Owner: Jermie Wright
Ride: 2000 Chevy Blazer
Hometown: Southaven, MS
Club: Negative Camber

The popular saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression," and anyone who spends time customizing his ride knows there is truth to this cliché.

Jermie Wright built his '00 Chevy Blazer with extraordinarily streamlined sophistication that most tend to see as just another cool bodydropped but otherwise stock truck. Shows what they know!

Sure, Jermie's truck hasn't been shaved up or dipped in layers of flashy paint, but it does have a sleeper appeal that most people wouldn't truly appreciate unless they peeked under the hood or found out the hard way once the red stoplight changes to green. Between the front framerails lies a '95 302ci Ford Mustang engine, and moving the Pony motor to its top speed is a manual five-speed tranny. Didn't expect that, did you? Don't feel bad, because most people have been left flabbergasted when they discover the Blazer's hidden talent.

Dropping a V-8 into a stock-floored application that was built around a V-6 was tricky, but once Jermie figured out that the conversion had to be treated like the motor was being dropped into a Ford engine bay, the mystery became crystal clear. Jermie now has a mini and a Mustang in one clever package that never ceases to amaze the masses. Hurdle after hurdle was cleared, and as the Blazer's owner recounts, it wasn't a cakewalk at all: "The idea of having a big motor started giving me problems and I worked and worked on it, and just when I thought I had it all figured out, it started giving me more problems. I said 'forget it,' and that's when I decided to get a real engine put in. It was all downhill from there."

Aside from the usual bumps in the road during a modification as intense as the engine swap, Jermie pressed on and built himself exactly what he wanted-a classic minitruck with the sack of a muscle car. It's safe to say that his efforts evolved into a speedy, shiny success.

For more information on Jermie's blazing Blazer, move your eyes to the Lowdown.