Smart Car Races A Mustang GT And This Happened

Normally, your typical SmartCar Coupe retails for somewhere in the vicinity of $15,000 new. It has a 3-cylinder turbocharged engine that is rear wheel driven and a riding lawnmower equivalent of horsepower – 89 HP. The torque isn’t anything to brag about either, with barely 100 pound feet as rated by the manufacturer. If it was normally on the start line, it maybe could get up to 60 mph at the 10.1 s mark. And least ironically of all, the fuel efficiency of the gas-powered models rivals mid-90s Volvo sedans at 32/39/35.

So, on the surface, there isn’t much about a SmartCar that would make it a prime pick for racing against a tried-and-true Ford Mustang. Thankfully, that’s where someone decided to change it up. Whether it was your first car or it’s a pet project on the side, automotive enthusiasts always have at least one – a car built with little show and a lot of force, meant to turn heads at the stop light and bring shame to the competition at the speedway.


A slight misnomer, the 462 ci “BBC” (big block engine) was actually manufactured by Ford for the 1967 Lincoln Continental which featured a 7.6 L 462 cubic inch V-8 automatic made for cruising members of high society between their gala events. The 462 cubic inch V-8 engine packed a whopping 340 hp at 4600 rpm. It could also generate upwards of 485 lb-ft of torque at 2800 rpm.

The “Nu Big Thing” 462ci BBC

Make no bones about it – this 462 ci was designed to last and create an ungodly amount of power for the likes of limousines and luxury 4-door sedans for the Lincoln line. Now, let’s go ahead and throw it into a tiny SmartCar and see how it performs! It was facing off against the tried and true Ford Mustang GT. Now, based on nothing but the appearance, I’d have to guess that it’s a 2010 Ford Mustang GT – one of the highest rated Ford sports cars to come out on the market in almost 15 years.

At factory default, this GT packs a 4.6L V-8 capable of calling upon 315 HP to its powertrain. That ain’t half bad for an unleaded fuel, factory default car. Eight cylinders of well-engineered fury managed to cruise to second place at 14.70 seconds and 94.24 mph. The NU BIG THING, by comparison, ran the same track in 11.38 seconds and 116.95 mph. One was a well engineered sports car designed to impress and show off a little, the other was a complete overhaul of a car designed to pretty much do the opposite. And it’s no wonder the results. At 11.38 seconds for the quarter mile track at RT 66, it’s not exactly in contention to break any records outside of “best in its own class” — but still impressive nonetheless. The 462 ci engine in the SmartCar of NU BIG THING delivered so much torque to the rear-wheels that it practically almost took off once full throttle was let into it. Thankfully, the mechanic that made this project happen seemed keen on designing to stay on the straight and narrow versus veering off or cascading into the stands (which has happened at RT 66).

With pet projects like these “sleepers”, it always pays to get the right parts for the job and have a team who knows what they’re doing when it comes to modifying an existing frame. There’s no doubt that despite the NU BIG THING looking like it’s original shape (plus some bulges here or there), there was a LOT of work done to the actual frame itself to accommodate the added weight of the engine and transmission as well as the added force upon the vehicle. And unlike the Ford Mustang GT (2010 or otherwise), this NU BIG THING was designed specifically to compete on the drag strip. It’s doubtful it could handle a track or have any longevity in an event outside of pure unadulterated speed and acceleration. Heck, the darn thing was given so much power they had to put roller braces on the back to keep it from flipping over. They either figured that out through design or disaster – choose one. All said and done, the NU BIG THING surely did put a royal whooping on this Ford Mustang GT. It would be curious to find out more about cars like this and maybe even figure out how they stack up against other cars specifically designed for the drag strip itself. If you know of any rivals to this car mod, drop us a comment in the comments section below.

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Make no bones about it – this 462 ci was designed to last and create an ungodly amount of power for the likes of limousines and luxury 4-door sedans for the Lincoln line. Now