Beautiful F-bodies of all generations overflowed the Hotchkis parking lot and lined the streets of Santa Fe Springs.
Every year, we invite car clubs and our local customers to bring their cars and families to Hotchkis HQ and talk tech with their fellow enthusiasts. This year, our annual open house was extra special, as it was the first event to be held at our new facility.
Since we just got our 2011 Camaro project car, we decided to debut the new shop and the new project with a Camaro-themed car show and lunch. We swept the floors, gathered up all the in-house F-bodies, from sales tech Drew’s lowered first gen to our brand new orange fifth gen, and prepared for company. On Oct 2nd, Santa Fe Springs was rumbling as Camaros of all years rolled through the Hotchkis gates.
The Hotchkis crew had a busy time parking first gens and fifth gens, convertibles and coupes, restored originals and radical customs. By 10:00am the lot was full, despite a brief morning shower which gave us just enough rain to spot the shiny paintjobs. Ten minutes later even the street outside was lined as far as you could see with Chevy F-bodies, and they kept coming!
We can always count on the H-Team members to support us, and they were among the first cars to show up. Rob and Trish brought out our favorite blue and silver 2010 SS and Rick Andrade parked the horsepower monster (which was recently featured in an LSX TV article) in the place of honor right by the shop door. Two more fifth gens included Sam Piazza’s black and carbon 2010 and Flowmaster’s hard-working track day car. To keep the place from being overrun with new cars, Carl Casanova let us hoist his red ’68 on the lift for some suspension show and tell.
Show and tell is the best part of any car show, and we were happy to see members of the So Cal 3rd Gens checking out the engine bays of the cars brought by Cool Runnin Camaros and the Camaro 5 So Cal Family and vice versa. There were certainly some amazing cars to look at. More than 86 cars came out for the open house. The only non-Camaros in sight were the display cars brought over from Picture Car Warehouse. PCW brought some of the cars from TV’s Mad Men, including Don Draper’s infamous pearl blue Caddy. Over 83 Camaros showed up, and half of them were 2010 and 2011 models, yet not a single one was exactly alike.
We saw custom paint jobs, graphics, engine swaps, wheels and interiors. The amount of accessories available for all years of Camaro is amazing, and we are glad to see the community taking advantage of aftermarket grills, carbon hoods and LS engine options.
It goes without saying that we were happy to see so many Hotchkis suspension parts being put to use. There were folks with full TVS kits and customers with simple sway bar upgrades. All of them were living the Hotchkis philosophy of driving and enjoying their cars.
After an hour of chatting and showing off, the sun was out and folks were heading inside for a tour and tech talk. John Hotchkis welcomed everyone and explained some basics about alignment and those old favorites, Caster, Camber and Toe. John then handed the mic over to Chief Engineer Aaron Ogawa, who explained how the Hotchkis Total Vehicle Systems (TVS) work and why they offer such incredible handling improvements for any year Camaro.
After the tech talk everyone piled their plates high with sandwiches, salads and dessert and enjoyed a pleasant sit down amidst the shelves of brand new suspension products.
As guests finished up their meal, we held a small raffle to thank everyone for coming. Prizes included T-Shirts, car care products from AERO, Hotchkis gift certificates, a Hotchkis 2011 Camaro Hot Wheel and a set of sway bars for the Camaro of choice. Sam Paek was that lucky winner and he ended up taking home a 2010 Chassis Brace for his fifth gen Camaro.
It was afternoon by the time the last Camaro pulled out of the Hotchkis parking lot. The sun was up, the sky was blue and we hope everyone was heading off to an enjoyable drive.
John Hotchkis and the entire staff at Hotchkis Performance want to thank everyone who made the trip out to the shop for our first all-Camaro open house. We had a wonderful time looking at all the killer cars, talking tech and handling, getting feedback from the community on current and future products and more. It’s great to see how many people are bringing their whole families to automotive events. It’s important to raise a new generation of enthusiasts, and we’re glad to see so many little car fans at our shows and open houses.
We particularly want to thank our H-Team members, West Coast F Bodies,Cool Runnin Camaros, SC3G, Cali Generals, the Camaro 5 So-Cal Family and Ted Moser’s Picture Car Warehouse. Stay tuned to this space for announcements about the next Hotchkis Open House, as well as Hotchkis Driving Days and other fun events we have planned for the next few months!