From C-10s to Skylarks, Hotchkis’ first show of 2011 was packed full of cool rides

From the bark of a fully-loaded 572 cubic inch crate motor stuffed under the hood of a beautiful Chevelle, to the finely tuned shriek of a 638 horsepower Corvette ZR1, our first open of the new year featured the sights and sounds of an incredible horsepower extravaganza. After the success of our all-Camaro open house last October, we decided to host another tech talk / car show, this time featuring the very first platform Hotchkis built parts for (Chevelle and GM A-Body) and our newest platform (Chevy C10 pickups). 

The show, held February 12 here at Hotchkis headquarters, was packed full of incredible cars, fantastic people and lots of buzz about the upcoming car show season. Of course here in California we have it easy, thanks to clear blue skies and temperatures hovering in the 70s even though it’s the middle of February. 

We had several local car clubs join us, and the Southern California Chevelle Camino Club (SCCCC) even held a club meeting in our conference room. While the SCCCC members were discussing their club plans, the rest of our guests strolled around the facility, taking photos in front of the Hotchkis Porsche 962 and 911 race cars, watching as our R&D crew worked on Project “G-10”, our C10 autocross warrior, and admiring each other’s cars. Many of our friends from the media also came by to grab a sandwich and look at the cars, from prestigious titles like Super Chevy, Chevy High Performance, Truckin, Street Trucks, Speedhunters and Motorator. We were flattered and thrilled that everyone decided to share a Saturday with us. 

Representatives from Hedman Hedders and International Aero Products also came out and set up display tables, and everyone was busy answering tech questions and handing out sample products. It’s great to be able to work with other quality companies and offer all of our friends a really well-rounded open house where they learn a few things as well as have a good time. 

In the R&D center, H-Team members Rob Philips, Art Alvarez and Mike Hickman allowed us to showcase their Hotchkis builds on the racks. Rob’s ’68 C10 was spotless as always and featured a new Hotchkis rear suspension system that he just had installed in advance of the 2011 autocross season. Art’s famous ’65 Chevelle 300 two-door wagon is literally spotless from top to bottom, making it the perfect choice for a live install of our new billet sway bar brackets. The star of the day, though, was Mike’s C10. The body is lifted off its bare metal frame and is sporting a foam mock-up engine – all in preparation for a new GM Performance Parts E-Rod LS3 that we are sliding between the rails to make the truck a true force to be reckoned with at autocross events around the country this year. You can follow the “Project G-10” build here on our facebook page. 

The trucks and wagon weren’t our only H-Team display cars. Greg Hohman brought his gorgeous ’71 Chevelle SS and Deanna Marengo drove her Chevelle all the way down from the Monterey Peninsula just to hang out with us at the open house. Trish and Rob Byrd stopped by and ended up buying the first set of Hotchkis BBS wheels for the Blue and Silver 5th gen Camaro. We are so thrilled about the success of the H-Team. A year ago, none of us knew each other, and some people, like Rob and Trish, had never even been on a track. Now the whole group greets each other as old friends, and can spend hours discussing tire pressures and proper driving lines. Being part of the H-Team is like joining a family, except everyone in the family is a rabid, diehard gearhead. We love it! 

A little before noon, everyone headed inside, where John gave a brief tech talk with help from Rob Phillips and sales manager Mark Rossetti. During the video, Henry and the team prepared sandwiches, salad and dessert. It was a good thing we were prepared for a big party. We fed almost 170 people! 

During the lunch break we raffled off some incredible prizes, including shirts and license plate frames from Flowmaster, a set of valve covers from Hedman/Transdapt, a complete AERO detailing kit worth nearly $250, half a dozen Hotchwheels (Hotchkis Hot Wheels Camaros), Hotchkis shirts and even a sway bar set and spring set! Everyone was very happy. 

Around 3:00pm the last Chevelle pulled out of the Hotchkis parking lot and headed out into the perfect California afternoon sun. John Hotchkis and the entire staff at Hotchkis Performance want to thank everyone who made the trip out to the shop for our first open house of 2011. As always, we had a wonderful time talking tech and handling, looking at all the amazing vehicles, and getting feedback from the community. It’s very cool to see how many active clubs are out there introducing newcomers to the hobby and encouraging everyone to continue enjoying their cars and trucks. 

We particularly want to thank our H-Team members, SCCCC, Golden West Car Club, El Caminos Owner’s Association, Southern California Gathering of the Goats, Compact Buick Club, So Cal POCI, the American Chevelle Enthusiasts Society and any clubs we might have left out. You guys keep the hobby alive. 

Stay tuned for updates from our next adventure, Run to the Coast!