Stupski ’74 Dart

The right graphics treatment can make even an ugly duckling look good. Brian Stupski’s rendition of a ’74 Dart is a perfect example, as it’s a body style that hasn’t exactly gone down in the history books as a pageant winner. “The idea was designing something that offered a ton of bang for the buck without a lot of effort. I wanted something retro, but not so far out of the box where a guy at home couldn’t replicate the look,” Stupski says. “In essence, it’s simply a flat-black hood with billboard ‘Hemi’ graphics that makes use of primary and tertiary colors, but the result is pretty dramatic. Since a car like this doesn’t have a long hood to begin with, I terminated the back of the hood graphics before the windshield, which creates a body-colored border around them. The block-style lettering makes it easy for anyone at home to mask off, and outlining it in blue makes it really stand out. The lowercase ‘Hemi’ font is something different from the norm, and it merely suggests there’s a Hemi instead of screaming ‘Hemi.’ ”

Horton ’71 Chevelle

Owning a mainstream project car can be a double-edged sword. Sure, parts are plentiful and easy to find, but it’s tough to give cars like this a unique look that hasn’t already been done a million times. Fortunately, something as simple as a stripe package can go a long way. “I’ve always felt that the early ’70s A-bodies lacked a cool stripe package. The standard SS racing stripes are timeless and work well, but something the car would have really benefitted from is a stripe that helped cut down the massive sides of the car,” Kris Horton says. “The ’70-72 Chevelles have beautiful body lines, but there’s no denying or downplaying their massive sail panel and rear quarter-panel bulges. The stripe package I came up with helps remedy this problem and adds a bit of character to an already aggressive-looking car. I debated adding wording to the stripe, but ultimately decided that it would detract from an otherwise clean car. I think this look is a cool alternative to what was available back in the Chevelle’s heyday, and I invite anyone who loves these cars to give this stripe a shot.”

Hermance ’70 Cutlass

In the fickle world of automotive trends, two-tone paint seems to be on the way out. From certain angles, Ben Hermance’s interpretation of a modernized ’70 Cutlass takes on certain two-tone cues without going down the same hackneyed path. “If you just paint the hood black, you can end up with a car that looks primered. To avoid that, the black extends into the top of the fenders, the top of the doors, around the windows, and down the A-pillar. This nets a two-tone effect without painting the entire top of the car. It also adds contrast and separates the hood from the rest of the car. For stripes, I wanted something different than the typical Rally Sport treatment. The solution was adding an asymmetrical stripe on the driver side only, much like they used in some vintage race cars.”