It doesn't matter what it is, but in this consumer-driven market that we have here in the United States, there is a constant need to have something new, and/or different, be it clothing, hair styles, countertops, or car parts. While many of you may have seen the birth of hot rodding as we know it, and probably took part in some capacity or another, others, like myself, came around a bit later.
With my home state of Ohio more or less being considerably behind the times, I began my car customization in the late '80s with the '70s look. For me, this manifested itself in the form of staggered, reverse offset Cragar wheels with big and little tires-bias-ply no less. Rounding out the look was a set of air shocks to achieve the desired rake.
My paper route didn't provide me with the necessary funding to proceed further, though I did get to watch my father go full Pro Street with a number of his rides throughout the '90s. In addition to the 15x14 rear wheels shod in Mickey Thompson rubber, there was usually an engine component sticking out of the hood, and some pastel colors along the flanks.
The hobby eventually pulled itself out of the extravagant '80s and '90s looks, and settled down with more classic, and perhaps even basic themes. Over the last few years, we've seen the Pro Touring style develop and hit its full swing. With cars such as our Colt Of Personality project and Generation Gap, we equip our classic rides with modern amenities and performance that parallels and sometimes exceeds that of modern cars. Pro Touring offers the best of both worlds, as it provides us with a classic-appearing vehicle that has improved power, braking, and handling, as well as greater safety levels.
There is still a strong case for stock restoration, and that continues at a steady pace compared to the ups and downs of the customization industry. Personally, I think it's going to be really hard to top the Pro Touring style since it is arguably the pinnacle of vehicle performance. Perhaps we'll see more of an evolution of that, rather than a complete change of direction. Then again, if there is some sort of market change that directly affects us, such as a fuel shortage or surge in their prices, the customization market could change drastically as well. As we take a look at engine swaps this month, the all-electric convertible feature could be a glimpse of the future-hopefully it's a snap shot some 10-20 years down the road, as I'm not ready to give up my internally combusted exhaust notes just yet.
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