The fact is that you can build a classic car any way you want, from a faithful representation of an original car to a completely custom car. One of the most popular restorations of classic muscle cars is to make it a pro-touring car. Pro-touring allows you to update your older vehicle to modern performance standards by enhancing the motor, suspension, brake system and other components to improve its performance and efficiency. But what does a pro-touring car cost? The answer widely depends on the vehicle but we have done our best to provide some perspective of what costs you can expect from a high-end pro-touring shop. 


The primary modifications for pro-touring cars are on the drivetrain (engine and transmission), suspension, steering, brakes, wheels and tires. These modifications often require more elaborate and expensive parts in comparison to a traditional OEM restoration. 


The engine is one of the most important modification but also often one of the most expensive, so expect a good chunk of your budget to go towards a high-power engine. There are currently many tools and parts that make engine swapping fairly simple. The best part is that you can now get a newer motor that delivers 600hp+ and can run the A/C. Keep in mind, though, that as the horse power goes up, you need to think about the suspension and braking systems necessary to support the new dynamics of all this new-found power.


There are several ways to update any vehicle’s suspension for greater performance, but typically a pro-touring car will feature a lower, firmer and more performant suspension, which makes it feel like driving a modern performance car. This may require lowering the car’s center of gravity while also changing the spring rates and upgrading to tuned shocks. Upgrading OEM control arms to after-market control arms is another common way to better your suspension system as after-market control arms are lighter and stronger than their OEM counterparts as well as offer greater turning capabilities and geometry. If it doesn’t already, and depending on how you intend to drive your high-performance car, you may want to consider switching to an independent rear suspension (or IRS). This is a popular upgrade to classic muscle cars that did not come with IRS. 


A high-performance car may also have more responsive steering in the form of power assist rack and pinion steering units to keep up with high horsepower and modified suspension. The power racks help push fluid the system to move the pinion gear on the rack as you turn the wheel. Modified steering is important to better control the larger tires and wheels and extra power on your pro-touring build. This is a very popular upgrade for older cars that did not feature power steering. Turning into a parking spot with your old Pontiac is a chore, and even more so when the wheels and tires are twice as wide, lower and stiffer. 


Known for larger, higher-performance braking systems, pro-touring builds may feature enhanced and/or large brake reservoirs, big rotors, brake calipers and more to be able to stop a vehicle with high horsepower. While past cars and classics have often featured drum brakes on all 4 corners or disc-front/drum-rear, pro-touring cars are often equipped with larger, more expensive disc brake kits for enhanced performance. Frankly, if you’re adding power, you have to upgrade your brakes to match. Never try to save money by ignoring your brakes! 

Wheels & Tires

To offset lowered suspension and ride height while also maintaining a sharp look, you can expect to install a nice set of wheels and tires. Besides needing taller wheels with lower-profile tires to help your car perform as well as possible, you’ll also likely need to upgrade to 18” or 20” wheels to fit the larger disc brakes and calipers. In fact, most high-performance brake kits will not fit behind your small, stock wheels. While wider wheels look cool, they will also improve your grip on the road and offer better traction and handling. It’s critically important to get your wheel size, backspacing and fit dimensions perfect, you can always consult the experts here at Forge Speed to ensure you’re putting the right wheels and tires on your pro-touring car. 

As for tires, there are many considerations; compounds, thread type, intended driving needs and speed ratings. At Forge Speed, we spend a lot of time ensuring we get the best-possible wheel and tire set up that eliminates fender gaps while providing high performance and a comfortable ride. 


High-performance, handling, comfort and safety modifications in pro-touring cars often makes the potential costs of a build higher than a traditional OEM-style restoration. While we have given you some insight on what pro-touring a vehicle will need for a complete build, it is best to call us or bring your vehicle in for us to see. This will get a more accurate idea of what costs would be involved. Forge Speed is a high-end pro-touring shop in Mooresville, NC, we bring unmatched expertise and experience in building amazing pro-touring cars, and we can help you decide which is best for your budget and needs. Contact us today to get started. 

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