When Asim Kovacevic of Macomb, Michigan, does something, he does it big.
He doesn't just float through life, taking whatever is put on his plate. He's a go-getter, a bull-by-the-horn-taker, and an over-the-topper.
Asim owns and operates his own construction company, which specializes in remodeling homes. When he decided to build a Mustang, though, he hadn't planned on what you see here. "I bought this car just to cruise around and beat on," Asim tells us of the project's early days.
This was Asim's first Mustang, but he always had a thing for notchbacks. "I bought the car for like $5,000. It was a fun little car and ran 12s," Asim recalls. "I dumped about $5,000 into it before making it a project." So with an original budget of $40,000, Asim turned to his friend Diamond Hugo, owner of Diamond Fabrication in Warren, Michigan.
Once Diamond had the green light, he and his crew stripped the coupe and installed the 10-point rollcage, smoothed out the engine bay, and mocked up the remaining components. Meanwhile, Asim had Leif Glasius assembling a 363ci powerplant with a Lukovich Race Engines-modified Dart block, Diamond pistons, titanium rods, and Champion-ported Trick Flow Specialties Twisted Wedge heads. The 8.5:1 compression engine also features a Comp Cams bumpstick, an Edelbrock Victor Sr. intake, and a Wilson Manifolds elbow.
Once the chassis was prepped, Asim sent the shell to Urban Asylum in Warren, Michigan. There, the coupe received a new Cervinis front fascia, a custom-built spoiler, and a generous application of PPG candy burgundy. And as you can see in the photos, even the underside of the car and rollcage are painted to match, with just as much attention to detail.
Somewhere along the line-probably about this point-Asim and Diamond realized they were blowing Asim's $40,000 budget. "One thing led to another," Asim tells us, "and I couldn't skimp out." Not only did he not skimp out, he went over the top. As Diamond began installing the components, almost every component was polished, painted to match, or powdercoated by QC Coatings of Shelby Township, Michigan.
With the engine mated to the new Performance Automatic AOD-E and resting between the fenders, it was time for some added power. Diamond installed a polished 88mm turbo from Precision Turbo & Engine and plumbed it with custom headers and piping. Add a complete Aeromotive fuel system, MSD ignition, Fast XFI engine management, and a tune by Alternative Performance (Macomb, Michigan), and you get an 8-second street machine that looks like it's ready for a Saturday car show.
"I drive this thing all over the place," Asim says. "I even take my kids (daughters, 12 and 7) for rides." That must not be too bad, since the interior is tricked out with all-leather upholstery, climate controls, and a sound system.
Recently at Milan Dragway, Asim ran a best-ever of 8.70 at 157 mph. "Sparing no expense on parts, paint, and Diamond's brilliant ideas and fab work, my expense went just over $100,00," Asim tells us. "But when it was all done, I didn't regret one penny spent on it."