While Brian Finch's '71 looks like it might have been the issue of Detroit Speed, it wasn't. No, the best thing here is that the 40-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee, strung the entire project with his own hands. It comes down to money, of course, but even if Brian could afford a high-end shop to do it, he would have still done it himself. That's the basic and hallowed tenet of hot rodding, pure and simple.
Oh, but the days of building from scratch have all but faded into sepia. You don't need to re-engineer the wheel, either, you just need the best the aftermarket has to offer and piece it together using noggin and opposed thumbs. Yes, DSE components have a great pedigree, thoroughly tested and proven for their worth.
Brian was inspired by DSE's second-gen "Test Car" and if there's anything that sets the autocross/road race phenomenon apart from the rest, it's the rim and tire combination. You harness the tractive power of the biggest available rubber on the widest feasible rims.
Five years ago, Brian posed this car as a Pro Street flashback packed with a ProCharged 454 backed by a six-speed and a 12-bolt with a ladder bar suspension. Time precluded reworking another car so he simply segued into the autocross realm with the car he's had since 1991. It already had quality paint, a full rollcage, and mini-tubs.
"I focused on areas that I could improve upon. The biggest one was massaging the inner fenderwells to allow the massive 295-series fronts, without rubbing issues. That change allowed for an additional inch of rubber per side. It should help at the tight parking lot courses that we run on most of the time. For an additional edge, I went with Anvil carbon-fiber goodies that helped to make my car 200 pounds lighter," said Brian with a gleam in his eyes.
Meanwhile, 200 miles to the east, the annual Run Through the Hills celebration loomed big. Brian drove off, spirits high, car untested. "The car had zero issues and won People's Choice award, beating out all challengers. Then it went to SEMA as a feature vehicle, and after that, from Vegas to Pahrump, Nevada, to compete in the '09 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. I finished sixth place overall out of 50-plus entries. Finally, I drove the car 2,000 miles back home and the fuel efficiency number never dropped below 20 mpg," said Brian with a wink.