When James Branton and his dad haul their Skaters from their home in New Orleans to a poker run, they take the high road—namely, in their SportChassis P4-XL. Not only are they the coolest of vehicles, offering a 10-foot cab height with an incredible view of the road and surroundings, but they’re powerful enough to pull boats from 30 feet and up.
And, of course, they generate a colossal amount of attention—often more than the boats themselves.
“It’s a head turner, for sure,” Branton says of his hauler. “Nobody knows what to say about it. Some of them don’t know even what it is!”
Currently, Branton owns two Skaters, a 388 Widebody and a 3212, while his father owns a Skater 40SS and a 48 MTI. The family has always owned Skaters and MTIs, and their tow vehicle of choice is the SportChassis P4-XL from dealer Pro Motorsports of Scottsdale, AZ, which customizes and sells a full line of luxury and sports cars, in addition to trucks and tow vehicles. Branton was attending last year’s shootout when he saw Pro Motorsports owner Jim Lewis‘s P4-XL. “I had to have it,” Branton says.
Chances are good that you’ve seen speedboats being pulled by SportChassis models like the P4XL and P2XL—DCBs like Dave Magoo‘s Bananas XL, as well as MTIs, Skaters, Cigarettes and Skaters. The vast majority of these vehicles have been sold by Pro Motorsports. “If people move them much, they come from us,” says Jim Lewis. “Even if they’re just running back and forth from Havasu and Powell.”
Not every speedboat owner requires a SportChassis to haul his boat around—for a lot of folks, it’s a want, not a need. However, once a boat gets to a certain size, it turns to a need.
“I’ve got a 2020 GMC Denali dually here at the shop,” Lewis says. “It pulls most boats just fine. But there’s no way that truck can stop and control boats like my 42 MTI center console or a 52-footer on a tilt trailer. The smaller dually trucks just can’t control them when you’re coming down out of the mountains—it gets dangerous because the dually does not have enough stopping power.”
The SportChassis is a powerhouse, to be sure, but the visual appeal can be just as powerful—and that’s another reason for its runaway success. “They look awesome and they’re cool. They’re a giant truck,” Lewis says. “It’s like the street version of a 52 cat. If you pull a 52 cat up to any restaurant, on the water at most any lake, you’re going to hear, ‘Holy mackerel!’ The same thing happens with this truck. Pull up to any gas station or any restaurant in a SportChassis, and all of a sudden 40-year-old guys turn into 8-year-old boys running out to see it.”
Branton confirms the universal allure of the SportChassis as a tow vehicle: “Oh yeah—nobody knows what to say about it. Lots of people don’t know what it is. It’s crazy. People you’d never think would be interested look at it.”
Not only is Branton in love with the vehicle, but he’s become a lifelong customer of Pro Motorsports. “Jim’s so easy to work with—he definitely takes care of you,” he says. “He’s there for you when you need him. He’s the man. I recommend his shop to everybody.”
Of course, Pro Motorsports’ customers are hardly limited to boat owners. Some of its highest-profile clients include professional athletes, including superstars from the National Football League (Maliek Collins of the Las Vegas Raiders, Terrell Suggs of the Kansas City Chiefs, Antoine Bethea of the New York Giants), National Basketball Association (Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons, DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs, James Harden of the Houston Rockets) and Major League Baseball (Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies, Jon Lester of the Chicago Cubs, Matt Kemp of the Colorado Rockies). The company has provided services for more than 600 professional athletes since its inception.
“We’ve done over 680 athlete’s cars,” Lewis says. “We service more pro athletes than any other company on the planet.” The reason they go to Pro Motorsports? Not only for the one-stop custom shop and dealership capable of doing custom wheels, stereos, interiors, etc., but because of the safety. “If these guys get banged up in a build that we did, it would impact the player’s next contract.”
On the boat side, Lewis says his shop’s “sweet spot” is pairing the SportChassis with owners of speedboats 32 feet and up, including MTI’s 340X cat, Cigarette’s 38 Top Gun, Fountain’s Thunder Cat, and virtually any center console, “because they’re so heavy and wide—MTIs, NorTechs, Midnight Express, Mystics and the rest,” Lewis says. “Once you approach the mid-30s range on these boats, you’re going to have a weight and stopping issue, in addition to being able to just pull them sufficiently.”
All of Pro Motorsports customers have told Lewis that they previously used a different tow vehicle and realized they had a genuine need for a hauler with more muscle. “Even if you’re not coming out of the mountains—if you’re pulling your boat in regular traffic, and somebody stops short on the highway, or even on the street going to work, you’re better off in a SportChassis.”
Check out the full line of tow vehicles from Pro Motorsports by visiting their website here.