stock in what look like REALLY low profiles on a build with a TWIN TURBO FERRARI motor?!

Now THAT'S a crime against hot rodding.


Top notch. Cue Montell


The engine is cool, but those tail lights are wonderful... I wonder if they would be street legal. Typically you'd need a DOT approved light, but maybe not on a car that old?


In North Carolina, a car older than 35 years does not need any inspection...This thing is pretty incredible.


That steering wheel is 10/10


I hate this car, but love it at the same time.


Almost fell over when I ran into this beast on Saturday morning at our monthly local Cars and Coffee gathering. Guessing it pulled out of SEMA early then? Crazy piece of kit for sure.


Sema roll out is Friday night. So likely hit up C&C on the way home.


This car was absolutely awesome,in real even better then in the pictures,but for me the full carbon fibre Dodge Charger from Steetcore was the absolute winner all panels made out Of carbon fibre was really unreal
Hope you guys do a shoot on that one as well