Some people get something set in their mind, and they just wont let it go. They wont stop or waver in their quest to make their mental image a reality. For John Collins of Dumas, Arkansas, it was exactly that way when it came to putting together the Winchester Gray 72 Demon you see here. I just wanted to do it right, he says in a matter-of-fact way.
Doing it right meant that every nut and boltfrom bumper to bumperwas given attention before being installed. Thus, every part would come together in a finished product that was clean, simple, understated, and in tune with the overall look of the Demon. Nothing on this car appears out of placenothing is an afterthought. Your attention isnt grabbed by a single trick or detail, because nothing jumps outeverything works in concert to make one strong, bold statement instead of one or two small ones.
The first thing that caught our attention was how well the factory Winchester Gray with black stripes was set off by the polished 15x6 and 15x8 inch Halibrands. As we kept looking at the car, more and more details kept popping outsmoothed and color-keyed bumpers, along with the color-keyed window trim and door handles. The marker lights have custom covers over them to make them less obtrusive, unlike the factory lenses that appear to be last minute additions.
The interior is flawless, yet equally subtle. The black carpet, door panels, and dash are set off by the billet dash face filled with white-face AutoMeter Phantom gauges. Black cloth covers the original cardboard headliner, and a simple boot and brushed trim ring are home to the 4-speed shifter, rather than the traditional console. Bucket seats borrowed from an 86 Daytona give the seating a modern touch, and an Airtique A/C system and Kenwood stereo make driving this bad boy even more enjoyable. Final touches include the shift knob and A/C control panel face whittled from billet aluminum to tie them into the look of the dash. Nothing appears out of place.
Underhood detailing is nothing short of breathtaking, with every nut, bolt, and bracket either polished, painted, or plated. The flamed air cleaner (flames; Demon; get it?) goes nicely with the custom engraved valve covers that started out as $25 Mickey Thompson swap meet refugees. Other attentions to detail include the machined radiator cap which matches the overflow bottles and the caps that cover the top of the shock absorber bayonets. Everything else, including the engine, was smoothed and coated in matching Winchester Gray. To keep it all clean, John removed the Demons original scooped hood and replaced it with a flat hood, to which he added an aftermarket, non-functioning scoop. It keeps the engine bay a lot cleaner without the scoop, John says. And thats important when you consider that as nice as this car is, John built it to drive.
To get around town, the original 340 employs 10:1 TRW pistons, an Edelbrock intake and carb, Mopar Performance Electronic ignition, and a Hughes cam, all breathing through detailed stock exhaust manifolds, 2-½-inch pipes and DynoMax mufflers. A Hays clutch and pressure plate feed the power to the 4-speed. Out back, the stock 8-¾ is fitted with 3.55 Richmond gears, while factory front discs help slow this Demon down. What more could you ask for in a driver?
John had the car done less than a year when we photographed it. While talking to him, he seemed genuinely surprised that wed want to put it in the magazine, saying I didnt build the car to be magazine quality, that wasnt my intention. I just built it the way I thought it should be done. Exactly! He built his car the right way.