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Steve Chryssos
Steve Chryssos Ad Sales
5/19/10 3:10 p.m.

Much of the staff here was hanging out at the 2010 Bandit Run in Daytona last night. It's a road trip tribute to the "Smokey and the Bandit" films. Black and gold Trans Ams flooded the parking lot of the local Hooters. We all seemed to enjoy the show. On the drive home, I pondered if our loyal readers are enjoying the July "Resto Mod and Pro Touring" issue of Classic Motorsports magazine?

Do you like upgrading old cars with modern technology? I find that most people appreciate the concept in varying degrees. Some people just want modern radial tires or a generator to alternator upgrade. Others appreciate comprehensive upgrades including overdrive, efi, 4 wheel disc, suspension, supportive seats, modern air conditioning--the works. Sunbeam or Chevy, the right upgrades can improve the driving experience without erasing the car's original personality and style.

We brought seven pro touring cars to the Mitty and put on a little show for HSR. The cars were well received in the paddock and by HSR officials.

But we want to hear what YOU think--good or bad. Some feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks /Steve

TJ
TJ Dork
5/19/10 3:14 p.m.

A bunch of black and gold T/As flooding a Hooters parking lot seems so stereotypically correct. I guess they crowded out the usual collections of V-Twin bikes with lots of extra chrome doodads?

I think I like restomods in general - although I've seen many that were too overdone for my taste. I want there to be some sort of connection left to the original car other than just glass and sheetm metal.

Gary
Gary Reader
5/19/10 3:48 p.m.

I personally would prefer not to see resto mods / pro touring in CM. I don’t dislike them, and I think the creativity and craftsmanship is superb. Apparently it’s becoming a booming supplier business (with new advertising revenue, I suppose). But it doesn’t do anything for my own selfish interests in vintage sports cars, which is the reason I subscribe to CM now. I think it’s more of a Hot Rod Magazine subject.

VClassics
VClassics Reader
5/19/10 7:35 p.m.

I enjoyed the article and learned something about a scene I'm not part of. I don't think I want to see more about it in CMS often.

M030
M030 HalfDork
5/19/10 10:09 p.m.

I love the idea of updating vintage cars with modern technology, but - and I may be alone here - I hate how big wheels look on vintage cars.

Old cars made to perform more like modern cars, while still looking like the old cars that they are, floats my boat.

EvanB
EvanB Dork
5/20/10 12:52 a.m.

You're not alone there. I prefer old cars to look period correct. I'm all for hiding modern technology under the hood or out of sight but it shouldn't take away from the original character and design of the car.

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
5/20/10 6:01 a.m.

I think it might depend a lot on the car in question. My TVR already has rack and pinion steering, fully independent suspension, etc... But my Mustang in stock form drove so bad it was scary. So out goes the factory non-integral power steering for a rack and pinion, the automatic trans for a T-5, the front drum brakes for dics, the points for electronic ignition, and the stock and dangerous suspension geometry for a lower, firmer, and geometrically correct setup.
However, my stang still has the original paint and interior, along with period correct wheels mounted on non-period correct radial tires (although they are period correct for the 70's when I was a teenager).
So maybe it depends on the original design of the vehicle and it's current intended purpose. I like classic looking cars, and would not likely ever go the pro-touring route with one of my cars, but I do want to enjoy driving them, and am willing to make reversable modifications in order to improve the way they drive and for safety reasons.

M030
M030 HalfDork
5/20/10 6:26 a.m.

In reply to bravenrace:

I had a '68 Mustang fastback for a few years, and I know what you're talking about. Mine drove like a worn out F250. I think upgrading the suspension/steering/brakes and hiding it all behind period correct wheels does very good things for an old Mustang. It might even make it as much fun to drive as it is to look at.

What I can't get into is the 18"+ wheels that seem to be so popular on muscle cars now. They look a little, well, ghetto in my opinion. Do you remember back in the '80s seeing old GM A-bodies (Chevelle/Lemans/Skylark/Cutlass) running around on fresh IROC-Z 16's & Gatorbacks?

Those IROC 16's were high tech and high fashion then, just as the monster 20+'s are fashion now.

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
5/20/10 8:44 a.m.

In reply to M030:

Yeah, I agree. I see one once in a while that I like, but I still wouldn't do it. I don't mind some of the reproductions of nice factory wheels that are one inch larger and wider, but putting 16" and up modern wheels on a car that camewith 14" wheels just doesn't do it for me. I may eventually get a set of 17 or 18" wheels for me stang, but it would only be to fit larger track tires on it. I'd still stay with my $100 swap meet 15" Fenton slots for the street.

Steve Chryssos
Steve Chryssos Associate Publsiher
5/20/10 10:27 a.m.

I think 18" diameter wheels is the upper limit as it makes room for large, functional brakes without adding excessive mass.

The overdone cars serve as modern street rods rather than upgraded classics. Those will be vehemently avoided here. Instead, with a name like "Classic Motorsports", opportunities exist to show how a Toyota 5 speed swap might benefit an old Triumph daily driver. Or how a set of 17" Fuchs might accommodate better brake hardware for a road course track day. The November 2008 issue of Classic Motorsports has a 1957 XK150S coupe with a 4.2 liter E type engine with Venolia pistons and ARP rod bolts, a Sweet Manufacturing rack, and an Aston Martin limited slip diff. Classic Motorsports has been covering upgraded cars for a long time.

That was one of my favorite issues.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
5/20/10 10:35 a.m.

The whole resto mod movement is fine with me but more cars are aging into the vintage category that already were fairly modern. The 1980's collector cars lack nothing modern and only need refreshing and minimal upgrades. Resto mod is another name for a hot rod. Take an older body and rebuild it with modern mechanicals on a modern frame. Cheers Ron

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
5/20/10 11:10 a.m.

In reply to Steve Chryssos:

Just to be clear, I have no problem with CM covering American Classics, and even those with functional upgrades or even tasteful cosmetic upgrades. In fact, I'd personally like to see more American and non-British classics in CM. I own a British sports car and an American classic, but I would like to see a little more diversity in the coverage. More importantly, Steve, are you in "Ad Sales" or "Associate Publsihing"? What is a publsiher anyway? LOL

VClassics
VClassics Reader
5/20/10 11:35 a.m.

In reply to Steve Chryssos:

I have no problem at all with CMS covering performance, reliabilty, and safety upgrades, or whatever else makes classic cars more usable. Stuff like that is what I do for a living, in fact. I'm just not very interested in cars that just look like classics that don't have much, or any, of the original car under the bodywork.

Steve Chryssos
Steve Chryssos Associate Publisher
5/20/10 3:02 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: In reply to Steve Chryssos: More importantly, Steve, are you in "Ad Sales" or "Associate Publsihing"? What is a publsiher anyway? LOL

Whew, thanks. Tommmorrrow is the cumpiny speling bea.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Webmaster
5/20/10 3:08 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: In reply to Steve Chryssos: More importantly, Steve, are you in "Ad Sales" or "Associate Publsihing"? What is a publsiher anyway? LOL

Geez, Jim. You're a tough audience. The "publsiher" part is my fault. When I updated Steve's profile to reflect his actual job title, I accidentally misspelled publisher.

It won't happen again until next time I do it.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
5/21/10 5:55 a.m.

I'm ok with resto mods, particularly in American cars. The beauty of older cars is usually in the styling, not in lackluster drum brakes. I like to see old cars being used, and if upgrading the working bits makes that more likely, then I'm ok with it. What I don't dig are shaved door handles, chopped tops and all that customizing nonsense.

I don't mind custom wheels provided they look like something that would have been acceptable back in the car's days as a new vehicle. I try to match wheels with my car's period as best as possible without relying on questionable quality true vintage wheels.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Reader
5/21/10 8:36 a.m.

I don't mind a few resto mods either, as long as like others said, there is still most of the original car left. i also don't like the huge wheel fad, most older cars with huge wheels just look silly.

However, if it is a driver classic, anything that makes it livable to me is ok. Such as electronic ignition, disc brakes, rack and pinion conversions, even carb or injection upgrades.

And unless it's a period type replacement, I prefer to see original steering wheels too. Nothing to me is worse than a modern steering wheel in an old car. If you want to upgrade, at least do a Prototipo or Nardi or something similar.

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
5/21/10 9:22 a.m.

In reply to racerdave600: Or you can do like me. I have a period correct Nardi in my Mustang, but it's bolt patter is the same as a Momo. So when tracking I can use the Momo for it's superior grip and smaller diameter, but it's easy to re-install the Nardi for the street.

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado SuperDork
5/24/10 1:00 a.m.
Steve Chryssos wrote: Much of the staff here was hanging out at the 2010 Bandit Run in Daytona last night. It's a road trip tribute to the "Smokey and the Bandit" films. Black and gold Trans Ams flooded the parking lot of the local Hooters. We all seemed to enjoy the show. On the drive home, I pondered if our loyal readers are enjoying the July "Resto Mod and Pro Touring" issue of Classic Motorsports magazine? Do you like upgrading old cars with modern technology? I find that most people appreciate the concept in varying degrees. Some people just want modern radial tires or a generator to alternator upgrade. Others appreciate comprehensive upgrades including overdrive, efi, 4 wheel disc, suspension, supportive seats, modern air conditioning--the works. Sunbeam or Chevy, the right upgrades can improve the driving experience without erasing the car's original personality and style. We brought seven pro touring cars to the Mitty and put on a little show for HSR. The cars were well received in the paddock and by HSR officials. But we want to hear what YOU think--good or bad. Some feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks /Steve

Steve, I absolutely loved that article. After all, I may be a "road racer", but I'm still an American!

I especiallly enjoyed the little sidebar on the original Trans-Am being the inspiration for so much of the ProMod community (as if the article didn't mention so much in the first place )...I'm old enough to remember that series, and (FINALLY!) being able to tell the couple of European immigrant kids in my elementary school classes, "..see, we can do real racing too!" Stuff like that's important to a 10yr old, I guess.

As an aside to you personally, I'm hoping I helped sell several subscriptions to CM or GRM when I was looking at your car at The Mitty. The other folks in the crowd loved it, and when I said, "..oh, yeah. That one belongs to one of their ad sales guys." Lots of eyebrows went up. You could see it in their faces...`Wow, even the salesmen are car guys over there?'

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado SuperDork
5/24/10 1:13 a.m.

In reply to everyone else, please consider the fact that the few ProMod guys I've been able to talk with have told me that they didn't start with a perfectly restored example, or even a clean "survivor" or old driver. They started with practically destroyed "barn finds" & such. Crash damaged cars, rusty cars, dead "base models" (i.e., non-running straight six Camaro with bench seat instead of an SS or Z28) etc. Basically, cars that would have just gone to the crusher and further inflated prices on their surviving cousins. Again, I admit that I haven't met many people from the ProMod crowd, but the ones I have met have all said they just wanted the classic shape, and would never alter a truly significant example of the original car.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
5/24/10 5:54 a.m.
the guy above me said: the ones I have met have all said they just wanted the classic shape, and would never alter a truly significant example of the original car.

Unlike too many hot rodders, who will take a solid unrestored example of something and butcher it irretrievably because doing it that way is "easier/cheaper" than doing it to a useless carcass. I know not everyone does that. It's mostly the check-writer-project types, but there are a lot of them out there.

Ian F
Ian F Dork
5/24/10 9:54 a.m.

I've liked the idea of resto-mods ever since I test drove a '69 Charger back in 1990 and was introduced to horrid Chrysler p/s feel and handling.

My '90 Ford van started my love affair with modern fuel injection.

I wouldn't want wheels any larger than 17". Not only for additional larger brake clearance, but also because once you get smaller than 17", hi-performace tire choices get limited.

That said, to resto-mod or not depends a lot on the base car. Some are better candidates than others. Creating an "Eleanor" out of a real GT500 would be financially questionable. Nor would I resto-mod any documented Hemi car.

Steve Chryssos
Steve Chryssos Associate Publisher
5/28/10 9:12 a.m.
friedgreencorrado wrote: Steve, I absolutely loved that article. After all, I may be a "road racer", but I'm still an American! I especiallly enjoyed the little sidebar on the original Trans-Am being the inspiration for so much of the ProMod community (as if the article didn't mention so much in the first place )...I'm old enough to remember that series, and (FINALLY!) being able to tell the couple of European immigrant kids in my elementary school classes, "..see, *we* can do real racing too!" Stuff like that's important to a 10yr old, I guess. As an aside to you personally, I'm hoping I helped sell several subscriptions to CM or GRM when I was looking at your car at The Mitty. The other folks in the crowd loved it, and when I said, "..oh, yeah. That one belongs to one of their ad sales guys." Lots of eyebrows went up. You could see it in their faces...`Wow, even the salesmen are car guys over there?'

Those are some cool words!! Thanks. The Mitty was highly productive. We used the pro-touring cars to have a meeting with HSR. The goal is to bring back a legit time trial class for street cars at Vintage Races. It was just a discussion. But it could happen someday, eventually, no guarantees whatsoever.

Rupert
Rupert New Reader
5/28/10 2:55 p.m.

I can live with that stuff PROVIDING the original parts are retained and no truly permanent damage is done. Unless what you started out with was junk anyway. Thank God my '53 Studebaker could be refitted with the stock engine! I sold the 283" to a guy who dropped it into a '53 Chevy.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
5/31/10 6:18 p.m.

I am definitely a fan of upgraded suspension, brakes and wheel/tires on a classic, especially if it is a DD.

We had a good conversation at The Mitty Steve and you have my support.

I will never own a true collector because I just have to make the brakes stop, the front end turn when the steering input is made and even adding an LSD. You see where this is going don't you....

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