5 Eye-Catching Pro-Touring Builds From the Goodguys Heartland Nationals
When it comes to awesome pro-touring cars, the Goodguys Heartland Nationals has no shortage of them. Held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds the first weekend in July, this Goodguys event brings in thousands of vintage cars of all shapes and sizes, including some of the coolest pro-touring cars you'll ever lay your eyes on. From mildly modified to beefed up and boisterous, these five pro-touring builds especially caught our eye.
In no particular order, here are five of our favorites from the 2017 Goodguys Heartland Nationals:
1. Bad-to-the-Bone Barracuda
Recently built by Riley Autosports, Phil Stepp's 1967 Barracuda is a pro-tourer's dream.
Complete with a massaged 383 under the hood, a TTI header/custom exhaust system and a 727 automatic gearbox, the Barracuda is good for somewhere around 480 hp. Improved handling and maneuverability on the street comes thanks to a Mustang IFS, triangulated rear and K-member support.
Built to be a driver as well as a bit of a show car, the Barracuda sports 17-inch US Mags up front and 18s in the rear. Wrapped around the hearty wheels are Nitto NT555s, in 235/45/ZR17 and 255/45/ZR18 sizes, respectively.
Recommended by builder Bill Riley, the Nitto tires are a great asset to the Barracuda, and according to Stepp, he looks forward to seeing how they perform on the car in normal and performance driving situations.
2. Gnarly Nomad
One of the coolest customs/pro-touring car hybrids, John Judt's 1961 two-door Nomad is one impressive wagon.
Originally a four-door, it underwent a major transformation to be the two-door you see here — including removing, welding and replacing doors; cutting and moving the posts; then worked smooth before painting in House of Kolor Tangerine with a White Pearl top.
While the wagon's aesthetics are amazing, so too are its slew of performance components. Under the hood you'll find a new Chevy Small Block 350 ci crate engine, wired with Ron Francis wires and cooled by dual electric fans, backed by a 700R4 automatic transmission.
The suspension on the Nomad is a full RideTech system, complete with bags in front and rear for height control. Wheels on the wagon are classic five-spokes with custom body-color Chevy Bowtie center caps wrapped in Nitto NT450s. Choosing Nittos after happily rolling them on his '55 Nomad for four years, Judt's '61 now has over 4,000 miles on it.
3. Fine Falcon
Sporting a license plate that reads “JS MINT” for obvious reasons, Bruce Moorman's gorgeous '64 Ford Falcon has been a few years in the making. Just like with most builds, building the Falcon up to its current pro-touring status was a lengthy process, but the results are absolutely killer.
Built to be driven both on and off the autocross course, the Falcon features a Ford Racing 347 ci V8 under the hood, complete with an impressive dual air intake system spanning the expanse of the engine bay. A triangulated 4-link was added to the car for maneuverability and strength, as well as Wilwood discs on all four corners.
Planting the car to the pavement are 225/40/ZR18 and 275/35/ZR18 Nitto NT555s wrapped around polished Foose 5-spoke wheels. Unfortunately, we didn't see Moorman run the car on the autocross course this year, but we're sure it will be a force to be reckoned with when it hits the track again!
4. Sleek Chevelle
Another impressive custom, it's easy to see just how much time and effort went into creating this one-of-a-kind pro-touring '67 Chevelle, owned by Jamie Rhoades.
Built over a six-month period by husband Steve Rhoades of Rhoades Restoration, this mighty Chevy features a pavement-pounding 450 hp 427 ci V8, Turbo 350 automatic transmission, narrowed 12-bolt rearend and 3.42 gears out back.
Underneath, the Chevelle is equipped with QA1 tubular coilovers in the front and billet control arms in the rear. The wheels are 18x7-inch front and 20x12-inch rear Schott SL65 wheels wrapped in sticky 225/45/ZR18 and 315/35/ZR20 Nitto NT555 tires.
Other features on the car include Wilwood disc brakes, TMI seats in a fully custom interior and so much custom body work we could ogle over it for days. Jamie may have had to wait 10 years for the car to come to fruition, but we suspect the wait was well worth it.
5. Sinister “SPLITR” Mustang
Built by the one and only Ringbrothers, this exquisite pro-touring car took the cake for the most tricked-out Mustang we saw at the Heartland Nationals. With no single part of the car left untouched, we just knew this bad boy had to be in our top five.
Debuting at the 2015 SEMA Show, Michael Schmalz Jr.'s '65 Mustang Fastback dubbed “SPLITR” boasts a Wegner Motorsports 427 ci Ford Racing engine outfitted with MSD Atomic EFI, an Edelbrock intake, Aeromotive fuel system, custom exhaust system with Ringbrothers headers, as well as Hurst, Flowmaster and B&M components, plus Painless Wiring. Backing the engine is a T56 Tremec six-speed transmission with a Centerforce clutch tied to a Ford 9-inch, complete with a John's Industries third-member, via a DynoTech driveshaft.
The suspension on the Mustang is just as well thought out and performance-driven as the drivetrain, with a full Detroit Speed Engineering setup (chassis and all) featuring a Mustang Aluma-Frame setup up front and a Mustang QUADRALink out back.
JRI shocks are fitted to all four corners, while DSE sway bars keep the car from bending and bowing too much in corners. Pavement gripping power for the car comes from 265/35/ZR18 and 325/30/ZR19 Nitto Invos wrapped around 18x9-inch front and 19x11-inch rear HRE 10-spoke wheels.
We took a deeper look at this beauty when it came out, and today it's just as beautiful as ever.
There were so many absolutely amazing pro-touring cars at the Goodguys Heartland Nationals; this just scratches the surface. Be sure to stay tuned as we feature a handful more pro-touring vehicles from the show in the months to come.