November '20

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72 THE SHOP NOVEMBER 2020 Promise Pro-Touring of The hp—before the 120 shot of nitrous," he says. "As far as on the track, we have many cars that have had many successes. Two builders at the top are Nick Relampagos and Chris Smith, who are at the top of their classes at road courses, autocrosses and similar events." Even Corvettes can be Pro-Touring leaders, according to Baty from Centerforce. "One of my favorite Pro-Touring builds is Greg Thurmond's 1965 SCAR C2 Cor- vette," he says. "To see what Greg has done with a nearly 60-year-old car is incredible. He is very competitive and is a regular con- tender to finish in the top-10." Another well-built Corvette, he adds, is Jake Rozelle's C5. "Jake switched to our Centerforce TRIAD a couple of years ago and is running the entire season on one clutch, which allows him to focus on other aspects of the car, because he knows the clutch will always be good. Jake's won just about every event at OPTIMA with that car." INTERESTING RESULTS Of course, this year's pandemic put some- what of a damper on enjoying Pro-Touring vehicles throughout most of 2020. Will there be any long-term effects on the market? "Based on the evidence, there remains a robust market for retailers and eTailers," says Wheel-1's Mantle. "Based on a report from Hedges and Co., the market sector has experienced explosive growth and we fully expect this to continue." Hamrick notes that racing continued during the summer, including the NMCA West Auto-X held at AAA Speedway. "Over the past six months during COVID-19, they have been able to keep all of the events safe, allowing participants to come drive their cars for the weekend. About 40% of the cars that attend this event are either high-end Pro-Touring builds, or customers that are taking their cars from being a muscle car and starting to drive them—converting them to Pro-Touring builds," he explains. "These cars fit into a group called GT-Vintage. Between these types of customers across the U.S. and many of our distributors that buy our products for this marketplace, we have not seen or anticipate any negative effects. The Pro- Touring market is strong and the education we like to offer the builders and owners has not stopped; it's been full speed." (Photo courtesy Holley Performance Products) The development of aftermar- ket performance products has been synonymous with the evolution of the Pro- Touring movement. (Photo courtesy AERO Exhaust) Modern conveniences tucked away in classic vehicles offer drivers the best of both worlds—nostalgia and performance. (Photo by Bob Vaughn)

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