1955 Chevy 210
Builder: Precision Designs
They may not be center stage in the hot rodding hobby anymore, but all those throngs of Pro Street cars built in the 1980s and 1990s are still out there. Sadly, far too many of them (we'd go so far as to say the majority of them) were built with an emphasis on style way before function and driveability, which leaves them very much out of the modern movement toward usable hot rods. So what do you do with an ol' out-of-date Pro Streeter with tons of time and work poured into already? We like to call it Pro Street 2.0.
Case in point here is the 1955 Chevy 210 by Precision Designs. This Tri-Five was one of those pretty fairground dwellers that wasn't all that powerful, didn't drive particularly well, and just felt dated by today's standards. Rather than reinvent the wheel, Precision Designs decided to embrace the big rear wheels, but bring everything 20 years forward in terms of parts choice, power, and interior. The suspension parts were swapped out for bits with better geometry, and rack-and-pinion steering. RideTech ShockWaves gave it stance and a smooth ride, while 19- and 20-inch Intro wheels kept the breadth of rubber, but with modern tire technology. The interior went full street rod comfy with leather and A/C, but to maintain the well-preserved Tri-Five's original identity, much of the original paint was retained and buffed out. Pro Street 2.0 still embraces a big engine with a blower through the hood, but far better driveability is expected now, so the roots-blown stoker Hemi runs modern EFI engine management. So what do you think hot rodders? Do you like the idea of Pro Streeters that are ready for touring?
By The Numbers
Engine: 572ci Chrysler Hemi with 8-71 blower and Hilborn EFI
Trans: Richmond six-speed with McLeod clutch and QuickTime scattersheild
Suspension/Chassis: Heidts tubular control arms, RideTech ShockWaves, front; 9-inch rearend on ladder bars with RideTech ShockWaves in the rear
Brakes: 14-inch Wilwood
Wheels & Tires: 19x8 and 20x15 Intro wheels with Mickey Thompson tires
Contact: Precision Designs; 720-982-4092; PrecisionDesignsFabrication.com
1968 Dodge Charger
Builder: Pure Vision Design
When car companies are set to release an important new model, or even more importantly a redesign of an already important marque, making a positive impression with the audience they're relying on to buy it is paramount. We still see it today, though mostly with enthusiast-driven cars like Mustangs, Camaros, and Chargers. The question Steve Strope at Pure Vision Design asked for this project is this: "What would a promo and testing campaign for the redesigned 1968 Charger have looked like if Mopar had seriously courted the drag racers that they needed to love the redesign?"
In his vision, this Charger would be an early development prototype mule that still had bits pulled from the previous generation Charger as details were still being finalized. Externally, the Charger would be mostly production ready, but widened wheel tubs to pack in Super Stock size rubber, and a 1967 Dodge W023 Coronet hoodscoop modified to fit the '68 Charger hood, because you know it would be making exhibition passes at local dragstrips.
Inside is an even bigger mixture of parts with a "what if" interior based on the idea that Dodge was thinking of keeping the four bucket seats and full-length console from the previous generation Charger interior. We sure wish they would have. Also, Pure Vision modified the stock instrument cluster by reconfiguring the gauge layout to now have the speedometer and tachometer centered above the steering wheel instead of off to the left side. The four small auxiliary gauges that were once on the right, now flank two each on the outside of the speedo and tach. It looks as if the factory did it this way, and it's a major improvement in our book.
By The Numbers
Engine: 572ci Gen II Hemi assembled by Hawaii Racing, Mopar cast-iron block, Edelbrock aluminum heads, FAST EZ-EFI 2.0
Trans: Passon Performance Hemi overdrive four-speed with American Powertrain Hydramax internal clutch slave system for 18-spline/Passon four-speed, Street Slayer clutch kit with 10.75-inch cheater pressure plate, Street Slayer sprung hub, and Feramic disc rated for 645 lb-ft
Suspension/Chassis: front: Reilly Motorsports AlterKation tubular K-frame, rear: Street-Lynx triangulated four-bar modified by Pure Vision with Strange Dana 60, JRi shocks all around
Brakes: Wilwood 12- and 11-inch discs with four-piston calipers
Wheels & Tires: 15x5.5 and 15x10 Real Rodders Wheels with EZ Care polished magnesium finish, 26x7.5R15 and 29x12.5R15 Hoosier Pro Street Radials
Contact: Pure Vision Design; 805-522-2232; PureVisionDesign.com