Street Machines, Pro Street to Pro Touring Part 5
In celebration of the recent Goodguys PPG Nationals 20th anniversary, we are counting down the last twenty recipients of the Goodguys Street Machine of the Year award to show you the cars, but also to chronicle the evolution of the modern day Street Machine. Perhaps no other breed of high performance car has undergone such radical changes. What we used to do with these cars was all about noise, burnouts, straight line acceleration and posing.
As you will see through this 10-part series, the Street Machine game changed dramatically beginning in 2000. The name of the game today is a hybrid sports car/muscle car, bred to run hard and fast be it around sharp corners or cracking 170mph on road course straightaways.
These super cars have never been more popular and have spawned an entire cottage industry of performance parts, suspension components, wheels and tires. Not only do they look incredibly good, they sometimes outrun their looks. You couldn’t always say that!
Come along for the ride as we show you the best Street Machines in the world.
2005 Winner Roy Pigford, 1966 Nova
The first attempt at a Street Machine for Texas based hot rodder and body shop owner Roy Pigford turned out alright. As he put it, he entered “The Troy Trepanier World.” The two-tone Nova debuted in Detroit landing the Ridler Great 8 before cruising to Columbus where it took home all the marbles. Needless to say, the body & paint work was so masterful, fellow 2005 Top 5 finalist Bobby Alloway remarked “If I lose, that’s one car I wouldn’t mind losing to.” The wheelbase was moved forward two inches, and the rear wheels moved three inches forward, coming up with a one-inch “shorter than stock” factory wheelbase. Suspension-wise, Pigford welded up a custom frame and added Corvette suspension bits but also added RideTech Shockwaves for a stunning stance when parked or rolling slow. The 18 and 20-inch Billet Specialties “Chicayne” rollers offered a classic hot rod rake which still capture the flavor of the era. While the 2000-2005 winners were Muscle Car/Show Car hybrids bred more for looks, the Street Machine, Pro-Touring storm was still brewing in the background and about to explode. Pigford’s Nova now belongs to fellow Texan Don Smith where it resides in his impressive collection.
2006 Winner Bob Johnson, 1971 Plymouth Barracuda
Bob Johnson’s G-Code by Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop shook up the Street Machine scene for good. It was THE benchmark car of its class. To this day, it remains one of the most remarkable machines ever produced. A three-year build, the stance, the style, the power and the raw speed (it ran over 200mph in a land speed test with Scott Pruett behind the wheel) the G-Force ‘Cuda possessed both sinister and breathtaking qualities. The body was sliced up but with a hot rodder’s vision. Both A-Pillars were leaned inward pushing back the roofline. The upward-raked rear quarters added to the sexy hind quarters. Stretching the wheelbase 3-inches both lengthened and lowered the beast while the completely carbon fiber front end made for substantial curb weight reduction. Painted hemi orange, it was an absolute monster Mopar. No less than 870 ponies were available from the Indy Cylinder Heads-prepped 571c.i. hemi, with another 300hp available through a Nitrous system. The hand built chassis was suspended with a Morrison front clip. The addition of a shark tooth front grille, diffusers and other ground effects were previously unseen in the Street Machine realm. The car was so revered, it fetched $550,000 at the 2007 Barrett-Jackson auction. We could write another three pages on this car alone. G-Force now spends its days in Doug Cooper’s private collection.