"in plain sight"

Dave Stinson's '92 GT convertible 


“Much of the detail goes unnoticed, even things I feel stick out about the car”
— Dave Stinson


    Something I have noted many times at races and car shows; little details are easily missed. As car guys, we put our heart and soul into our builds, and are especially proud of the "little things" that set them apart from the pack. What can be frustrating is that casual onlookers will often times miss these things. There is a huge difference in a car that has had a catalog of parts thrown at it, and a car with tons of custom made parts, and custom details. Those things that you can't buy, and spent hours designing and building from scratch. As many of these cars as I have looked at, it still gets me how many things I miss, until I walk around the car with the owner, and they point them out. 

    Enter Dave Stinson and his '92 GT. I remember seeing threads on the Corral of Dave building this car, as far back as 2001. Dave spent nearly seven years on the main part of the build, and has been adding/tweaking things ever since. This is one of those cars that you definitely warrants a guided tour, simply because there are so many custom touches. Dave is a bit of a perfectionist, and the work he's done shows that in spades. 

    The build began under the hood, and was a very long and tedious process. Everything from the firewall forward was stripped, and the smoothing began. Bear in mind this was all done before Scott Rod panels were available, everything was welded and filled by hand. The strut towers, fender aprons, and firewall were all smoothed and contoured to Dave's liking. All of the wiring, fuel lines, and brake lines were hidden away; an exhausting process. Once the engine bay was sprayed, Dave began prepping the 302 to drop back in. 

    Getting a set of Edelbrock Performer heads with 1.90/2.02 valves, FRPP 1.6 roller rockers, polished Typhoon intake, polished Accufab throttle body, and polished Vortech S trim supercharger; it was ready to rock. Keeping the blown small block cool is a Fluidyne aluminum radiator, SN95 electric fan, and high flow smoothie water pump from Tuff Stuff. Tuned by Don Walsh Jr. using Diablosport software, the car has perfect street manners.     

    The drivetrain and suspension of the car were not overlooked either. Shifting duties are handled by a 4R70W auto, that was beefed up with a full manual valve body, 10" forged 3000 stall converter, and B&M heavy duty trans cooler; by Broader Performance. The rear end is the stock 8.8, with 3.73 gears, and SN95 axles to accommodate the disk brakes. 

    The suspension is made up of custom made subframe connectors, MAC progressive rate lowering springs, Bilstein HD shocks/struts, Steeda rack bushings, and Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates. The stopping power is borrowed from an '01 Bullitt (Cobra spec), and rolling stock are 17" '99 Cobra wheels, dipped in chrome. 

    The interior is another area where David let his creative juices flow. He began with a set of Cerullo XR seats, finished in bright white leather. A custom made e-brake boot, and shifter boot were also hand stitched; in matching high grain leather. Next up was handmade lower door panel portions, that house the speakers, and are painted body color. The console is also hand made, and painted body color with ghost flames thrown in for good measure. In the center stack, a gauge pod made by Speed of Sound houses two Auto Meter Phantom gauges, and the BBK white face gauge overlays in the main cluster tie it all together. Final bits include custom embroidered floor mats, pillar gauges, Grant steering wheel, and some billet bits from UPR. 

    Capturing all of the details in this write up is nearly impossible to do. And being able to pay tribute to all of Dave's late nights in the garage is equally impossible. The more you look at the car, the more touches you will find, that is what makes it so cool. So the next time you are at a car show or race, ask the owner for a guided tour; you won't believe the details that are hidden in plain sight. CR


Hanlon Motorsports, your tremec 5 & 6 speed experts!