Street Machines, Pro Street to Pro Touring Part 9
In celebration of last month’s Goodguys PPG Nationals 20th anniversary, we are counting down the last twenty recipients of the Goodguys Street Machine of the Year award to show you the cars, but also to chronicle the evolution of the modern day Street Machine. Perhaps no other breed of high-performance car has undergone such radical changes. What we used to do with these cars was all about noise, burnouts, straight line acceleration and posing.
As you have seen through this 10-part series, the Street Machine game changed dramatically beginning in 2000. The name of the game today is a hybrid sports car/muscle car, bred to run hard and fast be it around sharp corners or cracking 170mph on road course straightaways.
These super cars have never been more popular and have spawned an entire cottage industry of performance parts, suspension components, wheels, and tires. Not only do they look incredibly good, they sometimes outrun their looks. You couldn’t always say that! Here are the 2013 & 2014 winners.
1969 Torino Talladega
When George Poteet originally commissioned Troy Trepanier to build the “GPT Special” ’69 Torino in 2010, the goal was to win big in Columbus. Not only did it win, this car was yet another benchmark in the annals of Pro-Touring lore. Trepanier and his team spent three years hand-crafting this car. Poteet’s idea was to blend the dash, hood and other favorable design traits of a Mercury Cyclone together with a Holman Moody NASCAR-style Torino. After all the meticulous bodywork was done it was three inches shorter in the front fenders, widened five inches, and had slightly shorter wheelbase. Everything else, including the rear quarters, was made from scratch. The interior, adorned with original Holman Moody logos on the gauges was all race car, including oval-shaped punch plates and a full-on roll cage. A trick 750hp EFI Ford Boss 429, coated in delicious muted bronze had stump-pulling torque. While not bred for AutoCross, it ran around there like a champ with Danny Burrow in the captain’s seat. A custom Morrison chassis with C5 Corvette front suspension and a Detroit Speed four-link in the rear with a Watts link and a Mark Williams 9-inch axle offered stout stability. The GT40-style knock off wheels (8×10 front & 20×12 rear), coated in a beautiful root beer hue, were courtesy of Billet Specialties. This car went on to silver screen fame with a supporting role in Furious 7. Yes…Vin Diesel got to drive it.
Not only was Steve Tornari’s ’67 Nova the first Florida based car to ever win Goodguys Street Machine of the Year, it also served as the sixth win for a Chevy Nova in our 20-year sample – by far the most popular make. Stanced and incredibly smooth, Tornari’s Nova came from Jeremy Miranda’s Mirandabuilt shop – a haven for mega muscle. It was a years-long build and you can easily see why. The mirror-like smooth gray hues cover the deleted drip rails, sectioned quarters, extended rockers, and lengthened “eyelids”. The 20-inch red & black Budnik wheels popped to perfection on this car offering tasteful contrast. Inside – Jeremy Carson of Extreme Performance stitched a masterful interior playing off the car’s scheme of gray, red and black. An integrated iPad recessed into the console serves as the nasty Nova’s nerve center. Tornari found this car in 1983 and has owned it ever since so he will most likely never part with it. But thanks to a TCI chassis, RideTech shockwaves and a 900hp twin turbo NASCAR Chevy V8 – you could say this baby came a long way from barn-find status. Pick your poison with this one. Lay it out and drag rocker or embarrass ZR1’s or Hellcats at the local cruise night. A lethal combination!