While you can’t really call it subdued, the interior is more restrained than many tuner jobsno colonies of subwoofers or goofy simulated game-console screens. There are plenty of gauges, thoughenough to monitor everything from license-plate temperature to wiper-fluid pressure. Overkill though they may be, their presence is true-to-scale in the pro-touring crowd, so why not? To keep things in perspective, a big cue-ball knob sits atop the classic Hurst shifter just like in ’65 and justifies the Hurst badge on the rear deck.
The red seats look pretty realistic with the black inserts and piping, although they lack any sort of seat belt. The rest of the interior is sprinkled with liberal amounts of chrome and diamond platea bit bling-y, but perfectly in character. The back seat has been removed, and in its place sits a pair of nitrous bottles. It’s a cliché this GTO could do without, as any serious street racer knows that laughing gas belongs in the trunk unless you plan to breathe more of it than you give your engine.
UNDER THE HOOD.
With its fresh-for-’65, single-bulge hood scoop, the GTO hood seems to hold promise, but lifting it reveals a mixed bag. The concept is a good one: a thoroughly modern engine transplant, with a Corvette-sourced LS1 propelling this classic into the 21st century. Aluminum and chrome trim befitting a show car further dress up the engine room. The downside? It’s molded out of a single panel and then painted to reflect the various hardware and surfaces. That isn’t unusual for this price range or niche, but it’s a bit of a disappointment in that Maisto offers admirably detailed engines in this price category in other lines. And they already make a fine multipiece molding of the Vette LS1/LS6 in 1:18. Why not use it?
SUSPENSION, WHEELS AND TIRES.
The undercarriage is typical of this category: a single molded panel with marginal detailing. Now, about those wheels: wheels reflect an era as well as any automotive feature. Back when the GTO bowed, those 14-inch wheels probably looked pretty sporty. When I was a kid, 17s were state of the art. Now, a set of dubs are de rigueur for street cred, so it’s only natural that the Pro Rodz GTO would sport some seriously upsized rubber. The rim-size skirts the outer edge of plausibility, but it doesn’t overwhelm the car or look cartoonish, and the tire width doesn’t require tubs or modifications to the suspension of disbelief. The big, 5-spoke wheels give a nice look at the Brembo brake calipers and slotted rotors.
I’m a fan of the GTO, and I’m a fan of the pro-touring movement, so it’s no wonder that I’m fond of Maisto’s Pro Rodz ’65. Pro-touring is as much about high-tech parts as it is about the classic shells they’re transplanted into, so I’d like to see a little more technical detail to back up the updating of the legendary GTO image. As a lead-off effort for a new line from a favorite brand, this old goat foreshadows good things on the horizon for pro-touring fans and the die-cast community in general.