Pro-Touring: Totally New!
So, the problem with pro-touring is that it was spawned by the same jugheads who brought the world pro-street. To understand pro-street is to understand why the British and euros think that American cars cannot turn in any direction (left-only does not count). Pro-street, for those of you who don’t know, was the super-custom “street” car that contained giant rear tires (like a funny car) and pizza cutter fronts (small, thin, and useless), which in theory would be moved by a giant engine. Pro-street was the era that spawned crate motors that would never actually come in cars, like GM’s 502, which is very heavy, like a cruise ship’s anchor.
Pro-street was ridiculous. It was cars built around a tire/wheel size; the sizes were stupid and pointless, respectively. Pro-touring, for all the claims about it that are made on various sites and in various magazines, is scarcely different. There are a few schools of “thought,” some of which are based on good intentions. The primary one is taking an old pre-1970s American car (90% of which seem to be 1967-69 Camaros, just like in pro-street) and making it perform like a modern car. The dumb thing is that the people who have this intention usually already possess modern cars; why do you need an old car that drives the same, especially when the old car will only be driven in optimal conditions anyway? This is where the real pro-touring philosophy comes into play: huge tires (just like in pro-street). Check my shoe size, babe…
The big difference comes here: The big tires in pro-touring are based on a theory of road course (racing) abilities, in combination with massive horsepower, zillions of transmission gears, roll cages (pro-street had these), and archaic, yet more complex suspension designs (actually, the stupid four-links were popular in pro-street, which is why the big “chassis builders” are still soiling the market with them). The first priority is of course the big tires, just without the words Mickey Thompson or pizza cutter applied. Secondarily, everyone likes to install “tubular” suspension components that are neither better nor lighter than the stuff that came from the factory; in many cases, they’re not even mounted differently; worse yet, people install Ford Pinto/Mustang II front suspensions by the boatload (see pro-street, yet again). Yippee, we’re different!
People in pro-touring think that they’re being different, because the ways they assault their cars are now not in line with what clowns used to think was good for drag racing. Unfortunately, they never realized that to do a 12-second quarter mile, one did not need to remove the front shocks and sway bar, and cover the Nova with grey primer. Nor did one need to lift the rear of the car, use shitty drag shocks, or put on chrome Kragen slapper bars. You just needed a decent motor, a light car, and decent gears. Simple, but you’d think . . . nope. Let’s add all hurry to add unsprung weight, maintain live axles, have huge brakes with zero balance, and not understand a thing about center of gravity, wheel alignment, or basic efficiency.
So now, we have clowns spending a mortgage on a 1968 Camaro, thinking that it’s necessary in order to make the car work as well as a 2008 Volkswagen GTI. Here’s the reality: It doesn’t. You’re wrong, even if you did spend two grand on tires, or ten grand on some stupid 1000 pound pickup truck-type frame, or three grand on a shitty three-link rear suspension that still only gets your rear to the level of a 1970 C10. Worse yet, you might have actually paid someone labor charges to desecrate your perfectly nice old rust bucket in this manner.
There are many more details to add, but here’s the one I’ll finish this rant with: Why in the world would you want to spend 10-15 grand on some new injected motor to put in your old car, when you could have just bought a used version of the car the motor came in for a bit more cash, driven it to the mall, and enjoyed the simplicity of adjusting points once every six months in a real old car?
Why can’t you be happy with the old, carbureted car? It was better the way it started (perhaps without the rust and bias-ply tires)!
I’m not done yet…