Started about three years ago. I had been making some modifications to the stock engine, but a couple things happened. We had gotten the wagon from my wife's grand father, who had passed. No one wanted the car, so we got it with very little miles. After having this car for 20 years and working travel jobs for all of that time, I ended up putting 300,ooo miles on the car. The engine and trans mission were tired. I had a 'fan' belt come apart and I was done with it. Only thing was, everything else on the car still worked. It had been a great car. Then a friend calls me up, and says did you know that so and so was getting rid of all his hot rod stuff. I ended up with a 351w block, a box of pistons, a cam, and some other engine parts. Oh and he gave me the AOD transmission to go with it. I looked around for a good older Ford Truck or Mustang to put it in, but nothing came together. I began assembling the engine and that's when I had the dumbest thought ever... and then I acted on it. I wasn't sure the engine would fit. There was a company that makes the kits to put a V8 in the Focus, so I called them up. Great guys. Yes they had made a kit to put them in a Focus, but the Escort was very different and would need a blank sheet. After doing the Focus, they passed on any idea of doing an Escort based swap. I picked up a Mustang front clip K member from a junkyard. It enabled me to see how I could try to get the thing in there. It became evident that the 351w would fit, but the I would have to fabricate the hole front section. After cutting off the front of the car, and adding some formed chromoly rails to run the length of the car, it gave a basis to the rest of the build to work from.