Swapping engines around in different projects or racecars happens all the time, but what doesn’t occur often is foreign engines in domestic cars. Matt Brobston made this unique swap happen when he crammed a stout Toyota 2JZ into a 1982 Mercury Capri. The car is known as “Project Eggroll” and its a nasty 1,000 horsepower small-tire car that runs deep into the 5-second zone in the 1/8-mile.
Matt spent a lot of time growing up in the garage with his dad restoring old muscle cars, specifically classic Buicks. At just 12 years old Matt purchased his own project car that he worked on for a long time before selling the car to his dad. To replace it, Matt picked up a 1988 Toyota Supra that he swapped the factory engine out for a 2JZ — this is where he learned about the engine platform. From there,Matt raced the Supra at various local events.
Fast forward to when Matt and his wife Staci purchased their first house — since Staci had been around racing with Matt she decided it was time to get her own car to race. A search was conducted and a 1982 Mercury Capri was located that was within the couple’s budget. This is where Project Eggroll began.
“My wife had the original idea of putting a 2JZ into the Capri. She came across the white Mustang Excessive Autosports put a 2JZ in and fell in love with it. We picked up an engine out of the junkyard from a 1992 Lexus SC300 to put in the Capri. The plan was to do a small turbo build with an automatic transmission so the car would make around 500 horsepower. While we were working on the Capri I was racing my Supra and running 6.60s at 108 mph. We were struggling with how heavy the car was at 3,700 pounds with me in it, so we ultimately made the decision to swap the engine out of my Supra into the Capri and start racing it. The car at the time was 700 pounds lighter than my Supra was,” Matt explains.
The 2JZ built by Excessive Autosports uses a half-filled 2JZ-GE block, with billet mains from Titan Motorsports, CP-Carrillo Pro H-beam rods, and custom Diamond pistons. The cylinder head is a stock unit that has GSC S2 Cams, beehive springs, and is held to the engine by ARP hardware. Brevard Discount Transmission and Auto Center built the TH400 transmission that works with an FTI torque converter. Joey Keyman at Excessive Autosports tunes the 2JZ via the DIY Autotune Gen1 MS3 Pro with a Microsquirt for additional inputs.
Boost for Project Eggroll comes from a Precision Gen 2 PT8685 turbo. Matt built the rest of the kit himself that uses an eBay T4 turbo exhaust manifold and intake while a Tial 44mm wastegate and blow-off valve help keep all of the boost in check. To help spool the giant turbo up a Nitrous Outlet nozzle system is used.
Shiomi Garage fabricated the 8.50-cert roll cage that keeps Matt safe on each pass. Under the car is a variety of Team Z Motorsports suspension parts that were added by Matt. Strange Engineering shocks are in charge of the dampening duties, while parts from UPR, Racecraft, LMR, and DND round out the suspension system. All of these parts work together well and Matt continues to make tweaks to try and help Project Eggroll harness all of the 2JZ power that it has on tap.
Wrestling a 2JZ into a Mercury Capri isn’t exactly a straightforward task. Matt jumped right into the project by removing the engine from his Supra, bolting up the TH400, and lowering it into the engine bay to see how it would fit.
“The initial fit was very tight and required some persuasion. Eventually, after making some adjustments the engine fit easily. After that we designed the engine mounts, my dad and I cut them and welded them together. Once the engine was bolted into the car I was able to apply a lot of the same knowledge used to swap the Supra I had to finish the Capri. We definitely ran into a few challenges with the cooling system and intercooler piping. A local fabricator, Eric Isaacson, designed the intercooler piping. The wiring is something I’m very good at and was easily completed,” Matt says.
Unfortunately, at a recent event Project Eggroll had an unscheduled meeting with the track’s retaining wall. All of Matt’s safety gear did its job and the car isn’t tin too bad of shape. Matt and his team have been working hard on getting the Capri back into fighting shape and ready to hit more events in 2020.
Video credit 1320Video
The single biggest influence on Matt’s automotive and racing endeavors has been his father.
“He’s the one that really got me started into cars at a young age. He’s also been my biggest fan and loved to talk about the car. I lost my dad to a heart attack on January 5, 2020, at the age of 55. It’s been the biggest loss to our program and has been very tough on me,” Matt shares.
Getting Project Eggroll to its current level hasn’t been an easy task at all, but Matt has received a lot of help along the way. For him, it’s very important all of those who have assisted with the car get the recognition they deserve.
“I really need to thank my wife Staci for originally purchasing the car and continuing to support my racing. Joey Keyman and Excessive Autosports, I seriously can’t say enough good things about the guys there. The car would not be anywhere near where it’s at without Joey’s help with tuning, troubleshooting, and helping with upgrades. Tyson Williams and Garage Built Racing, Jordan Sharp, and New Edge Automotive Detailing, plus Jason Sites and The Organization have all helped out so much. Finally my crew: Mike Bowes, Lance Flathers, and Aaron Larson. These guys put in so much work on the car to help keep it going,” Matt says.
Matt Brobston and his wife went in a totally different direction than most when it comes to building a racecar. Project Eggroll is a unique machine that brings something different to the table and makes some pretty stout runs. If you see this Capri at the track don’t act to shocked when it starts to spool up and sound a bit different than any other car before it rips off a 5-second lap.