Cars are a way of life for Matt Stinson.
As president of Southern Kentucky Truck Sales in Adolphus, Stinson has made a living out of selling them. But his lot has had more of a Hollywood feel in the last year, since Stinson began a new project – collecting old cars and refurbishing them to recreate some of the most iconic vehicles in movie and television history.
Stinson has remade everything from the Mystery Machine of “Scooby Doo” fame to the “Ghostbusters” car to vehicles from “Gone in 60 Seconds” and the “Fast & Furious” franchise.
“We are car people,” Stinson said. “I have a son (Tucker), he’s 12 and he loves movie cars, so anything to encourage him to not play video games and do real-world things. A lot of people love movie cars. It sure gave us an excuse to move forward.”
Stinson said the first movie car he bought was the customized Shelby Mustang GT500 known as Eleanor that was used in the 2000 remake of “Gone in 60 Seconds,” starring Nicolas Cage.
“The first one we bought was pretty well done and we worked on it a little bit,” Stinson said. “I own a small car lot, so anything we’ve got I will sell. Some of these we sell before we were done. It was a running, driving car but it never got painted.”
Stinson said the time it takes to restore a car depends on how much restoration has to be done to reclaim its iconic look. Some cars, he said, could take as long as two years to restore.
But sometimes the demand for a car is so high he doesn’t even get to finish them. Stinson said he sold a couple of DeLoreans before even finishing them to look like the famous time machine from the “Back to the Future” series.
Stinson said he is unsure how many vehicles he’s sold since this project began.
“We sell a lot of vehicles in a year, so we kind of work them in and do those in our spare time,” Stinson said. “Our main stream is selling normal vehicles.”
But that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to stockpile movie cars. Stinson is building another “Ghostbusters” car and two more Eleanors. The General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard” and Black Beauty from “The Green Hornet” are also in Stinson’s shop, along with a Mystery Machine that he was in the process of selling last week.
Stinson said he might build some more Mystery Machines and will definitely keep remaking movie cars for the time being.
“I’d say as long as my son is interested in it, I will keep doing it,” Stinson said. “It’s fun to do and people seem to be interested in it.”