In its first iteration, the engine was fitted with a cheap turbo. Jerod chased tuning and reliability gremlins with it for some time. Things got easier (read: fast) when he decided to put a Master Power turbo on the car. He fabricated all of the plumbing for the turbo himself, starting with a set of Hooker 1 5/8-inch headers. In fact, he says that there's basically nothing left of the original driver-side header at this point. The rest of the exhaust consists of a single 3-inch pipe routed under the driver side of the car to a Dynomax Bullet muffler.

We asked Jerod if he would build a turbo car again, and he said, "Definitely!" He says it's the most efficient way to make power, but he also said that he'd take what he learned on this car and build the next turbo setup completely different.

The body on the car is another tale altogether. Jerod is a paint and body guy by profession now, however, most of the time that he has owned the Ventura, it wore a coat of primer, or a multicolored coat of primer. He says that one of the most satisfying things he has done to the car is the current paintjob. It was originally an Arizona car, so Jerod didn't have to deal with massive rust issues. It was smashed pretty badly, though, needing considerable metalwork on one quarter-panel and a bunch of detail work over the rest of the body. To further increase airflow in the engine bay, he crafted a 3-inch tall hoodscoop from sheetmetal and grafted it to the original steel hood. That's right, don't bother searching the Internet for that cowl hood-it's a custom one-off. The front of it lines up with the Pontiac "V" on nose, and the rear incorporates multiple holes, one of which holds the fuel-pressure gauge. To give the Ventura a custom and clean look, Jerod shaved the side marker lights, front and rear. He also blacked out emblems, headlight trim, the grille, and driprail moldings.

One of the most comical parts of the car, at least to us, is the instrument panel-only two gauges actually match each other. It's a potpourri of monitors that, like the rest of the car, came together based on what was inexpensive and available. When Jerod plopped the latest engine in the car, he really wanted accurate gauges to keep tabs of the oil pressure and water temperature, so those were added.

Not everything is old school and inexpensive. Obviously, a turbo on a small-block takes a lot of work to get right, and many believe that this is the way to make big power with a streetable engine. Jerod also used drop spindles in the front along with cut factory coils to drop the nose of the car. The rear altitude was reduced by re-arching the factory leaf springs, a time-honored and budget-friendly method.

He had some trouble hooking the car up when he started making more power. He studied the various traction devices available and fabricated a pair of bars with rod ends and brackets to mount them under the rear springs. Along with drag race shocks, this home-brewed system helps the car hook sufficiently to turn 11-second quarter-miles.

Jerod says his Ventura was never really built with a goal or an image in mind of what the car would be like when it's finished. The main thing for him is that it was his high school project that's been with him through the years. From the mismatched front and rear tires to the marine battery box in the trunk, we can relate.