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Coretalk: Recon Automotive Founder Armand J. Mancini Dies

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He leaves behind his wife of 42 years, Carole, and three sons and a daughter – Armand, Vincent, Daniel and Carrie Mancini Young. He is also survived by three brothers, a sister and six grandchildren.

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Mancini was an icon of the automotive remanufacturing industry, having founded Recon in 1973 and building it into one of the largest production engine remanufacturing operations in the country.

In 1980, Mancini began remanufacturing crankshafts and cylinder heads, and subsequently expanded his operation to include complete engine assemblies. In 1997 Mancini was named “PER of the Year” by the Production Engine Remanufacturers Association (PERA).

A true “man of the people,” Mancini was most comfortable among the employees in his plant, typically riding his “Zamboni-like” floor scrubber throughout the facility, talking with his people. On many afternoons you would find him singing songs of the ’40s on the P.A. system throughout his plant.

A dedicated and committed family man, Mancini reveled most in the joy of being surrounded by family members. Son Vincent is CEO of Recon, and the existing Recon management team will remain in place and continue to operate the business as before.

Memorials can be made in his name to The Amy Guggino Masso Medical Account, a fund established to help a close Mancini family friend in her fight against brain cancer: The Amy Guggino Masso Medical Account, c/o 18 Cliff Swallow Dr., Medford, NJ 08055.

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King Engine Bearings’ Pavelick Named COO

Ed Pavelick has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer for King Engine Bearings, the company has announced, effective immediately. He was formerly VP of Sales, Marketing and Operations, and had joined the company in 1996 as Director of Sales and Marketing.

In his new capacity, Pavelick will direct all North American activities of the company relating to sales, distribution, marketing, pricing, cataloging, strategic planning, and human resources. For more information on King Engine Bearings, visit: www.kingbearings.com.

Corteco Executive Pat Lynch Dies May 19

Phillip Patrick “Pat” Lynch, manager of advertising and cataloging for Corteco, passed away suddenly on May 19 in Milan, OH, at the age of 45 after being hospitalized with respiratory difficulties. Funeral services were held on May 24 in Louisville, KY.

Lynch had joined Corteco in 2001, having previously been with Pioneer, Inc. Automotive Products and was a well-known promoter of racing and an unwavering supporter of the National Street Car Association.

A dedicated family man; he is survived by his mother, three siblings, his wife, two children and two grandchildren.

Recon Goes Hollywood: Engines Power ‘XXX’ GTOs

Recon Automotive Remanufacturers, Inc. has said that five of its engines were used to power the Pontiac GTOs featured in Revolution Studios’ upcoming action thriller “XXX: State of the Union,” the sequel to the 2002 movie “XXX.”

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In the new movie, NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson), fresh off the success of his last renegade recruitment, once again finds himself in need of an outsider. Gibbons and his new agent (Ice Cube), also code-named “XXX,” must track a dangerous military splinter group led by Willem Dafoe that is conspiring to overthrow the U.S. Government in the nation’s capital.

Engines from Recon were exclusively featured in the four Pontiac GTOs outfitted for the film. “We are thrilled to be associated with ‘XXX: State of the Union’,” said Keith Ottinger, vice president of sales and marketing, Recon Automotive Remanufacturers, Inc. “This exciting, action-packed film is perfect for showcasing how a Recon engine performs in a demanding environment.”

“When I was asked to prepare a couple of Pontiacs for an action thriller, it was Recon’s reputation for quality that made the choice easy,” said Ted Moser, owner, Picture Car Warehouse. Moser’s facility custom designed the vehicles under the supervision of Revolution Studios. “We knew that remanufactured engines are not only restored to OEM specifications, often, they are better than new,” Moser said.

For more information, call (800) 81-RECON or visit www.reconengines.com and www.reconengines.com/XXX.

Calico Re-ups Sponsorship Of USAC Midget Series

Calico Coatings will once again be the presenting sponsor of the Carolinas USAC Ford Focus Midget Series for 2005. In only its third year, this series is one of the fastest growing classes in racing where some of today’s top up-and-coming drivers gain enough experience and expertise to one day get a chance to drive at the professional level.

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In 2005, the Carolina Ford Focus Midget Series will have more than 20 races scheduled on 8-10 dirt and asphalt tracks from Tri-County to East Lincoln, NC.

Company execs say its position of leadership within the industry as well as its headquarters location in North Carolina make becoming the promoting sponsor of the Carolinas Midget series a natural fit for Calico.

“The Ford Focus Series is a place where some of the best young drivers have a chance to develop their skills,” says Tracy Trotter, owner of Calico Coatings. “I’m proud that Calico Coatings can play a role in affording these drivers a venue where they can hone their skills.”

For more information about the USAC Series, visit www.calicocoatings.com, or www.usacracing.com.

SEMA To Induct Three Into Hall Of Fame

Three of the automotive industry’s most noteworthy and influential individuals will be inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame during the SEMA Show in November. However, they will be introduced during next month’s SEMA Installation Banquet.

The incoming Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • Paul “Scooter” Brothers, co-owner and director of research and development for Competition Cams Inc. and TCI Automotive;

  • Herb Fishel, executive director of GM Racing; and

  • Burke LeSage, the first person to drive a Lakester over 200 mph at El Mirage and SEMA’s first – and, at the time only – paid employee.

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The SEMA Hall is the association’s most prestigious and esteemed honor. Members are selected annually and are recognized officially for the first time at the association’s gala event, the SEMA Installation Banquet.

ATC and Fallbrook Sign Manufacturing Agreement

Aftermarket Technology Corp. (ATC), a North American remanufacturer of automotive drivetrain products, and Fallbrook Technologies Inc. (Fallbrook), a technology development and intellectual property licensing company, have signed a manufacturing license agreement allowing ATC to design and build a wide range of transmission applications based on Fallbrook’s NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) technology.

According to ATC, the agreement is a strategic move in the company’s growth and diversification strategy, leveraging its ongoing transmission remanufacturing and engineering expertise into the transmission manufacturing arena.

Under the agreement, ATC will work with customers to design and build next-generation transmissions based on the NuVinci technology platform for a variety of industries and applications.

To learn more about Fallbrook and its NuVinci technology, visit: www.fallbrooktech.com.

Oshkosh Truck Corp. to Invest $4 Million to Upgrade Facility for Remanufacturing of Defense Trucks

Oshkosh Truck Corp., a manufacturer of specialty trucks and truck bodies, has purchased additional manufacturing facilities near its headquarters in Oshkosh, WI. The company has begun upgrading the 300,000 square foot production facility and plans to invest approximately $4 million to optimize it for remanufacturing defense trucks, many of which are returning from extensive service in Iraq.

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The facility upgrades will include installation of an automated line for blast and paint operations, new cells for component disassembly and refurbishing, new overhead cranes and a dedicated line for vehicle teardown.

“This investment will help us meet the long-term needs of our defense customers,” said Robert Bohn, Oshkosh’s chairman, president and CEO. “They continue to reset the U.S. military fleet to full readiness, and we’re here to support them in every way possible. This facility will be optimized in line with our “lean” manufacturing initiative, and we expect it will more than double Oshkosh’s remanufacturing capacity for our defense customers. Beyond that, we’re very pleased to be making an investment in the future of our customers, our company and our community.”

The company anticipates that the production facility will be ready for full-scale operations by September 1.

To learn more about Oshkosh Truck Corp., visit: www.oshkoshtruckcorporation.com.

International Speedway to Sell Nazareth Speedway Property

Located in Lower Nazareth Township in Northampton County, Pa., Nazareth Speedway suspended major motorsports event operations after the completion of the track’s 2004 events and its results of operations are presented as discontinued operations in ISC’s consolidated financial statements. Beginning with the 2005 race season, Nazareth’s NASCAR Busch and IRL IndyCar series events were realigned to ISC’s Watkins Glen International.

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For more information about ISC, go to: www.iscmotorsports.com.

HDA Announces Participation in First-Ever Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week

Heavy Duty America (HDA) recently announced that it will join the growing list of leading heavy duty industry aftermarket groups sponsoring Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW), set for Jan. 23-27, 2006, at the Mirage in Las Vegas. HDA will hold a membership meeting and an operations meeting during the event.

Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week will feature seminars, a trade show, award presentations, one-on-one meetings, a reception and other networking opportunities for companies in the independent heavy-duty aftermarket. HD America’s decision underscores the rationale for heavy-duty aftermarket groups to schedule their programs in conjunction with HDAW, thereby offering more value and choices to their members than would be otherwise possible.

For more information about Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week, visit www.hdaw.org. Companies interested in exhibiting should contact W.T. Glasgow, HDAW show management, at 708-226-1300.

Cummins Names Robert Hutchinson Jr. VP of PowerCare Division

Cummins Inc. has named Robert Hutchinson Jr. vice president of its PowerCare division, effective immediately. Hutchinson had been general manager of PowerCare Manufacturing since 2000 and last year took on additional responsibility as general manager, fuel systems.

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Hutchinson joined Cummins in 1988 after nearly a decade at General Motors. During his career at Cummins, Hutchinson also has worked as a product manager – High Horsepower (1990-1992); Manager – Parts and Service Information (1992-1994); director – Aftermarket Support (1994-1997) and plant manager – Juarez/El Paso Fuel Systems (1997-2000).

For more information about Cummins, go to: www.cummins.com.

Clevite, Randy Dorton Memorial Fund Set Up Live, Online Charity Auction

Clevite Engine Parts and the Randy Dorton Memorial Fund recently teamed up to raise money for the NASCAR Technical Institute’s Randy Dorton Memorial Fund Scholarship.

A special charity auction took place on eBay in addition to two other auctions – a silent charity auction and a live auction – both scheduled as part of the Final Round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown. Proceeds from each auction were to benefit the Randy Dorton Memorial Fund.

The Randy Dorton Memorial Fund was developed by Dianne Dorton, the Dorton family, colleagues and friends to further the Dorton Family’s commitment of passing the torch of knowledge on to younger generations.

“The response from the racing community and those outside the racing community has been phenomenal,” said Dianne Dorton. “There has not been a day, over the past month, where we have not received a call or email from friends around the world who have wanted to be a part of this event. We were blessed to have so many generous donations and were honored to have Jeff Cook, from the band Alabama, and Mitch Glen, an up-and-coming country music singer, perform their new song, ‘You Are My Shining Star’ in Randy’s honor.”

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Anyone who wishes to make a contribution to the Randy Dorton Memorial Fund Scholarship, or donate an item for the Randy Dorton Memorial Showdown charity auction can visit the Randy Dorton Web site at www.randydorton.com or call 704-748-6829.

2005 PRI Trade Show To Display More New Racing Technology & Products

The 18th Annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show will be held December 1-3, in the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, FL. The entire facility-1 million square feet in size-will be taken up by the Show.

More than 300 companies have requested additional exhibit space in the 2005 PRI Trade Show in Orlando, according to Karin Davidson, trade show manager. The show has already expanded from 3,100 booths to 3,700.

All of the exhibits will be located in one hall, on one floor, in the new, state-of-the-art convention center. This will make it easier for attendees to shop the Show.

Over 40,000 racing industry entrepreneurs will attend from 40 countries. Last year, 1,200 companies exhibited, a figure that is now nearing 1,300. In the popular Machinery Row section of the Trade Show, race engine builders will find approximately 100 manufacturers of machining equipment, with the machinery wired for live demonstrations on actual racing components.

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The PRI Trade Show offers a professional atmosphere, as visitors must be part of a racing business or a professional race team to get credentials. There is no charge for admission.

Jeff Hammond, NASCAR crew chief and TV race commentator, will return as the moderator of the Industry Roundtable panel discussion, which will be held at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 30.

On Thursday morning, the Grand Opening Breakfast will feature a noted motorsports figure sharing colorful racing stories, as attendees and exhibitors enjoy a hot breakfast. Past breakfast speakers have included Ray Evernham, Jack Roush, Robert Yates, Al Unser Sr., Bobby Unser, John Force and Smokey Yunick.

On Thursday evening, buyers and exhibitors can head to the Industry Reception. PRI’s Retail Management Seminars and Workshops will be held Friday and Saturday morning before the Show opens. Subjects range from merchandising and display strategies to management tips for operating a race engine business. All of these special events are at no charge.

The SAE Motorsports Engineering Symposium will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29-30, 2005, in meeting rooms inside the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando. The SAE Symposium fills two days with the latest R&D and high-level technical information for the racing industry.

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Registration fees for an SAE member or PRI Exhibitor are $350 if registered prior to November 11, and $450 for a non-member. All fees will go up by $100 after November 11. For more information, go to www.sae.org/events/training/symposia/motorsports.

For more information on exhibiting or attending the PRI TRADE SHOW, call 949/499-5413.

NHRA Inks Multi-Year Deal with Sony’s XPL_D Brand of Mobile Electronics

National Hot Rod Association officials recently announced that Sony Electronics and its brand of mobile electronics products will serve as the title sponsor of its sport compact drag racing series.

In addition to series sponsorship, Sony will be the presenting sponsor of the on-site NHRA Sound Challenge and the NHRA Sony Xpl_d Stylefest. The Xpl_d brand also will be designated as the “Official Car Audio” of the NHRA Sport Compact Racing Series.

“The fans who come out to watch the Xpl_d Sport Compact Racing Series are focused on their cars and are hungry for new technology,” said Andrew Sivori, Sony’s director of marketing for mobile electronics. “They build it into their cars and they build it into their lifestyle. We expect our support of the NHRA Xpl_d Sport Compact Racing Series to improve the fans overall motor sport experience.”

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Under the new agreement, Sony’s Xpl_d brand will have the right to promote the stylefest and sound challenge programs with advertising and promotions, which may include Sony’s retail partners.

Updates From GAAS

The 2005 Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) recently held in Chicago included an overview of the aftermarket industry’s efforts to reach out to the public and Wall Street – via initiatives like the Be Car Care Aware campaign.

Morgan Stanley analyst Jonathan Steinmetz kicked off the day-two morning session of the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium with an in-depth look at Wall Street’s view of the aftermarket.

In the short term, 2005 looks to be a decent (but not great) year for the aftermarket. The negative factors that are currently impacting the aftermarket are high fuel prices, the rising cost of raw materials and higher short-term interest rates.

Steinmetz said investors view the aftermarket as a stable market investment. He also said Morgan Stanley currently prefers retailers/wholesalers versus the manufacturers for investment opportunities. However, he said suppliers can win with low cost and stronger relationships. As the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association points out, price is not among the major drivers of brand choice. Therefore, Steinmetz said, there is opportunity for manufacturers to improve margin, which may be aided by consolidation.

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Jay Burkhart, Federal-Mogul vice president of global marketing and chairman of the Car Care Council Advisory Board, gave GAAS attendees an update on the progress of the Be Car Care Aware Campaign.

Be Care Aware, which is a consumer education campaign, was launched four years ago in the U.S., and Burkhart said the campaign is “picking up steam” in Canada. The campaign uses television opportunities, on-going press release distribution that targets radio and print channels, as well as brochures and dealer kits.

The final presentation at the tenth annual symposium looked to four longtime industry leaders for valuable insights. AAIA president emeritus Al Gaspar moderated the “Industry Leaders” panel. Gaspar posed a series of questions including one question regarding what O. Temple Sloan III referred to as “channel shift,” OE dealerships’ increasing efforts to capture more service dollars, presenting a threat to independent repair shops.

Unperformed Maintenance Reached $56 Billion in 2004, Says AASA Report

Unperformed maintenance in the American automotive aftermarket industry topped out at $56 billion in 2004, according to the soon-to-be-released 2005 AASA Automotive Aftermarket Status Report.

High gas prices played a role in the unperformed maintenance total, according to Frank Hampshire, director of market research for MEMA’s Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association. “Consumers tended to perform maintenance when they felt it could improve their vehicle’s fuel efficiency,” he said.

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Hampshire noted that tune-ups performed rose slightly, which is one indication of his theory. In addition, $2.1 billion of air filters were sold – in a market that is estimated at $1.5 billion — furthering Hampshire’s theory.

The most neglected products fell in the “undercar” category. These products include brakes (calipers, linings, rotors), shocks/struts, exhaust systems, catalytic converters, fuel pumps, steering components, wheel bearings, CV joints and wheel alignments.

For more information about AASA, go to: www.aftermarketsuppliers.org.

House Passes Measure To Replace Old Trucks

The House of Representatives has approved an energy bill that includes $100 million for a new program to provide financial incentives to fleets to replace their older trucks with newer, cleaner-burning models or to retrofit their older diesel engines to meet current emission rules, reports Transport Topics.

The program, added as an amendment to the energy bill by Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), would authorize $100 million in funding between fiscal year 2006 and fiscal year 2008 as incentives to upgrade the U.S. truck fleet.

That funding would be used to create an [Environmental Protection Agency] program for awarding competitive grants, according to Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), who supported the amendment. “We like the fact that the fleet modernization and retrofitting of existing equipment is going to reduce harmful emission and lessen smog-forming pollution.”

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Federal-Mogul Honored With Ford’s World Excellence Award

Federal-Mogul’s gasket manufacturing facility in Tepotzotlan, Mexico has received Ford Motor Company’s Silver World Excellence Award for its superior performance in 2004.

The World Excellence Awards provide annual recognition based on quality, cost and delivery performance. Seventeen suppliers won Gold Awards and 26 suppliers won Silver Awards at a ceremony held at The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan on April 28.

Federal-Mogul offers an extensive line of dynamic seals, gaskets and sealing modules as well as global manufacturing capabilities, which offers customers one-stop shopping when it comes to sealing an entire engine, transmission, or axle.

Lawrence, Gunnell Take Final Round of Clevite Engine Builder Showdown

With a build-time of 19 minutes and one second (zero penalties), Danny Lawrence and Greg Gunnell of Richard Childress Racing won the final round of this year’s Clevite Engine Builder Showdown.

Following closely behind Lawrence and Gunnell, Hendrick Motorsports’ Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow completed the engine build in 19 minutes and 52 seconds, with a one minute penalty. During a previous round of the competition, Maiwald and Parsnow set an engine build record with a time of 18 minutes and 54 seconds.

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While they didn’t win this year’s showdown, the event was still a special one for the Hendrick Motorsports team. More than 1,000 people showed up to attend a memorial to the life of the late Randy Dorton, former director of engine development for Hendrick Motorsports. Dorton, and seven other members of the Hendrick Motorsports team, along with two pilots, were killed in a plane crash last October.

The Dorton family, along with Clevite Engine Parts and the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI), where the final round of competition was held, teamed up to organize a number of events in memory of Dorton. A silent charity auction was held, featuring NASCAR memorabilia, followed by a VIP reception featuring some of Randy’s closest friends from racing. The event also included the announcement of the new Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefiting NTI students focusing on engine building.

The champions of this year’s showdown, Lawrence and Gunnell, were presented with the new Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy. The trophy was presented by Dianne Dorton and Terry Shively, vice president and general manager of Clevite Engine Parts.

Dana Unveils Intelligent Cooling Pump Range at Engine Expo 2005

Dana Corp. recently introduced a family of “advanced Intelligent Cooling pumps” at Engine Expo 2005, held in Stuttgart, Germany.

David Black, a chief engineer at Dana, presented a paper on the development of the pump at Engine Expo 2005. The presentation described the key technical steps in the development of Dana’s new electric coolant pump product range, ensuring compliance with current and future automotive applications.

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According to Dana, the three new brushless direct-current electric coolant pumps deliver accurate and reliable temperature control to meet the requirements of a wide range of applications, including engine cooling, charge-air circuit cooling and hybrid-vehicle powertrain cooling. The pumps also can be used in fuel-cell vehicles.

Because the new pumps enable accurate temperature control, engines warm faster, which, among other benefits, reduces harmful emissions during the critical cold-start cycle. Accurate thermal control can also improve fuel efficiency by up to 5 percent and improve the comfort of vehicle occupants as a result of faster cabin warm-up, according to Dana.

“Modern engines require more advanced thermal-management technologies, and our new Intelligent Cooling pumps are just that,” said Dana Chairman and CEO Michael Burns. “This electric pump provides key benefits to vehicle manufacturers and buyers alike, including enhanced vehicle performance, fuel efficiency and cabin comfort.”

For more information about Dana, go to: www.dana.com.

ROL Manufacturing Inc., has launched its new website: www.rolmfg.com. The site, while still a work in progress, offers a link to a new E-catalog, which is now continually updated to reflect the most current coverage ROL Gaskets offers in its line of engine gaskets and seals.

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Federal-Mogul Corporation is the first-ever manufacturer to receive the Inventory Efficiency Award from R. L. Polk & Co., for its Local Inventory Management system. The Polk Inventory Efficiency Award recognizes and rewards outstanding aftermarket companies for process improvements that drive improved inventory efficiency.

Corteco has released its new, user-friendly online catalog at www.corteco-na.com. The catalog incorporates the Corteco product lines for Omega power steering hoses (with 115 new part numbers, with applications through 2004), engine mounts (with more than 440 new part numbers with applications through 2004) and gaskets. The catalog also offers a parts number interchange and a cross-reference guide.

Cummins Inc. has announced several changes of responsibility within its Engine Business. The MidRange and Heavy Duty leadership team is being divided into two distinct organizations. Dave Crompton, currently vice president – MidRange engine sales and marketing will assume responsibilities as vice president and general manager of the MidRange engine business. Ed Pence, currently vice president – automotive business will assume responsibilities as vice president and general manager of the Heavy Duty Engine Business. In addition, Sean Milloy has been named chief technical officer for the engine business. In this position, he will drive Cummins’ approach to innovative application of technology.

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Motorsports promoter International Speedway Corp. (ISC), has announced its wholly owned subsidiary Pennsylvania International Raceway, Inc., has entered into an agreement with Brookside Realty for the sale of 158 acres on which Nazareth Speedway is located. ISC is selling the property for approximately $19 million.

More industry news and information at www.aftermarketnews.com.

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