THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business - Mar. '15

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March 2015 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 31 M uscle cars are continuing their role not only as the automotive icons of the 1960s and '70s, but as a sym- bol of today as well. It doesn't seem that long ago that the "new-gen" Mustangs, Camaros and Chargers/Challengers burst onto the scene, and immediately went to work becoming worthy successors to their counterparts from decades earlier. Now, they're all part of an important slice of Americana, repre- senting the freedom and individuality that embodies the hot rod movement. And if that's a little too deep or sappy, well, they are also here to help your speed shop make money. From old to new, the muscle car market remains strong and vibrant. To catch you up on what's hot, we checked in with parts manufacturers that count this traditional niche as a core customer base, and agreed to share some thoughts on where we're headed, and the best route to get there. Hit the Road Among the trends currently driving the muscle car market is just that—a trend of driving more. "We've seen the desire of hot rod enthu- siasts to get their cars out and actually enjoy them," says Jay Adams, performance account manager for COMP Cams, part of the COMP Performance Group, who points to organizations such as Goodguys that promote commuting to events. "As this theme has evolved over the past few years, actually being able to drive these hot rods—in slow-speed fairgrounds traf- fic, or at speed for long distances on the highway—has demanded those of us in the aftermarket work harder to make prod- ucts that facilitate this. These cars need to run cooler, not foul plugs, become more An evergreen market that's ingrained in American culture. By John Carollo & Jef White Photo courtesy JRi Shocks

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