David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/13/19 9:42 a.m.

Ten years ago, the motorsports community was entranced by the emerging pro touring scene. Pro touring this, pro touring that. You couldn’t walk 10 feet at a SEMA Show without tripping over another impeccably detailed classic muscle car on creatine. These machines even graced our cover.

And who could fault enthusiasts for their enthusiasm? The movement was fulfilling our automotive fantasies. Here were actual performance versions of our favorite muscle cars. Let’s be realistic here: At the end of the day, a stock 1967 Camaro or whatever isn’t exactly a well-rounded athlete compared to modern machines.

Read the rest of the story

BHowell
BHowell
9/13/19 4:23 p.m.

Who wrote this article? Obviously someone that was  thinly disguising his admiration for one sponsor and one promoter. No doubt both where involved with the movement but the promoter got involved well after it all started. Why no love shown to Larry Callahan and pro-touring.com? Why nothing about events like Motor State or Midwest  Musclecar? Both were going on long before Ousci or whatever it is now. If you are pushing a series, just say so, if you want to really talk the origins of the movement talk to others that were actually there. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/13/19 4:50 p.m.

I used to run the pro-touring events in the early-mid 2000s. With a torsion bar mopar. 

Then everything became aftermarket frames, big power, big money. I couldn't spend enough to keep up. 

But i still respect what they do!

APEowner
APEowner Dork
9/13/19 5:13 p.m.
BHowell said:

Who wrote this article? Obviously someone that was  thinly disguising his admiration for one sponsor and one promoter. No doubt both where involved with the movement but the promoter got involved well after it all started. Why no love shown to Larry Callahan and pro-touring.com? Why nothing about events like Motor State or Midwest  Musclecar? Both were going on long before Ousci or whatever it is now. If you are pushing a series, just say so, if you want to really talk the origins of the movement talk to others that were actually there. 

Welcome to the forum.  I hope you stick around and actually contribute.  If you've got some stories about the early days of the pro-touring we'd love to read about them.

Will
Will UltraDork
9/13/19 5:45 p.m.
BHowell said:

Who wrote this article? 

If only there were a name between the article's headline and first picture. Maybe with the word "by" in front of the name. 

If only.

BHowell
BHowell New Reader
9/13/19 5:58 p.m.

In reply to APEowner :

It's not hard to get the real story on protouring. Visit pro-touring.com or lateral-g.net. There are threads that date back to 2000 about events at button willow and other track events. Jimi knows the whole story, he just left out most of it.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA Dork
9/13/19 7:42 p.m.

I've been a PT guy since before it was called Pro Touring or we had an internet and have very strong opinions on this subject. Most of them wouldn't be liked by any of the sanctioning bodies or companies involved including the one that owns this forum, so I'll keep them to myself.

I will however copy and paste a paragraph that was in a long rant I posted on another forum while discussing the subject back in 2015 for it's relevance for those who don't know who this "new guy" BHowell is.

Credit for the movement that brought about the USCA belongs to Bill Howelll IMO.  While I was on the PT forums inviting folks out to tracks and getting excuses Bill got them to walk first before trying to run.  He was the one who lead the transition of the Pro-Touring masses by getting them out of their lawn chairs and out driving their cars at his "Run To The" events at places like Tail Of the Dragon. As the RTT events evolved over several years he slowly incorporated road tracks into some of the events. Then as the evolution continued he started getting concerned about the lack of safety equipment being used combined with the lack of driver experience and enormous amount of power some of the cars had. He decided to step back and then the USCA was formed.

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
9/14/19 7:19 a.m.

Not the best article I've ever read in GRM I must say.

An observation I've made is PT is often confused with Restomod and vice versa. My next build falls somewhere in-between. PT is generally pretty serious, bring-buckets-of-money type modifications. Restomods tend to be more grassroots with simpler bolt-ons and home brew solutions. I think a Restomod makes for a more 'livable' car than a PT which emphasizes performance to a more track-only level. As a graying geezer I probably wouldn't want to spend a week riding in some of the PT cars I've seen.

PT as a build inspiration is probably fine. PT as a competition quickly prices a lot of folks out of the running the way it has evolved.

ronbros
ronbros Reader
9/14/19 1:45 p.m.

there was a time when this old Camaro could show its stuff,, 1988- 1998, but as said times change and today you BUY most parts, then assemble like many guys do!

1982 INdy Pace car, 467inch BBC , Dana 44 , 373 LSD, had lots a fun , at least been there done that! most of the guys at grassroots do remember it!

ron

darkbuddha
darkbuddha HalfDork
9/18/19 11:10 a.m.

This turned into a bit of a rant/diatribe, so feel free to ignore it...

Trying to reconcile where pro-touring is now with where it started and how it evolved is challenging.  There was a time when I subscribed to most (if not all) of the fundamental tenets that seemed to define the genre/movement/style/aspiration of pro-touring in its early years.  They weren't any different than what a lot of us were trying to do before there was a name for it, and I felt an authentic sense of identity with it.  The basics were less rigidly defined than they are now, but it essentially revolved around the combination of 2 really fundamental things:  BUILDING/MODERNIZING and DRIVING old muscle cars with the goal of making them more functional and better all-round performers.  There was greater emphasis on handling and braking in addition to traditional straight line performance, while also updating their conveniences and comforts and reliability.  In the days before the current over-flush aftermarket, it was also a bit of a DIY budget and engineering movement by DIY, budget-minded people.  To improve muscle cars like we wanted required adapting and retrofitting modern car, hot rod, and race car components and techniques, often secured from junkyard engineering, old race manuals, scouring salvage yards, hunting eBay auctions, calling used race car parts suppliers.  All in an effort to improve performance, function, comfort, convenience, and reliability for the purpose of DRIVING the cars, on the road, at the track, across the country, to get groceries, whatever.  And remember, the cars being built this way weren't rare and expensive models... it wasn't Hemi 'cudas or Boss 302s or SS Chevelles.  It was no-money, common-as-dirt cars like Dusters and Mustang coupes and Novas and Malibus.

I think those things are still the ideals, but there has been a shift, or an evolution, or perhaps a sub-movement within pro-touring where those things have been subverted by exaggeration and appropriation, both in terms of the builds and the driving goals.  That exaggeration has alienated me and many others away from associating with what pro-touring is commonly perceived to be today.  Big dollar checkbook builds, big wheels for big wheels sake, pro-touring specialty shops with SEMA projects, expensive boutique aftermarket parts, using rarer cars, absurd modernizaiton, extreme track focused builds, overly stylized interiors, exotic materials, extreme body mods, show quality paint jobs, etc. etc. etc., all of which pushes the movement away from its core value of being all-round functional and drivable IMHO.  There are exceptions of course, and I'm glad there are.  But there is a certain level of inevitable hesitance with parking a show car quality car in a grocery parking lot or hooning it around a track.  Same for trying to daily drive an extreme track car build that lacks things like wipers and/or defrost.

And while I may feel a bit left behind by what much of pro-touring has become (at least on the surface), there's no doubt that the trickle-down effect has benefited my car(s).  And for that I'm appreciative.  Getting a good deal on a used coilover setup or rack conversion or big brake kit because some other guy wanted the newest, hotest, magazine-glossiest thing is pretty damn awesome.  So I'll keep building my car(s) in the spirit of what I still believe and enjoy the benefits.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
9/18/19 11:58 a.m.

In reply to BHowell :

Just guessing off the name and your interest in Pro Touring, you wouldn't happen to own a gray '72 Charger, would you?

BHowell
BHowell New Reader
10/4/19 12:58 p.m.

Yes Sir, that would be me. 

Our Preferred Partners
9lpnBJ1Ua2RYW1BueocQD6yj2Vh6XKLisv1SssXwqK3APzilxBVmQhmm3bh3FCgW