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Pro Touring vs Restomod: What Are They, and Why Aren’t They the Same?


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#1 Bob Riebe

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 16:33

Now these terms were initially over a decade ago started by two different magazines: Popular Ho tRodding and Hot Rod; I do not remember which had which.

They were both thicker, with higher grade paper, back then and it was interesting as they, especially Popular Hot Rodding , were going away from  the drag racing dominated articles and branching out to road racing , handling performance  in a big way.

Sadly PHR is gone and even Hot Rod, is less than it was ten years ago.

 

https://www.hotrod.c...D6ABC7745C6CA7B


Edited by Bob Riebe, 26 March 2020 - 19:17.


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#2 Fat Boy

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 19:12

I think the difference is whether or not it's an older car or not. To me, a Restomod is an older car which has been built to a spec which equals a modern supercar performance. A Pro-Touring car can be a modern car, but it's built to equal supercar performance.

 

Because I'm the Forrest Gump of cars, I was actually on an FSAE team with 2 of the guys who made a couple of the early versions of these cars. The original push was not to build cars which redefined hot-rodding. They were just trying to build hot-rods which could win the 'One Lap of America' event that Brock Yates was promoting. Factor in the punk band "The Dead Milkmen" and you get a bitchin' Camaro.



#3 Canuck

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 15:43

Not sure if Hot Rod's loss of our own McG was symptom of decline, a trigger of decline or both.  Growing up in the far-flung frozen reaches of the Canadian north, we all (hey, it was a small town) read Car Craft, Hot Rod and PHR.  I think the last time I picked any of them up, it was on McG's recommendation as it had a (reasonably) in-depth article on a topic I was specifically interested in - perhaps the junkyard 4.8 LS they tried unsuccessfully to blow up with turbocharging and made shocking amounts of power. But I digress.

 

Restomod to me has always meant stock sheetmetal, modern suspension, more tire, modern braking and a ton of power. Sort of taking the best of our current accessible technology and fitting it into an a classic musclecar (or truck) while maintaining the original style. Something that could be done by a reasonably capable mechanic at home, with bought parts.

 

Pro-Touring always suggested to me the outer limits. Not something the average mechanic has the skills, insight or knowledge to design, fabricate and build. Built by a team of professionals. Basically a race car with A/C.

 

What I find most interesting is how power levels that were previously impressive are showroom w/ warranty now. 300 (plus) horsepower V6 minivans for your school run. The Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of the day when I was a teen hovered around the 180 hp mark (not that we were ever impressed by those numbers). Now, 4-digit power levels are almost child's play and very easily attainable. Turbos and EFI to the rescue.



#4 Bob Riebe

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 17:30

Interesting opinions. :cool:

 

For me, resto-mod has always been taking an older car and juicing it  up as would have been done in the old days to what ever degree you with but not including putting IRS where a live axle was, putting hideous sky-scraper wheels in place of 15 in. wheels, replacing recirculating ball steering , or other early styles, with a pack and rinion, and NOT putting any engine that hit the market  during nineties, or later,  in place of old school thin casting blocks.

 

Pro-touring would be all not in the above.

Blowers, when I was young blowers of any sort I thought were the cat's meow, but as I got older more from less began impressing me more.

Still some of the impractical items from my days as a youth still cause pangs of coool or grooovy such as magnetos or running alcohol with nitro.

The later always hits my youth button when I am in a hobby shop and see jugs of pre-juiced model airplane fuel. :up:



#5 Wuzak

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 03:29

Restomod to me has always meant stock sheetmetal, modern suspension, more tire, modern braking and a ton of power. Sort of taking the best of our current accessible technology and fitting it into an a classic musclecar (or truck) while maintaining the original style. Something that could be done by a reasonably capable mechanic at home, with bought parts.


Restomod to me is a restoration of an old car using modern parts, particularly engines and transmissions. It usually includes improved brakes and may also include suspension,

 

Power is increased over original, but not necessarily to huge numbers.

 

Pro-Touring always suggested to me the outer limits. Not something the average mechanic has the skills, insight or knowledge to design, fabricate and build. Built by a team of professionals. Basically a race car with A/C.


Pro-touring seems to me to be a wide category, but from what I've seen they are pro-street cars with more road friendly focus and actual steering ability.



#6 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 18 April 2020 - 06:52

Not sure if Hot Rod's loss of our own McG was symptom of decline, a trigger of decline or both.  Growing up in the far-flung frozen reaches of the Canadian north, we all (hey, it was a small town) read Car Craft, Hot Rod and PHR.  I think the last time I picked any of them up, it was on McG's recommendation as it had a (reasonably) in-depth article on a topic I was specifically interested in - perhaps the junkyard 4.8 LS they tried unsuccessfully to blow up with turbocharging and made shocking amounts of power. But I digress.

 

Restomod to me has always meant stock sheetmetal, modern suspension, more tire, modern braking and a ton of power. Sort of taking the best of our current accessible technology and fitting it into an a classic musclecar (or truck) while maintaining the original style. Something that could be done by a reasonably capable mechanic at home, with bought parts.

 

Pro-Touring always suggested to me the outer limits. Not something the average mechanic has the skills, insight or knowledge to design, fabricate and build. Built by a team of professionals. Basically a race car with A/C.

 

What I find most interesting is how power levels that were previously impressive are showroom w/ warranty now. 300 (plus) horsepower V6 minivans for your school run. The Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of the day when I was a teen hovered around the 180 hp mark (not that we were ever impressed by those numbers). Now, 4-digit power levels are almost child's play and very easily attainable. Turbos and EFI to the rescue.

180hp must have been mid 50s!! Or pov pack Mustangs and Camaros.

Horsepower figures of the 'supercar era' were often understated. eg 300hp engines that were closer to 380 hp. From Ford, GM and Chrysler. 

Though again, figures are manipulated and what may be big HP is often all over by 4500 rpm. Move that up 2000 rpm and then they may be real fast!

I see these mega number s/c Clydesdale cars [ they are obese] of now. But they get blown off by cars with half the power numbers as it depends on where the hp is produced. But these engines burn tyres really well!  Or push the crank out the bottom when boost numbers go up.



#7 Bob Riebe

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Posted 18 April 2020 - 17:17

Engines, from the first thin casting blocks of the sixties to the turn of the century went through  a sudden increase in efficiency and power in the nineties.

In the early seventies, a push rod small block 305 that had 500 hp , racing, was the best of the best and probably a Ford.

By the early eighties they were at 585 hp.

In the early 2000s the average five liter push rod engines were putting out 650 hp, with some  50 hp higher in the Trans Am series.

The SCCA finally put in compression ratio limits to reduce horse power.

 

Increases in the 1980s when racing was the last thing Detroit cared about  far fewer but eventually the gearheads started popping out of the wood works again.

Some of the magazine writers  now say hp numbers from naturally aspirated engines mean more as you can put a blower on anything to increase hp but increasing hp without one takes talent and knowledge.



#8 gruntguru

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Posted 19 April 2020 - 04:04

 . . and money.



#9 Wuzak

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Posted 19 April 2020 - 04:55

180hp must have been mid 50s!! Or pov pack Mustangs and Camaros.

 

Or anything with smog controls and unleaded fuel in the 1970s.

 

Also, in the 1980s in Australia when we went unleaded.

 

The VL Commodore SS Group A was rated at 137kW (183hp). The regular V8 Commodore was rated at 120kW (160hp).



#10 gruntguru

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Posted 19 April 2020 - 08:38

. . and the 3.0 litre 6 cylinder VL Commodore (Nissan RB30E) had 114 kW and 150 kW in turbo form. A bit embarrassing for the V8's.



#11 Canuck

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 21:41

180hp must have been mid 50s!! Or pov pack Mustangs and Camaros.

Horsepower figures of the 'supercar era' were often understated. eg 300hp engines that were closer to 380 hp. From Ford, GM and Chrysler. 

Though again, figures are manipulated and what may be big HP is often all over by 4500 rpm. Move that up 2000 rpm and then they may be real fast!

I see these mega number s/c Clydesdale cars [ they are obese] of now. But they get blown off by cars with half the power numbers as it depends on where the hp is produced. But these engines burn tyres really well!  Or push the crank out the bottom when boost numbers go up.

On the contrary - mid-80's "domestic" sports cars were 165 - 190 hp depending on the year. I'd bet that my 87 5-series with it's stock 3.5L 6 cylinder would happily walk away from an 87 Camaro, Mustang or Corvette.  The 80s were a dismal period for power.

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#12 BRG

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 12:50

Or anything with smog controls and unleaded fuel in the 1970s.

I made my first visit to N. America in the mid 1970s to visit my friend in Montreal.  His old Chrysler Valiant broke its crankshaft in Toronto so we had to hire a car, and got an Oldsmobile Cutlass with a big V8.  i was so excited, for about ten seconds , before I realised that if we had any rice puddings with us, that car couldn't have helped us remove the skins.  It was dire - on a downwards gradient, i got it up to 75mph and that was all she wrote. It was the height of smog controls and the like and I doubt if the car had more than about 120bhp, in a chassis weighing nearly 2 tons.

 

Back home, I jumped into my 75bhp 1300cc Escort GT and reveled in the performance by comparison.

 

Oddly, we hired two more cars that trip.  The next was a 6 cylinder Chevvy Nova which was ugly as sin, but nicer to drive and a lot livelier.  Finally, we had a Chevvy Monza with a 2.3 litre 4 cylinder and that was perversely the best and quickest of the three.  I remember driving back to Montreal from the Canadian GP at Mosport, using dirt back roads and hitting 80+mph, and the car handled it well.  except that any bumps set off the warning buzzers that were so prevalent back then and the only way to stop it was to slip the car into Neutral and back into Drive.  Not really recommended at high speed on gravel!


Edited by BRG, 28 April 2020 - 12:51.


#13 Fat Boy

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 19:17

On the contrary - mid-80's "domestic" sports cars were 165 - 190 hp depending on the year. I'd bet that my 87 5-series with it's stock 3.5L 6 cylinder would happily walk away from an 87 Camaro, Mustang or Corvette.  The 80s were a dismal period for power.

 

I don't know how powerful or heavy your BMW is, but it'd probably struggle with an '87-93 Mustang. They aren't fast compared with modern cars, but, for the day, they were reasonably quick with 225 HP. It's pretty impressive that Ford produced basically the same car for 7 years straight. My car that I worked and worked on in that time frame was about as fast as one of those. Before that, I had 60's Mustangs. Only the top tier of those had any power. A 289 2-bbl is pretty damned weak-kneed.