1966 Chrysler Imperial
Builder: HPI Customs/Tyler Scarfe
The essence of a Pro Touring machine is power and performance wrapped in an elegantly updated and modernized classic vehicle. In general, though, the selection of cars will be from the more standard level of transportation: muscle cars and the like. For those who seek a more commanding and well-appointed presence, Grand Touring is one step up the ladder. The term Grand Tour actually originates from the traditional extended trip through Europe undertaken by wealthy upper-class European young men of means as a rite of passage. These young men traveled only in the finest style, so to build a Grand Touring car you must start with a luxury-oriented vehicle and add power and performance. Think of it as creating a vintage version of a Bentley Continental GT. Case in point: The Tyrant.
The Tyrant is a 1966 Chrysler Imperial that has taken power to excess (see what they did there?) with an infusion of a third-gen Viper V-10 force fed by a Paxton supercharger. Underneath is a custom suspension designed for exceptional high-speed handling. But all that is nothing without style in Grand Touring, so HPI Customs has invested over 3,500 hours to design and build the subtle body mods including a hand-fabbed grille, spoiler, fender vent body lines, hood extractor scoops, firewall, and underhood sheetmetal and tunnel. The interior is appropriately sumptuous with full leather and suede over Dodge SRT8 seats and a modern Challenger console by Sew Fine. The dash is hand-fabbed, and up front are custom LED DRL headlights and HIDs. Top it off with roughly 150 hours of CNC machine work to create details such as the fender vents, gauge cluster, dash inserts, airbox lid, master cylinder mounts, interior trim, shifter, and hoodpin bosses, and you have an Imperial ready to rule the roads.
By The Numbers
Engine: Gen III Viper motor with Paxton supercharger (air-to-water intercooled) and Snow Performance water/methanol injection
Trans: paddle-shifted TCI 6X transmission
Suspension/Chassis: HPI Customs chassis incorporating Speedtech Performance front suspension clip with ATS AFX spindles, Speedtech-based rear torque arm with tubular chromoly centerlink and HPI Watt's link, Speedtech Chicayne full-floater 9-inch with ZR1 hubs and Strange aluminum center section
Brakes: Wilwood WS6/WS4 brake package
Wheels & Tires: 19x9 and 20x11 Schott Vector three-piece wheels with 255/40R19 and 315/35R20 Nitto Invo tires
Contact: HPI Customs; 204-268-4746; HPICustoms.com
1971 DeTomaso Pantera
Regular readers will remember this very unique 1971 Pantera from our last Pro Projects issue. For a refresher, the Ringbrothers took it upon themselves to help Randy Brickle's widow, Cheryl, bring Randy's dream to fruition after a bout with cancer cut his restoration short. The car was quite rough and unfortunately had some poor workmanship performed at a previous shop, but Cheryl made a promise and it would be kept. She gave them a budget cap, and mandated that the finished color be yellow, but other than that Mike and Jim Ring had free reign.
Mike and Jim took that freedom to create their vision of what a Pantera should have looked like. Usually, modified cars look like just that: improved versions of themselves. Instead of that, Ringbrothers sought to create a car that looked and felt like it was built that way originally. We've heard that line before, and we've seen some great builds, but this Pantera is among the very best. If you aren't familiar with these cars, you'd have a very hard time picking out all the perfectly integrated body mods. For instance, the entire front end of the car, including the grille and headlights, are one-off custom fabrications. But the lines work so well that the final result is something that appears like DeTomaso installed it. And we dare say it's better than the original. A few other subtle touches that improve the Pantera include larger wheel flares, custom rocker panels with brake cooling ducts, relocated door handles, a flush-fit windshield, and a roof scoop that feeds the transplanted LS3.
By The Numbers
Engine: 600hp Wegner Automotive LS3 with Holley Dominator EFI
Trans & Rearend: Bowler ZF transaxle with custom adapter plate
Suspension: Roadster Shop IRS with Porsche driveshafts, C6 spindles, Roadster Shop custom tubular control arms, coilovers
Brakes: 14- and 15-inch rotors with Baer 6S six-piston calipers
Wheels & Tires: 19x9 and 19x12 HRE wheels with 275/30 and 345/30 Nitto Invo tires
Contact: Ringbrothers; 608-588-7399; Ringbrothers.com