EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was originally posted in Volume 9 of PowerPress, a regular newsletter produced by Driven Performance Brands (DPB), which is sponsored by Flowmaster, Hurst, B&M, and Hurst Driveline Conversions. See some of Strange's custom creations in the photo gallery below.
Zane Cullen, owner of Santa Rosa, California-based Cotati Speed Shop and 32-year veteran of the custom automotive industry, caught up with DPB at the Goodguys PPG Nationals Car Show in Columbus, Ohio. We’ve been working with Zane for about 17 years now and he was kind enough to share a bit of his perspective on aftermarket products and custom building.
Cullen starts from the top.
“Being meticulous and paying close attention to detail should be a priority in a builder and customer’s mind alike,” he said.
When planning on producing high-end builds like those that roll out of Cotati Speed Shop, it is necessary to hold to very strict standards.
“Complacency is not tolerable. Moving forward and working towards perfection should be expected,” Cullen said.
Make no mistake, Cullen is realistic about the work that must be done. The level of fabrication performed in his shop is no walk in the park and Cotati Speed is able to accomplish what they do through the solid work ethic of their team.
“Perfection is never attainable,” he said. “However, working toward that merit is what I expect out of my employees. It is what my customers expect out of the work that I provide them.”
If you’ve ever laid eyes on one of Cotati Speed Shop’s finished products, you might believe that perfection is possible. Perhaps Zane’s formula will help to explain the technique employed in his shop.
“One’s baseline should aim to successfully complete projects at 110 percent. After you’ve completed your project, you may fall short of that. But, if your aim is 110 percent, and you slightly miss your mark, you should still fall into the 100-98 percent of precision. That is what we do at Cotati Speed Shop.”
The caliber of skill possessed by these trained craftsmen is what enables them to achieve such incredible automotive feats. Of course, our role in this whole thing is providing the parts that make the jobs of talented builders like those at Cullen’s shop, a bit easier.
“Products that are reliable, affordable and provide vehicles a jump start to a revival for that owner are a success story,” said Zane. “Customer’s desires demand that you integrate contemporary technology with that nostalgic feel, whether that’s under the hood or in the body work.”
Seamlessly incorporating modern overdrive transmissions into their builds, like those offered by Hurst Driveline Conversions, is one of the many ways that Zane’s team makes this happen.
Customer satisfaction is at the top of Cotati Speed’s list and they know that success means exceeding their client’s expectations. They do this day-in and day-out.