Pro Street’s Greatest Builds Honored at 2024 Grand National Roadster Show

Brandan Gillogly

The 2024 Grand National Roadster Show paid homage to the wild and creative world of Pro Street, with nearly an entire building dedicated to that style of hot rod.

If you aren’t already familiar with them, Pro Street cars bring the loud, big-tire look of Pro Stock drag racing to the street with massive wheel tubs, wide, tall rubber, and rowdy engines that are often supercharged. Born in the ’70s and reaching its zenith in the ’80s, Pro Street included both street-driven muscle cars that looked like they had just left the dragstrip and fairground-cruising show cars that were detailed and polished to a nearly absurd degree.

The arms race of these show-oriented Pro Street cars was apparent in the dozens of builds on display, a gathering that included some of the most famous examples of the breed.

2024 GNRS Pro Street Dobbertin Nova
Brandan Gillogly

Pro Street royalty Rick Dobbertin had two of his most famous builds featured prominently. His nitrous-burning, twin-turbocharged, supercharged Chevy II is an engineering and creative marvel in its own right. Built in 1982, the Chevy made a huge impact in the hot-rodding world. Twin draw-through carburetors, one per turbocharger, feed the Roots blower by way of a dummy injector hat. Those throttle butterflies are a ruse.

2024 GNRS Pro Street Dobbertin J2000
Brandan Gillogly

Four years later, in 1986, Dobbertin’s Pontiac J2000 blew every other Pro Street car out of the water. Often described as the pinnacle of Pro Street, the turbocharged and supercharged car features a tilting body over a tube chassis, and its rear tires are so wide that there was no room left for a real suspension. (Dobbertin mounted a set of valve springs atop the rear axle in case anyone went looking for one.) Wholly impractical, this J2000 is more art than machine—and people love it. The Pontiac drew a crowd all weekend, with many fans of the car remembering how it wowed them when Dobbertin unveiled it almost 40 years ago.

Another famous Pro Street build at the 2024 Grand National Roadster Show was the 1987 Chevy Celebrity Eurosport of Mark Grims. The formerly FWD two-door is now decidedly RWD, with a triple-supercharged big-block V-8 stuffed partially under the hood.

If you grew up attending car shows anywhere in America in the ’80s or were a fervent reader of car magazines of that era, these cars will be a major blast from the past. They don’t appeal only on grounds of nostalgia, either: Kids of all ages were ogling the intricate mechanicals and highly polished finishes of these Pro Street machines all weekend.

Today it seems that the most popular type of street-legal drag car is the kind built for drag-and-drive events, but there’s always a place for an over-the-top Pro Street build. Choose your favorite from the gallery below!




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    Some really historic cars there. Some I have not seen since the 80’s.

    I never was into these but appreciate the workmanship of the well done cars. On the other hand I have been scared to death on how some people built a pro street car back then. My buddy bought one and it was tubbed but no cage and it was a t top car. One big romp of the SC 350 chevy and the roof buckelled.

    It’s sad to not see or hear about any of Rich Gebharts Pro Street Cars that was built. His shop built some of the coolest pro street cars in the early 90’s.

    Matt and Debbie Hays pink Thunderbird and Scott Sullivan’s Cheez Whiz 55 Chev were pinnacle cars.

    Should mention Lisk’s 71 Challenger as well, the “real and go” before the mostly show…


    That Eurosport body with RWD… wish they’d actually made that.

    Different strokes for different folks, that’s what makes the world go around. I thought the pro-street era had ended but it’s nice to see these people keeping the trend alive. There are some beautiful cars here, and I bet they sound as awesome as they look.

    That red Mustang looks terrifying! Mustangs are already unstable cars to drive, but with all that weight and power up front on such a light car, and top-heavy too? And to boot, the driver would not be able to see anything!

    The Mustang with the engine sticking above the roof is totally tasteless and the definition of “ if some is good, more must be better”. The only other comment I have about it is Why???
    The other examples were done right being the time period of their original build, the technology was in its infancy back then and these guys made it work and for the most part look good.

    That Nova would look really good in my garage……. I had an ’88 Celebrity, thank god I didn’t know this was possible

    I assume there is a camera in the scoop on the red Mustang so the driver can see forward. Dumb. Some people have too much money. Obviously there is no requirement to be real cars.

    To me this is an interesting and very creative hobby. My preference for all my vehicle is to drive them. That is the essence of car ownership IMHO.

    I have a Pro Street 1971 Maverick, 600 HP., but I drive the car on the street, has been in the Woodward
    Dream several times!

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