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The Definition of Pro Street

I’ve finally embraced my midlife role as the curmudgeonly gearhead who complains about how the kids these days just don’t get it. I started out as one of those kids, then was fortunate to live under the tutelage of the likes of Wally Parks, Gray Baskerville, Pat Ganahl, Jeff Smith, and beyond. Many of my mentors continue to school me—some even from the grave as their written word survives. Yet now it’s my time to perhaps ameliorate these whippersnappers.

Recently, I was triggered when I discovered that the definition of Pro Street has been lost to time. More on that in a moment; first let’s discuss the labels. On one hand, guys like me who want definitions and clarity are a nuisance to those who say, “Car building can’t be boxed in by labels,” or “It’s my car, I can do what I want,” or, “You’re too uptight.” Yet all those things can be true as we simultaneously use language to help form mental images to define trends and—dare I get too pompous in my review of car styles—to critique and discuss the art. Of course, there’s also the shift in terms as time goes by. No one calls carburetors jugs any more. And only 70-year-olds understand the difference between Watson flames and Ohio flames. Such is the passage of time—I get it… read more >

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