Whatever happened to the local speedshops ?

R413

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Same as Home Depot killed small hardware stores
I hate them box stores. I go to ace hardware, whoever manages the store heris a genius, they have everything. And I don’t have to buy nuts and bolts prepackaged.
 

PLMHEMI

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the Ole' days..

Speed Shop Decals 002.JPG
 

Cojohnso1

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We had a Mopar specific shop St. Paul, Minnesota. It was GREAT. I made every attempt to buy everything and anything there. Oil, filters ect.. Every 2 years race belts. But wasn't enough. Gone by early 90s.

I have had fantasies of attempting a Mopar/Mopar performance shop? If I was younger, more knowledgeable. And most importantly? More $$$. A Mopar scrap/authorized parts and service? But not sure it's even a good idea in today's climate? Winds of change is in the air? Where even NAPA and other nationwide shops and services could be in trouble? Including Jegs/Summit? It was rumored that dealership shops pressured GM to scrap the mid 90s EV1 project because they required much less maintenance? Not sure how true that is? But it was sudden with poor reason or explanation.
 

Dave6T4

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We've still got a few up here ... Brant Speed and Custom, Horton's Hot Rods, Karbelt is still around I think as well as a few others. But Jegs and Summit have had an impact up here too. You can't compete with someone who has everything in stock and ships
same day.
I got all my Vintage Air stuff for my '64 Polara project through Horton's in Milton. I think it was cheaper than shipping it in from U.S. Paul Barber is a good guy to work with, plus he is a Mopar guy.
 

Richard Cranium

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Any idea where in Saugus that was? How did I miss that? Lol


No idea, I just remember the main store in Allston. When that closed down, they moved to the Marlboro area in the 80's, but it didn't last long.
 

Hey-O

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Any old-timers from the St. Louis area remember County Speed Shop? It was out on the east end of St. Charles Rock Road from the late '50s into the early '70s. It was the go-to place in St. Louis for anything from parts to complete race builds. It went out of business way before there was an internet. I think the cars that arrived in the mid '70s are what killed it.

View attachment 1220802
There was a shop almost on every corner years ago. Still have Jerry Bickel and Jerry Haas as far as full blown builders and parts.
 

Rat Rod Al

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Any old-timers from the St. Louis area remember County Speed Shop? It was out on the east end of St. Charles Rock Road from the late '50s into the early '70s. It was the go-to place in St. Louis for anything from parts to complete race builds. It went out of business way before there was an internet. I think the cars that arrived in the mid '70s are what killed it.

View attachment 1220802
I remember Larry & Jack Lamberts in St CHARLES, Kirns and Matt Johnson in St. Louis. All gone by the 80s.
 

cosgig

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Too true
I sure miss Ramchargers in the Detroit locations, and occasionally ordering from
JC Whitney catalog

Ramchargers had a store in Livonia, and they always had a small section for us Mopars guys. They also had a warehouse in Plymouth that you could go to to pick up your parts that weren’t at the store. All we have left is Mancini, but at least they’re all Mopar.
 

Slap Stick

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I remember Larry & Jack Lamberts in St CHARLES, Kirns and Matt Johnson in St. Louis. All gone by the 80s.
What's the story, Larry? Lampert's was all over the St. Louis area. And that's the story, Jack. (Sales slogan)
Back in the 60s my brother worked at South County Speed Shop. The owner, Russ (can't remember his last name), had a hot little Gen I Corvette.
Kirn's was still around in the early 90s as I had to replace the rocker arm shafts and rocker arm bushings on a basket case bike I was rebuilding and took the parts to them to press and fit the bushings to the prooer clearance.
Then there was Hovis engines in St. Charles then they moved to St. Peter's a few blocks from me. They started doing dirt track engines but got caught cheating GM crate engines and were banned by GM from building them as I understand. If you had a Hovis engine you got torn down. They are still in business doing some kind of automotive business but I dint know what, specifically. I had Asa R&R a 239 V6 in my kid's first car back in about 96. It leaked like a sieve from almost every gasket but it ran great.
Oh yeah, there was Wise Speed Shop on Hampton Ave in STL.
 

HawkRod

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There were quite a few in the Philly area. Locally to me were Watash, and Shislers. There was also BP Ben Pilla, Shaw’s, and most famously Bash, owned by Frank Bash. The Jack Werst Super Stock Superbird had a Bash built Hemi in it. According to folklore, Werst was sent a 512” Hemi from Highland Park to run against Ray Allen’s LS6 Chevelle SS ‘vert at Atco. View attachment 1220803 View attachment 1220804 View attachment 1220818
My father-in-law Lou Terra and his partner, Bruce Shaw, opened Shaw's speed shop. My father-in-law did all the machine shop work, Bruce ran the store. My father-in-law has built (or had a hand in building) nine NHRA record holding cars. For example, if you look at any cars Kenny Montgomery drove, or "Project Six Pack", both had work done on them by my father-in-law. You can see Shaw's logo on them.
68880288.jpg


Project_Six_Pack_000010.jpg


And the reason mail order 'stole' their business was the huge price differences. There was a local speed shop when I moved here over 20 yrs ago. Just to give an example, generic 'turbo mufflers'. Mail order they were like $10-$15 ea. at the time, shop wanted $45 ea. for the same item. I understand a brick and mortar is going to have more overhead and a smaller customer base, but at what point does it just become price gouging?
Personally, I miss PAW (remember their HUGE catalog?). From what I read at the time, they just couldn't adapt to online sales.
There is more to it than the price of the part.
My father-in-law is still in business, although starting to ramp down. He still gets people who bought parts from Summit, Jegs, etc. and then come in wanting free expertise on how to install them or make them work. He simply says to go back to where you bought the part for help.
What speed shops provided was not only the parts, but the expertise to install them and make them work well.
 

WileERobby

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In CT? Where?

I still go to S-K Speed on Long Island if I'm in the area. I used to live 25 minutes from it, I miss having it close by. They've been around since the mid '60s. They still have a performance machine shop associated with the store, they'll fill your nitrous bottle, have any AN fitting or ARP fastener you would ever want, books, exhaust tubing, turbo parts, fluids, tires, anything and everything. If they don't have it they can get it for you. The kids behind the counter are generally OK, a few have been there for a while now. The manager has been there forever, he knows his stuff.
There still in business ? Good. Use to go there in Lindenhurst back in the day. Along with others like Speed Equipment World, Motion, Speedwin in Hauppauge (they did mopar stuff), etc.
 

Superbee Sean

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Lucky enough to have one local!! Been there since I was a kid, would ride our bikes two towns away (back when kids did that) just to stare at the hot rod engine in the window! Now I find myself ordering from them about once a month. Sure I can get it cheaper on the net, but rather see them stay open and learn from the customer base they have!! Original owners daughter runs it now, and love her smile! Worth going back for!!!
 

rmchrgr

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There still in business ? Good. Use to go there in Lindenhurst back in the day. Along with others like Speed Equipment World, Motion, Speedwin in Hauppauge (they did mopar stuff), etc.

Yep, still going strong, was just down there in November.

There used to be another old speed shop that was seemingly preserved in amber on the South Shore. It was called Hi-Speed Power Equipment on Sunrise. Last time I was there was in the mid 2000's it looked like it had been closed for a long time already. They still had all this vintage stuff in the windows though, it was like a museum.

Here's an article about it. The pictures are exactly what it looked like when I stumbled across it just driving by. I couldn't believe it.

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2006/06/06/old-school-speed-shop

There are still various performance machine shops around the Island - B&B in Oceanside, J.A. is around there too, Merkel's in Hauppague and a few of them out east.

Incidentally, Speedwin moved to California and is called Superior Performance, not sure if they're still in business. Funny coincidence - I bought my Duster in 2012 from a guy in Anaheim, CA. When the car arrived at my house in Long Island, I started looking it over and found a Superior Automotive sticker on the diff. Guess the previous owner had it dyno tuned there. Out of curiosity I looked it up and found it was in fact run by Joe Jill the Speedwin guy. I thought that was pretty cool!

I live in Stamford, CT now where I grew up and remember a local place called Stallion Speed Shop in the Glenbrook neighborhood. There was a "Performance Center" store in Norwalk which is a few towns over. If memory serves that place was pretty generic, kinda like the Auto Zone of the '80's street machine world. Walls of Mr. Gasket bubble packs and cheap, Taiwain-made 9" air cleaners.
 

hemi71x

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Super Shops went away a long time ago, here in Sacramento.
Tognotti's is still the top dog, in the "Speed Shop" world around here.
Anyone remember Capital Speed Shop, on Broadway, here in Sacramento, back in the 70's?
A small one counter store front, but the old man that owned it, had plenty in the building, out of customer sight.
 

Mike67

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30 years ago we had Super Shops and Competition Sales here in the Houston area but they disappeared before the net, except for 1 Comp Sales in north Houston, now they sell mainly wheels. I think P.A.W. hurt them with mail orders
There are a couple of places that are open, Smileys Speed Shop in the Woodlands and New Caney Speed. Smiley's caters to the dirt track guys running sbc's but a good place to get hardware, NC Speed is a small hot rod shop.
There are a few dyno/builders that have small showrooms of parts but nothing like SS & Comp. & they're pretty proud of their stuff but when you need an AN fitting on Saturday its sometimes worth it.
 
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QuickBpBp

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It's been a few years but there was still a speed shop right in Centralia before you got to Numidia Race track.. They leveled it not much left there anymore. We had a good speed shop here in Pottstown years back. It was called Advantage and the owner would order everything you needed and give it you and then accept weekly payments. Those were the days. I think though he got in over his head with some people that should not have been trusted..
 

cr8crshr

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"Personally, I miss PAW (remember their HUGE catalog?). From what I read at the time, they just couldn't adapt to online sales."

Yep and I liked their offerings over many others out there. Before I moved to NV, I was living in CA. Having served at Travis AFB and living in the area, I and my Brother...69a100...would hit the Auto Hobby Shop for a lot of work on our daily drivers and MOPARS. Lifts, tools, pretty good advice, and the best of all a great Sand Blaster. Trouble is, that a lot of wanna be wrench turners would gum up the Blaster with all the oil and gunk without first cleaning them before San Blasting. They finally shut it down. As for Speed Shops, there were a few. One I used was California Street Machines. They did a lot of machine work for us both and after I let them build my 2nd BB, they totally FOOKED it up. Never did make it right either. They finally went out of business and it was no wonder. Now, I don't have a need to shop for parts or building one as I am retired now and really only enjoying my ride as best I can...And on a side note, ACE Hardware is the best for those small clips, bolts, and parts one might need...cr8crshr/Bill:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::usflag::usflag::usflag:
 
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