Join the Import and Sport Compact Race Rocket Engine Craze
By Jim Rickoff
Are you tuned in to the latest craze in the hi-performance engine arena? If you’re not, you’re missing out on a very lucrative opportunity for your machine shop.
The import and sport compact "Race Rocket" engine craze is sweeping across our nation at an unbelievable pace. Hopped-up aluminum four-cylinder engines are in high demand. Engines like Honda’s, Toyota’s, Mitsubishi’s, Ford Focus’s and Dodge Neon’s – to name a few – are all being performance built. And this demand isn’t limited to just the West Coast. Shops from the Carolinas to the Midwest, Southwest and on to California are seeing this demand.
This performance craze primarily comes from two segments. The first is the street legal demand and the other segment is the drag racing circuit. The IDRC (Import Drag Racing Circuit) is one of the sanctioning bodies for these racers. They even have their own publication called Drag Sport. According to Drag Sport magazine, "(We) will use the term "modern" to refer to both import and sport compact drag racing. Modern drag racing is much different than "Nostalgic" racing where technology has been locked into the ’50s and ’60s. We don’t run blowers, magnetos or carburetors. We do have a belief in technology. That is why we have found replacements for displacement."
Well, the last paragraph says a lot. But what I glean from it for machine shops are big opportunities for profitable work. Most shop owners are always looking for new products and services to offer to their customers. Whether you’re interested in the street or racing side of this new craze, I sincerely believe this market is new, fresh and untapped.
I love the word "technology" and now you’re probably asking how you’re going to learn about this new technology? Well, I think we have that answer for you. AERA (Engine Rebuilders Association) will be hosting a complete documented engine build of a Honda B18 1.8L VTEC engine at its upcoming International EXPO trade show April 24-26, 2003, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. Attendees will be able to see a complete machining process on this engine by exhibitors who supply the equipment, parts, tools and supplies that make this new technology possible.
Over 600 booths of hardcore engine building, rebuilding, remanufacturing and installation exhibitors will be present to show you all of their new technology and answer any questions you may have. Also, AERA will be hosting a roundtable discussion featuring industry leaders from the builder’s side and supplier’s side ready to answer all of your questions on this new craze.
In addition to the trade show, AERA has teamed up with Engine Builder magazine, Bill McKnight of Beck Arnley engine parts and AERA’s Vanguard group to produce a documented build of the Honda VTEC before the trade show. Our show exhibitors will machine and supply the parts for this engine from the ground up while McKnight will document the process through his articles in Engine Builder. Once the engine is machined, AERA’s Vanguard group will build the engine and have it available for raffle at the International EXPO in Las Vegas next April.
Everyone knows that finding new niches for your business is always important. However, what’s more important is understanding and capitalizing on these new opportunities. Please plan on following along through the series of articles in this magazine and attending AERA’s International EXPO to gain the knowledge necessary to capitalize on this new craze. You owe it to yourself to help your business grow.
Jim Rickoff is vice president of marketing with the Engine Rebuilders Association (AERA). email@example.com.