Do you want to see a Ford fan get mad? Pop the hood of a Ford Mustang that has an LS-based engine and watch the steam flow out of their ears. Now, when Alex Tremblay opens the hood of his 1991 Mustang he gets a confused look from Ford fans, since his car has a boosted Honda K24A2 engine resting between the fenders.
Alex didn’t begin his performance car journey in the Ford world, in fact, his first “fun” car was a stick-shift 2005 Lexus is300. The Lexus featured a stock 2JZ-GE engine, and the car had a few mods done when Alex purchased it. Alex started to add his own custom touches to the Lexus to make it his own.
Eventually, he made his way to the drag strip with his Lexus to hang out with some friends, and that’s when the racing bug first bit him.
“The Lexus did pretty bad at the track since it didn’t really have a lot of power. Things started to get serious when I decided to add a turbo kit to the stock GE engine. I finally decided to ditch the GE engine as I wanted more power, so we did a 2JC-GTE VVTI swap with a big turbo and other supporting mods. Since I had a car with more power, I went drag racing even more. Obviously, I always wanted to go faster so I kept working on the car,” Alex says.
In 2021 Alex made a career change and went to work for KMP Speed Shop. The eye candy and impressive builds at the shop made an impact on him. The Honda K24-powered Lexus IS300 that belongs to Karl Metivier, KMP Speed Shop’s owner really got Alex’s attention thanks to how much power it made. Alex wanted a race car of his own, but since the shop was so busy, he needed to find a car that was nearly complete. That’s where the Mustang enters the picture.
“I found the Mustang for sale locally as a turnkey race car with a 408 cubic-inch Ford engine and Powerglide for a drivetrain. I went to see the car in person and I was extremely surprised at how clean and perfect the car was. It could almost have been listed as a collector’s car. It was a bit pricey, but all of the chassis work was done, so that would save us a tremendous amount of time if I wanted to race this summer. So I brought it to the shop and we started working part-time during the weekends on it. After about five weeks of hard work it was finally ready to race,” Alex explains.
A Honda K24 was sourced from a local junkyard and was cleaned up before Alex started to make some key changes to the engine. A set of Manley H-beam rods, Supertech beehive valve springs, ARP head studs, and a used K20a2 oil pump were added to the engine. The team at KMP machined its own adapter plate and billet flexplate so the Powerglide transmission and torque converter would bolt up to the Honda engine. The adapter plate also acts as a motor plate holding the engine to the chassis. KMP also built the custom turbo system that uses a 72mm PSR S372 turbo to supply boost to the K24.
The big question many might have for Alex is: why a Honda engine? The answer is simple, it’s a cost-effective engine choice based on the rules that Alex plans to race under.
“It may seem weird at first to use a Honda engine versus simply doing an LS swap like pretty much everyone out there. When you consider the class rules of our local class that the car will race in makes a lot more sense. We think the Honda K engine is one of the best four-cylinder engines available today and we have experience with it. In the end, we think it’s cheaper and easier to make 1,000 horsepower with a four-cylinder engine on ethanol, versus trying to run a heavier car and pushing the limits of a V8 pump gas engine that will need 1,300-1,400 horsepower to be competitive, because of the weight,” Alex says.
The K24 is making 644 horsepower to the tires right now, so Alex estimates it will run in the mid to low 9-second range. When the car has been fully sorted out, Alex plans on putting in a max effort K24 and shooting for some low 8-second time slips in the Super Street Power Adder class at Napierville Dragway.
Alex Tremblay’s Honda-powered Mustang laughs in the face of conventional thinking. While a K24-powered Mustang might not be for everyone, it’s cool to see someone thinking outside the box and building a unique car.