Rob Kinnan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
May 15, 2015
Photos By: Ric Rowan, Malcolm Carmichael, Paul Stutz

Not many people are lucky enough to make a living at what they love to do, but Paul Stutz has. Growing up in Banff, Alberta, Canada, Paul learned to ski about the time he could walk, and stayed with the sport until he was at the top of the mountain among Canadian downhill skiers competing on the World Cup. When most of us want to relax and get away from our day jobs, we do fun stuff that’s totally unrelated to the daily drill, including skiing. But when he is on skis 200 days a year for his career, the last thing Paul wants to do on his day off is put the boots back on, so he decided to build a car.

Paul’s father had a 1969 Mustang convertible when Paul was born and it cemented his love of Mustangs, so it was natural that when he got the bug to build a car about six years ago that’s what he went looking for. After a lot of eBay and craigslist searching in Canada and the U.S., he found an S-code 1967 GT fastback for sale in Alberta and went cash-in-hand to buy the car the next weekend. From the beginning, this was going to be a budget-based project. Paul said, “Since I am not a football or hockey player making the big bucks of professional sports, I paid for and rebuilt my Mustang with saved-up change and a lot of passion for cars.”

Paul Stutz was a member of the 2010 Canadian Olympic team in Vancouver, but the World Cup circuit is most skiers’ main focus, and there he got a Seventh place World Cup result, was four-time Canadian Champion, and two-time North American Slalom Champion. When he retired after last season, he was the number one ranked skier in Canada.
Paul researched the Ski Country Special Mustangs that were sold in the Colorado market to find out what ski rack they used, and found a ’60s-era Thule rack for his fastback. The wheels are 17x8 and 18x9 Coys wheels.

A lot of nights spent in European hotel rooms over the last decade while climbing the ski racing ranks and competing in World Cup events gave Paul time to research parts and modifications, and plan the project out while he saved money to make it happen. The budget-based nature of the build and his relative newness to working on cars meant that good friends were critical to the car’s execution. “I have had great friends who have supported me through the ups and downs of learning how to restore a car,” Paul says, “but I owe a lot to my mechanic, the online forums, and especially magazines. I became great friends with Tim Elemans, a classic car mechanic who taught me so many invaluable lessons. He’s especially interesting because he is a rare breed: a fulltime classic mechanic who is only 27 years old with his own business. I was surprised what two young guys in their twenties with no real budget came up with.”

That lack of budget meant that Paul has had his hands on every bolt on the car, doing as much of the work himself as he could. Starting with the engine, the original 390 was treated to a 410ci stroker kit and outfitted with the usual compliment of speed parts, and there’s a 100 shot of squeeze that “gets things going when that isn’t enough.” Paul even did most of the body and paint prepwork, but had Terry Levair at Investment Vehicle Restorations spray the deep black paint.

The stock 390 was stroked to 410 inches and runs aluminum Edelbrock heads, a COMP cams bumpstick and roller rockers, a Holley carb on an Edelbrock Performer intake, FPA headers, a PerTronix Ignitor III ignition, a 100hp NOS Powershot nitrous system, and Flex-a-lite fans pull air through a Griffin radiator.
The interior has Scat Procar Rally seats and a custom center console armrest, but the rest is mostly restored stock stuff.
An example of Paul’s unique touches to his car are the wooden inserts in the B&M ratchet shifter handle. “I called Grant, who made the steering wheel, and found out what kind of wood they were using, and had new handle inserts made to match the wheel.”

All of those lonely nights in hotel rooms planning custom tricks on his dream car is especially apparent in the interior, most notably the radio custom fit to the center console. At a quick glance it looks like a stock radio is still there, but it’s actually a double-DIN Pioneer deck with GPS and all the other bells and whistles. Paul is a self-described technology lover and spent a lot of time at his kitchen table with the console and electronics trying to figure out how to bring his vision into reality. The screen saver on the touch-screen is a photo of an original radio—touching it allows you to control the GPS, radio, or whatever entertainment/information option you’re looking for, but it always reverts back to the old radio pic as a screensaver. The knobs are functional; Paul rigged it up so that one knob turns the system on and the other knob is actually a wired remote to the head unit and functions as a volume control. Cool, huh?

The car is Paul’s driver when the Canadian summer comes around, and though he hasn’t raced it and doesn’t have any performance numbers, he says the car is a rocket ship. He’s going to have more time to spend with his Mustang in the years to come, saying, “A couple of things changed in my life: I’m 31 now and this last season, the body was taking its toll, and this is the first season that I’m not fully competitive on the World cup circuit. I’m still staying involved in the sport, but the main career in Europe is definitely over. But I’m really happy with a career that was such a very special part of my life, one that taught me patience and work ethic, which has translated into this car hobby. My sport is incredibly taxing on the brain and body, and to have a nice diversion like my Mustang has been pretty phenomenal. With struggling to find sponsorship to fund my athletic pursuits, let alone money to complete a project like this, I will say I am quite proud of what I have accomplished.”

These are the faces of the entertainment system’s head unit. The top photo is the screen saver that the system reverts to in use. The middle and bottom ones show what it looks like in GPS and stereo (respectively) modes. Paul said, “It took a lot of sitting there at my kitchen table with the console all apart, trying to figure out how to make it all work, but at the end of the day it’s a pretty neat piece and I’ve never seen it before.”
All of the electronics are from Pioneer, and keep the nitrous bottle company in the trunk.
Paul met Alison a few years ago and picked her up for their first date in his Mustang. He told us, “I found out that her dad used to have a 1967 Mustang, and her first car was also a Mustang. So I guess when I picked her up for our first date with this car, I earned a few brownie points.” We’d say so—this photo was taken on their wedding day.
When summer rolls around is when Paul gets the Mustang out for cruising in the gorgeous Canadian Rockies.