Barrett-Jackson Automotive Specialist Steve Chryssos spends his time driving around the country hunting for cool cars. When he’s not working, Steve is usually out wrenching and driving his 1968 Camaro pro-touring car. Here’s a story from the road:
The car may look old, but it’s fully upgraded with custom front and rear suspension, modern disc brakes, rack and pinion steering as well as fuel injection. It even has a paddle-shifted overdrive transmission.
Many argue that these cars should be left stock. Some still insist that modifications ruin value. In reality, auction transactions prove what Barrett-Jackson has known for a long time: Pro-Touring cars are fun-to-drive collectibles. I like to take my Camaro out to prove that point.
This particular car has seen it all. I’ve driven it across the country on the Hot Rod Power Tour. It has also been drag raced, autocrossed, and used for daily transportation. From a “smiles per mile” standpoint, it’s hard to beat an upgraded classic.
Recently, I entered my Camaro in the inaugural Ultimate Street Car Association’s Daytona Event. Running a hot rod at the famed Daytona International Speedway is truly a “bucket list” opportunity. We’re not talking about low-speed laps behind a pace car. The USCA lets you run your car as hard as you desire with some cars reaching 175 mph. To keep people from driving over their heads, the USCA provides three run groups including Novice, Advanced (Intermediate) and Expert. Safety is the highest priority. Be sure to choose a run group that best matches your performance driving experience level.
Instructors are available at no additional cost to help you improve your driving skills. As you might imagine, tracks such as the Daytona International Speedway cost a small fortune to rent. Participant and spectator entry fees offset a majority of the expense. Dedicated sponsors support the 13 episode TV series schedule to air on MavTV starting in August. They include Optima Batteries, Ridetech, Red Line Oil Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Holley, Detroit Speed & Engineering, Wilwood Disc Brakes and Jet Hot Coatings. Being a new series, these companies are working to grow the market for performance driving. They bring out their own cars and use the track time to further develop their products. It’s a purist environment — much like SCTA Bonneville events.
Event segments include a 30-plus mile Road Rally along scenic routes, a judged Design & Engineering competition, Road Course hot laps and time trial, and timed autocross. There is also a unique braking competition called the “Speed-Stop” where you launch your car drag race style then jam on the brake pedal. It’s like that 0 to 100 to 0 competition that they did with Cobras back in the day.
Obviously, the USCA is working to showcase the versatility of these cars – that’s what makes them “ultimate”. You’ll encounter many beautiful classics on-site, but there are no trailer queens. Every car gets driven hard. Every participant has a huge grin on his or her face. It’s also important to note that the USCA welcomes a wide varieties. As the club name and road rally segment emphasize, you need to bring a real street car — with wipers, a horn, proper glass, license plates, and more.y of cars including late model muscle and sports cars, exotics, hot imports, and even performance trucks. If your car can accelerate, brake, turn, and cruise, it’s welcome at Ultimate Street Car Association even
In terms of collectibility, many experts quibble that pro-touring cars are difficult to value. They argue that the modifications, themselves, make comparison difficult. Barrett-Jackson has led the market for pro-touring cars by recognizing that functionality —in itself— is valuable. Enthusiasts place value on “seat-time” and performance.
As such, the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company has seen prices for quality pro-touring cars grow steadily. Demand is increasing. When considering a pro-touring car, look under the skin for modern features including link-style rear suspension, four wheel disc brakes, fuel injection, overdrive, bolstered seating, high tech audio and more. Though there are exceptions, transaction history shows a direct correlation between the level of upgrades and sell price. More importantly, clubs like the Ultimate Street Car Association give you prime reason to buy a pro-touring car. They host performance driving events that make it easy to enjoy your hobby at legendary venues and with like-minded individuals.
For more information on Ultimate Street Car Association events, visit: