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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jan 2000
      Location
      Thousand Oaks California
      Posts
      9,803
      Country Flag: United States

      20 Years of Pro-Touring.com - Please read and talk to us




      March 10 2020 – Pro-Touring.com celebrates 20 years

      For me the addiction started over 30 years ago. Back in about 1988 I bought a ‘68 Camaro that I still have to this day. I knew from day one that I wanted the Camaro to handle better, stop better and be more comfortable than it was when it left the factory. The car was a bit worn out and flat out scary to drive at freeway speeds. Fast forward about a decade, an engine swap and a Dick Guldstrand mod later and things are getting better. Add some urethane a-arm bushings, disc brakes and an anti-sway bar and that’s about all that I was able to find back then.

      Where did the term Pro-Touring.com come from? The story that I heard was about 1998 Mark Stielow first spoke the words “Pro-Touring” while with Jeff Smith. Shortly after that it’s on the cover of Chevy High Performance Magazine and I’m hooked. At the time I had a website that I built for my Camaro and a few close friends using my free Earthlink account when it hit me. I need to start a website to share my passion with others and call it Pro-Touring.com!

      A number of cars have had an impact on me over the years and some are the most known muscle cars ever built. Dan and R.J. Gottlieb’s ’69 Camaro known as Big Red, Mark Stielow’s ’69 Camaro known as Tri-Tip that is now owned by Steven Rupp, Roger Conley’s Camaro and of course the Tuckers Thrasher Camaro. Something else that had a big influence on myself was the Car Craft Magazine Real Street Eliminator Challenge. They took a number of cars and tested them for things like acceleration, braking, handling, fuel mileage and more. I knew that one day I wanted to complete it that completion.

      Very quickly after Pro-Touring.com was started a number of great moderators joined us. Most of them are still around and the site would not be what it is without all of their help and support. In no particular order I need to thank Andrew Borodin, Bill Howell, Carl Casanova, True Tourtillott, David Pozzi, Derek Forbes, Jeff Tate, Tony Whatley, John Parsons, Ralph LoGrasso, Tony Huntimer, Tonly Langlois, Tony Rapin, Allen Ortega, Mary Pozzi, Steven Rupp, Matt Rogers and Brian Zales. I also need to thank everyone that helps at our SEMA dinner every year, the weekend photographers and site contributors.



      I also need to thank the great members of the site and the support of all our site sponsors that make it all possible.

      Now I want to hear from you. What has this little “fad” meant to you over the years? Have you made new lifelong friends? Has it got you out of a lawn chair just watching static cars? Have you started a business that focusses on the build style?

      Please take a minute and share with us the impact it has had on you and who you influenced you.

      It’s been an awesome 20 year and I would love to hear what you enjoy about it.
      Larry Callahan
      Founder/Administrator of Pro-Touring.com, G-Machines.com and HostMyJunk.com
      To advertise on Pro-Touring.com click here


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Oct 2018
      Location
      Phoenix, AZ
      Posts
      579
      Country Flag: United States
      Thank you Larry and everyone else for starting this site and keeping it going!

      Being 29, I wasn't even able to get into this arena back when it was first starting. But as I've been around classic cars/trucks over the years I always thought a freshened up classic chassis with a modern engine and creature comforts would be the best of both worlds. I've never really liked new cars styling like the old ones anyway. So through this site and the events that encourage the Pro Touring movement, I've been introduced to the people and ideas they bring that keep my love of cars and the car community burning strong. I have learned soooo much and it has really encouraged me to keep it going and share the wisdom passed to me with all my similarly-aged friends.

      Cheers to another 20 kick-ass years!
      '95 F-150 track ready street beast
      Want more projects/photos? Check my Instagram

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Aug 2015
      Location
      charlotte
      Posts
      856
      Country Flag: United States
      A great question, and not so easy to answer. I suppose for me it started when I moved to the states from Australia 5 years ago. It was also when I first became fully qualified in my profession of seafaring and with it, A nice enough paycheck to get back into cars.

      I jumped at the chance to own my dream car, a first gen Camaro, and what better place to buy one than the USA. But before even learning of this entire scene, I knew I wanted it to handle better, stop faster, and be comfortable the whole time I was driving it.

      But hot damn, I wasn't the only person who wanted the same thing, and plain DAMN, I wasn't earning enough!

      fast forward 5 years and I'm going through bodywork on this dragged out build, reading this forum every morning over coffee and slowly meeting others into the same thing. 'Addicted' is a term the wife throws around occasionally...

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Feb 2007
      Location
      Tinley Park, IL
      Posts
      1,090
      Country Flag: United States
      All of the great products that allow us to modernize/upgrade classic cars so they are more enjoyable while being driven. Car shows are boring.

      Nick ~
      1969 Cutlass

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Aug 2007
      Location
      Jonesboro, Arkansas
      Posts
      2,475
      Country Flag: United States
      First off, thank you Larry for a formidable place to hang out with like minded individuals. Wow, that sentence even impressed me! Really I've been on here since 2007 and I've learned a lot with the help of quite few here.

      I like this forum, and go to it just about every day to get my fix. I like it also because there doesn't seem to be so much drama that you want to leave. So many people have helped me (and others) without any reservation. That in itself says something. i've learned and to some extent I've taught a few things. I'm always happy to share what i've come across.

      Here's to you (and Pro-Touring) , on to the next 20!

      Carl Wilson
      1968 Camaro - T-56 6 speed - 383 Stroker, 2014 Mustang GT seats

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Dec 2008
      Location
      Detroit
      Posts
      2,460
      Country Flag: United States
      First of all thanks to you Larry for starting this site and to all the moderators that have made this place helpful over the years. It is greatly appreciated!

      Its started from me around 2006 when I first saw images of pro touring cars on the internet and had no idea of what the style was called until the link led me here. The real hook was when Randy Johnson(D&Z) built the chevelle that would later end up being owned my Chris Jacobs. Shortly after the car was completed I saw it on Hot Rod Power Tour and I remember watching him move through traffic as the cars exited. Once I saw that I knew I wanted to built a car with stance, handling and power...

      I've been fortunate enough to have chatted and met people that have helped me along, Tom Farrington, Aaron Oberle and Matt Gurjack (Sled Alley) just to name a few. I've been able to pass on some of my experience to others and help to grow the community in anyway I can.

      Thanks again to everyone here in hopes to see 20 more years!
      Big dreams, small pockets....

      Chris--
      '72 Cutlass S LS2/T56 Magnum
      Bowler Performance, Rushforth Wheels, SC&C, ATS, Street Rod Designs, Speedhut, KORE3, Ridetech

      Project Motor City Madness

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Jan 2009
      Location
      Hermosa Beach, CA
      Posts
      152
      Country Flag: United States
      Wow, your opening line totally freaked me out, just like you I bought my 68 Camaro in 1988, and I still own it too! CRAZY. Bought from the original owner in Palos Verdes for $900. I was 15 at the time. I'd love to swap stories with you sometime!

      My Pro-Touring inspiration came from a neighbor who had (and still has) a 66 GTO. He was on the leading edge of the Pro-Touring movement, doing wide tires on all four corners, huge sway bars, 4-wheel disc brakes, roller cams, etc. He even custom built a carbon fiber intake system with a fuel injection system, in the 90's!!! All this work eventually landed his car on the cover of Hot Rod magazine in June 1999.

      I truly enjoy coming to this site and cant even express my gratitude to all the great people and information here. Its been so helpful over the years. : )
      Pete

      1968 Camaro
      2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S

      http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2543199

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Apr 2001
      Location
      The City of Fountains
      Posts
      15,638
      Country Flag: United States
      My oh my, how the time flies!

      Andrew
      1970 GTO Version 2.0
      1967 Cougar build
      GM High-Tech Performance feature
      My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
      Instagram @projectgattago
      Dr. EFI
      I deliver what EFI promises.
      Remote Holley EFI tuning.
      Please get in touch if I can be of service.

      "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Apr 2001
      Location
      La La Land, CA
      Posts
      2,234
      Country Flag: United States
      I can't believe it's been 20 years. I am happy to see so many familiar users still around here.

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Nov 2010
      Location
      Ventura County CA
      Posts
      456
      Quote Originally Posted by Larry Callahan View Post
      What has this little “fad” meant to you over the years? Have you made new lifelong friends? Has it got you out of a lawn chair just watching static cars? Have you started a business that focusses on the build style?

      Please take a minute and share with us the impact it has had on you and who you influenced you.
      I feel like it's changed a lot over the years as the incarnations of "pro-touring" cars have increasingly emphasized the "pro" aspect and the term "restomod" got squeezed somewhere in between. Early on I thought of pro-touring cars as roughly OE based with an emphasis on modern performance and comfort upgrades. Most importantly I thought of pro-touring cars as DRIVERS that saw a lot of street time with an occasional foray into autocross or track events. Over time I think that balance has changed a bit with some cars more heavily emphasizing track use, seeing a lot of time on trailers, or involving huge budgets with professional builds that truly push the envelope. I think that evolution is great and has pushed the industry to create more and better options that have trickled down to lowly budget-builders like myself, but have made some aspects of "pro-touring" unattainable, and more in the relm of what "pro-street" became in the 90s - awesome examples of what can be done at the limits of design, budget and imagination.

      I've come to think of my own car as a "restomod" even though it checks some of the pro-touring boxes. To that end pro-touring builds continue to inspire me with interesting ideas for adapting new technology and pushing the boundaries of what I thought was possible for my car. I may never have a "pro-touring" car by some definitions and that's really fine with me. I think this site still does a great job of catering to all kinds of builds even if they don't fit some people's boxed-in definition of what a pro-touring car is or should be.

      Thanks for continuing to support this community. I learn a ton on here.
      Clint - '70 Nova home-built "restomod"

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Dec 2010
      Location
      Fredericksburg, VA.
      Posts
      3,125
      Country Flag: United States
      I purchased a rust free 68 Camaro back in 1973 while attending school in Phoenix. I drag raced it for about 10years then parked the car for the next 30 odd years. I always thought these cars should handle better and my first recollection of this was the Sunoco TransAm Camaros back in the day. Then came Big Red but what lead me here to Pro-Touring.com was a picture I ran across of a sweet 68 Camaro named MotiV8r which changed my world and made me realize I could do that as well. The name did what it implied and motivated me to start project Dust Off named that because I literally dusted of my 68 in order to start the build. I owe Larry a lot in bringing my project to reality. Thank you Larry, moderators, vendors and members! Here's to 20 more years.

      Name:  MotiV8r.jpg
Views: 465
Size:  211.1 KB
      Steve Hayes
      "Dust Off"
      68 Camaro

      Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you!
      "Jeremy Clarkson"

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Apr 2001
      Location
      Boston, MA
      Posts
      719
      Wow, 20 years on a forum. Crazy times. Congrats Larry on keeping this place going for so long.
      ~Ryan

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Oct 2004
      Location
      Pigeon Forge,Tn.
      Posts
      8,089
      Country Flag: United States
      I think my sign up date for Pro-touring.com was 10-10-04. I wanted to build a car for the Hot Rod Power Tour and a local friend told me I should google Protouring cause that was something new and would probably help me find information on a modern hot rod. Pretty much the rest is history. I did build a pretty innovative car for the time and it did two complete Power Tours (06+07). We did a couple events over the years, it has been a great ride. Maybe we need a reunion event.
      Bill

      Trailers are for BOATS!

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Apr 2001
      Location
      The City of Fountains
      Posts
      15,638
      Country Flag: United States
      Bill,

      Miss you! I hope all is well.

      Andrew
      1970 GTO Version 2.0
      1967 Cougar build
      GM High-Tech Performance feature
      My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
      Instagram @projectgattago
      Dr. EFI
      I deliver what EFI promises.
      Remote Holley EFI tuning.
      Please get in touch if I can be of service.

      "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Oct 2004
      Location
      Pigeon Forge,Tn.
      Posts
      8,089
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks Andrew. Things change, times change and life happens. We are settled nicely back home now in Macon, Ga. Retirement suits me. I am running for office here and flying a lot these days. I hope you guys are doing fine and hope we can get together one day soon.
      Bill

      Trailers are for BOATS!

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Aug 2009
      Posts
      11
      If this site did not exist... me building a car on my own with having very little mechanic/welding/fab knowledge would still be a dream. Project is not done yet but this site gives me confidence that I can complete it.

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Aug 2019
      Location
      Nashville, TN
      Posts
      57
      Country Flag: United States
      I’ve been a Pro-Touring member for under a year but have been restoring cars on and off for over 25 years. If I had to name one single resource for help on restoration, modification, and high performance pro-touring upgrades, it would be this site. No other app or website even comes close.

      So many of you are a wealth of information and have been extremely helpful. This place is chock full of creative ideas and above all, experience. Thanks a bunch!

      Daniel

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Aug 2007
      Posts
      410
      For me this site has been great place to hang out. My hot rods over the years have been more Pro-Fun than the all out Pro-Tour cars that have been shown on this site. I'm a LS guy so the cars, Jeeps, and truck I have built have been LS based. It's been a fun journey. Typically big brakes, updated chassis stuff. Current hot rods are a 98 Wrangler with a LS6 swap. It's my Pro-Fun summer cruiser and winter time plow truck. Next is my 68 C10 LS swap. Nut and bolt rebuild. And our long distance hot rod is a 2014 Mustang GT 5.0.

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Jan 2006
      Posts
      340
      Country Flag: United States
      Joined up in 2006, but I usually just come here to gawk at the cars that there's no way I could ever hope to match... lol... Every now and then I can actually contribute some information that I hope is helpful, but so much of what's done here is so far beyond my capability (whether skill level, money, or time).

      Got my 1971 Camaro in 1990 at the ripe old age of 17... bought it from my dad who bought it new in 1971. By 1993 it had an overdrive transmission (so I could comfortably run the 3.42's on the highway commuting to college 35 miles each way). By 1995, it had EFI (TPI back when it was still somewhat "new")... upgraded suspension, replaced the rear drums with disc brakes, fast ratio steering box, etc by the late 90's.

      So I suppose I've always had the "pro-touring" bug even before it became an actual category of car building... Shoving new technology in the car to make it ride and drive like a new car... I've always loved doing it.
      See me in Camaro Performers

      DIY Projector Headlights, LED Tail Lights, and more. See my website.

      ULTM8Z Website

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Jan 2008
      Posts
      99
      There is a line, pro-touring cars go right up to the line and stop, some go over and those who do always regret it and sell their car. Crossing the the line the cars all take same shape/configuration:
      - No longer fun to drive
      - Turn into track-only car but for some reason they think they car drive it on the street, but since it breaks all the time now its no longer drivable unless its at WOT going in a straight line.
      - Big block Chevy/powerglide w/9 in rear (they all eventually wind up with this combo)
      - Tube chassis or 12 point cage
      - Non insurable

      Recommend to not cross the line, make the goal Fun to Drive not I have the most hp and it may turn out to be a blast to own. A 200k pro touring hot rod will cost a fortune to insure, that's if you can a company dumb enough to insure it.

      Mike
      86 Buick GN, Stage 2 V6, Twin EFR Turbos

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