Page 67 - NM Spring 2018
P. 67

would fit within the confines of     wheels, off-road accessories for that   Again, though, the continued
        government-mandated regulations.     burgeoning industry or became        growth of all forms of motorsports
        Another hit came when the            general automotive repair shops;     over the years has still kept
        automobile manufacturers began       the bottom line for many of these    the speed parts industry alive,
        turning to fuel injection and        survivors teetered precariously and   with manufacturers all over the
        computers that would have much       quite a few closed their doors for   country churning out parts daily
        to do with controlling the functions   good.                              for shipment around the world.
        of the now much more anemic                                               The huge number of local dealers
        engines as they searched for –         Today, of course, any              for those parts has diminished
        again mandated by the government     modifications to new vehicles will   considerably, though, replaced by
        – increased mileage marks.           void their warranty and few are
                                             willing to strip off a used car’s    a few big, internet-driven re-sellers
          At the same time, the racing       smog controls, converters, etc. to   with advertising come-ons such as
        world (and drag racing in            add parts that may or may not give   “Wholesale prices to everyone.”
        particular) continued to grow.       them a significant performance         In the old days we had sellers
        Without these smog and mileage-      increase for the dollars spent.  One   such as Moon Equipment, Honest
        related restrictions and the use of   of the only ways to add a power
        high-octane racing gas, methanol     boost in the modern car today is     Charley and J.C. Whitney putting
        and nitromethane, many of these      to simply and easily re-configure    out catalogs for rodders and racers
        speed emporiums were able to         the parameters of their computer.    to drool over while a few, like Pep
        keep their doors open.  Many,        This is as close as many shops or    Boys, built a chain of brick-and-
        however, found their hardcore        garages will get to carrying out     mortar stores.  However, I decided
        speed parts business dwindling       actual performance modifications     to look for what one would call the
        and turned to selling tires and      to their clients’ automobiles.                       Continued on page 69

        Mike Manuel at the race shop’s flow bench as both of the Grand Prix dragsters get prepped for the new season.
        Spring 2018                               Nitro Madness Magazine                                          67
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