History Repeats

Oct 29, 2011

Whether it’s 1971 or 2011, there’s something about seeing a Camaro, Mustang or Mopar pull up to a stoplight that makes regular people smile and car guys take notice.

Street performance is at the heart of the aftermarket, and today’s next-generation American muscle cars are carrying the torch for a whole new set of enthusiasts ready to be bitten by the speed bug.

With classic looks and modern-day power, handling and braking, the Chevy, Ford and Hemi V-8 lineups combine the best of two worlds. Heck, these days, even words like efficiency and versatility become part of the equation.

To get shops up to speed on this important market, we went to a few of the suppliers of next-generation street performance parts, to see what’s new and what’s hot. Their responses can serve as a blueprint for success when dealing with today’s classics.

Oomph! Labs
St. George, Utah
Ben Martinsen
Marketing Director

Our hottest new-generation street performance product is…

…Hose Candy’s quick-disconnect system called Sidewinder.

Its best features include…

…the patent-pending Sidewinders are designed specifically to convert vacuum and turbo hoses to quick-disconnect systems, transforming the look and increasing the performance of the hoses on any vehicle. They offer unlimited versatility with the specialty fittings and adapters.

The main factors driving this new-generation street performance market include…

…coming up with a product that makes swapping carburetors, intakes and diagnostic tools a breeze, and being able to offer a product solution to customizing hoses for the DIYer to the professional builder.

The biggest challenge facing shops serving the street performance market is…

…being able to offer products that are affordable, that look good, that are functional and that can be installed on any car in the $2,000 to $200,000 range.

Technology has impacted today’s street performance industry by…

…introducing a product that makes it possible for anyone to affordably customize and increase the performance of all of their hoses.

DiabloSport Inc.
Sunny Delray Beach, Fla.
Max Wyman
Marketing Director

Our hottest new-generation street performance product is…

…the DiabloSport inTune.

Its best features include…

…the inTune delivers an amazing user experience with a color touchscreen, automatic USB updates, and tons of vehicle-specific features at an incredibly affordable price. Plug the inTune in to the OBD-II port on your vehicle and choose from one of DiabloSport’s preloaded tunes including Performance, Economy or specialty crawl/custom tunes.

In addition, you can also perform vehicle-specific adjustments including: electronic fan adjustment, tire sizes, engage/lock differentials, on-the-fly idle adjustment, lower TPS threshold, winch mode, crawl mode and many more. The inTune also features new technologies including Mileage Booster and Throttle Booster.

The device offers users the ability to monitor stock sensors in a numerical readout format and even log the data along with a third-party sensor such as AEM or PLX (O2 sensors, EGT, etc.).

Staying up-to-date with inTune couldn’t be easier-simple, free updates are available via USB with our new Auto Updater technology, which means there’s no software to install and no additional hardware required to get the latest version.

The main factors driving this new-generation street performance market include…

…the age-old need for more power! Despite higher gas prices, people will always want to go faster-it’s just in our blood. Here at DiabloSport, we can get our customers more horsepower while still saving them money at the pump; there really are no drawbacks.

In addition to a very simple point, the tuning industry is specifically driven by consumer demand. Consumers like to upgrade their vehicles, and for the most part, once a vehicle is modified, the stock tune will no longer operate the vehicle at maximum efficiency. Depending on the modifications, sometimes the stock tune will no longer operate the vehicle at all, and a tune is necessary. That’s where we come in.

The biggest challenge facing shops serving the street performance market is…

…the unemployment rate in America. With so many Americans out of jobs, it has made a significant impact on our industry. The average amount of disposable income is less than it was a few years ago, directly impacting the amount of performance products enthusiasts can afford.

Technology has impacted today’s street performance industry by…

…simply put, going from the wrench to the computer. What was done just 20 years ago with a wrench we can now perform with a “tuner.”

DiabloSport’s in-house code structure gives us nearly unlimited access to the vehicle, allowing for an infinite amount of tuning possibilities. From bolt-ons to superchargers, we can recalibrate almost any vehicle for almost any combination of modifications.

AEM Performance Electronics
Hawthorne, Calif.
Lawson Mollica
Marketing & PR Manager

Our hottest new-generation street performance product is…

…the AEM Dyno-Shaft on-vehicle dynamometer. It is a true on-vehicle dyno system that reads torque and rpm from the driveline to output real power numbers.

We combined a laboratory-grade strain gauge with a vehicle’s transmission yoke and a driveshaft speed sensor to transmit driveshaft speed and torque, which allows the unit to accurately calculate horsepower. When combined with our AQ-1 Data Logger, which is sold as a system, there isn’t anything that it’s hooked up to that you can’t dyno-just mash the throttle and start logging!

Its best features include…

…the Dyno-Shaft itself incorporates the transmission output slip yoke with individually calibrated laboratory-grade strain gauges to accurately measure transmitted torque, and since the unit does not require slip rings or batteries, it is maintenance-free. It reads power as accurately as any respected dynamometer and eliminates all the inaccuracies associated with accelerometer-based systems.

For the racer, when it is combined with our AQ-1 Data Logger, you can overlay your power logs onto a track map with your other logged functions to see exactly what you were producing anywhere on the track, and you can also output power graphs. You can make engine and chassis changes at the track and actually know if they will work before you go back out.

You can use it to optimize drag launches or determine the longitudinal forces your tires can withstand on a racing circuit. Basically, it eliminates the guesswork and gives you the info you need to determine if there is an engine problem, chassis set-up problem or driver problem.

For the truck guy (RWD), it accurately reads steady-state power. It will tell you exactly how much power you need to take that 5-percent grade with a 20 mph headwind and 5-6 tons on the back. It also reads in the negative at coast down, so you can use it for determining exhaust brake effectiveness.

The main factors driving this new-generation street performance market include…

…information and technology. Enthusiasts are more educated about what products will help them achieve their goals, and technology is becoming available for the hardcore enthusiast that was only available to professional race teams with unlimited budgets in the past.

Technology has impacted today’s street performance industry by…

…providing cutting-edge performance parts that were unattainable to the street performance enthusiast even a few years ago.

The complexity of delivering accurate transmission and driveshaft data without the ability to run it down a CAN 2.0-enabled device would be far more challenging. With sophistication comes a new level of simplicity-or at least it should, once you overcome the initial learning curve.

Shops can immediately begin making more money in the street performance market by…

…being active with your WDs and manufacturer reps to ensure that you are up to speed and trained on the latest products and applications. Anytime you can add new products that fit within your shop’s capabilities and meet the needs of your customers, you have an opportunity to increase profits and, potentially, market share.

Wilwood Disc Brakes
Camarillo Calif.
Ken Hale
Director of Sales and Marketing

Our hottest new-generation street performance product is…

…our new Carbon Ceramic brake kits and rotors.

Its best features include…

…light weight and outstanding wear characteristics.

The main factors driving this new-generation street performance market include…

…the ability to drive a classic automobile that performs and handles like a new car.

The biggest challenge facing shops serving the street performance market is…

…the current economy. Everything else pales in comparison.

Technology has impacted today’s street performance industry by…

…allowing manufacturers like us to develop and bring to market superior products in a very short period of time.

Shops can immediately begin making more money in the street performance market by…

…using only products that are manufactured by companies that have a reputation for quality and service.

Cherry Bomb
Loudon, Tenn.
Denver Nageotte

Our hottest new-generation street performance product is…

…our VORTEX muffler.

Its best features include…

…it’s a high-flow performance muffler with a nice, deep tone and minimal cruising drone inside the vehicle.

The biggest challenge facing shops serving the street performance market is…

…product knowledge. There are thousands of performance parts out there. It’s tough to keep up with all of the companies’ latest and greatest things out and have them in stock.

Technology has impacted today’s street performance industry by…

…really?! Where do you want to start? How about real 1,200-hp daily driver street cars, or how quick the Internet can fuel consumers with product knowledge.

Shops can immediately begin making more money in the street performance market by…

…watching the trends and trying to have a good inventory of those items on the shelf.

Baer
Phoenix
Gabi Baer
Marketing Department

Our hottest new-generation street performance product is…

…the two that really stand out are our Pro+ brake system and our new EradiSpeed +2 for the Ford Mustang GT500s and Boss 302

Its best features include…

…the Pro+ is a 6-piston brake system mounted to a 14-inch two-piece rotor. This system allows the customer to have the same looking 6-piston system front and rear. Many of the new-generation cars are equipped with large diameter wheels (even from the factory), and this system makes a huge cosmetic impact while really improving performance.

The other big benefit is the Pro+ system uses ’97-current Corvette pads, so replacements are easy to get.

The EradiSpeed is the first two-piece rotor upgrade for the factory GT500/Boss 302 brake system, perfect for the customer that is looking for a nice cosmetic upgrade and better-quality rotor without upgrading his entire system.

The main factors driving this new-generation street performance market include…

…I don’t think these vary much from our other customers. New-generation customers are looking for performance as well as cosmetic upgrades. They are willing to spend money on upgrades that make sense and perform well.

The biggest challenge facing shops serving the street performance market is…

…not to be shortsighted. Many shops think because of current economic conditions that customers do not want, or do not have additional income to spend on high-end products. We have found this not to be true.

Another issue is getting correct and up-to-date info on new products from manufacturers. We are really focusing on Web updates as well as product release emails to help dealers stay current.

Technology has impacted today’s street performance industry by…

…so many different ways that the list is too long. One of the biggest benefits is that customers are more educated, and therefore, parts offerings are better and higher-quality.

Shops can immediately begin making more money in the street performance market by…

…staying on top of current and popular trends, and keeping up with new offerings.