Brian Stupski was raised by a family of car lovers. He spent many weekends wandering junkyards with his father in search of the perfect part. His mom was an enthusiastic owner of a '56 Chevy, as well as an active member of her car club. Brian dog-eared many issues of Hot Rod, Car Craft, and other magazines, and eventually started building "custom" plastic model cars out of multiple kits. Drawing cars became a compulsion that gobbled up much of his time, in and out of school. Wanting to indulge his love for automobiles in college, Brian got his feet wet by studying to be an automotive engineer. However, that dream ended after a professor allegedly told him: "Math doesn't like you. It told me so." Taking the hint, Brian decided to cannonball into the fine arts studies instead-a move he has not regretted.
Visiting Brian's imagination is never like another day at the races. Check out his "A-Tona," a '65 Dodge Daytona A-100 clone that has been bookended by Charger-esque recessed headlights, V-butted windshield, Daytona wing, and a Charger-inspired rear end with a taillight assembly that runs the length of the roll pan. Next, he added side vents to the, otherwise, shaved front doors. Note the flush-side exhausts. The body is painted in Hemi-Orange with a white rear wing and stripe and the A-Tona logo. Nineteen-inch front and twenty-inch rear wheels with knock-offs hide big six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes.
Now, a supercharged Hemi lies way back in the bed, for better wheel-standing fun and straight-ahead mayhem. The customized interior exists only in his mind, but purportedly consists of a custom dash filled with Auto Meter gauges...and an eight-track player-just because it's an A-100. Low-profile seating is necessary due to the body-drop. Harnesses and a well-hidden roll cage lull passengers into a false sense of stability just before the pedal is mashed, flicking the A-Tona into a rocket-like stance.
The works of well-known designers, such as Steve Stanford and Thom Taylor, inspired Brian's career in hot-rod design. He began drawing concepts for local shops, then stepped up to SEMA Show projects, die-cast toys, and custom graphic design. Brian prefers realistic designs-executable projects that fit a client's budget and the capabilities of the likely builder-over blue-sky concepts. He would like to realize his childhood dream of designing Hot Wheels cars, someday, but is content with realizing hot-rod fantasies on paper for now.
Take a look at this homage to Ford's muscle-car heritage. Called the '08 Bronco Boss 302 concept, it combines simple with different, a not-so-out-there idea that still triggers a double take. Brian started by lopping five inches from an Extended Cab shortbed wheelbase, then added roof and tailgate cues from the Expedition. Flush-fit rear glass on the rear doors granted the illusion of larger quarter windows. The headlamp vent treatment was inspired by the '70 Mustang. A fully custom front fascia has a large lower grille and brake-cooling ducts. Air flows over the top of the grille's deflector and exits the Ford GT-inspired hood vent, while sweeping hot air from the engine compartment. Vents in the lower area of the deflector feeds intercoolers. The lower air dam mimics its classic pony counterpart, and the lower side cladding obscures the side-exit exhaust and blends to the rear brake duct. Three-piece alloys are stopped by massive rotors and six-piston calipers. Under the hood resides a new Boss 302 block with twin turbos and a six-speed transmission, complete with a 9-inch housing out back.
The vehicle's modern-looking interior is expressed with gray and yellow muscularity. A full-length center console separates mock '70s Mustang rear seats and high-back buckets, past the Hurst T-handle shifter, before intersecting to the dash with its re-contoured top and centrally mounted boost gauges. A white-faced instrument panel, a passenger grab handle, and a Mustang-themed steering wheel complete the look.