People Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: John Sonnefeldt Joins Heidt's; SoffSeal Promotes Sandy Fox, Christopher Sondles; NGK's Pepper Named VP

John Sonnefeldt
Heidts Hot Rod & Muscle Car Parts named John Sonnefeldt as its director of sales and marketing. Sonnefeldt has more than 15 years of experience in the automotive performance aftermarket with extensive knowledge of drag racing, road racing, NASCAR, restoration and the car-building community.

SoffSeal Inc. promoted both Sandy Fox and Christopher Sondles to executive vice president. Fox and Sondles were mentored by the late Gary Anderson, SoffSeal’s founder and former president. Fox will oversee the company’s operations and finance, and Sondles will oversee product development, sales and marketing.

Azentek LLC announced that u-blox, a Swiss provider of GPS technology, will provide GPS-receiver modules to the company. The modules provide navigation and location awareness in Azentek’s Atlas in-car personal computers and its SmartMirror device.

NGK Spark Plugs (USA) Inc., a subsidiary of NGK Spark Plug Co. LTD., promoted

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper to vice president of manufacturing. Pepper has been with NGK since 2007, previously as director of manufacturing administration. He is responsible for all North American manufacturing and OEM/OES distribution, with locations in Irvine, California, and Sissonville, West Virginia.

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. launched an all-new website, The company’s goal of the complete site redesign, which includes a new web address, was to create a user-friendly resources tool for consumers and dealers.

The "Electro-Van" built by 13 students at Ohio Technical College

A group of 13 Ohio Technical College students enrolled in the college’s Alternative Fuel program recently developed an all-electric powered vehicle dubbed the "Electro-Van." The fully functional 1997 Ford E350 runs solely on electricity and can reach speeds of up to 35 mph with a two-hour drive-time capacity.

The students took six weeks to design and build the van, which included the conversion from diesel to electric with revisions to the body and drivetrain to accommodate the new power-supply system.

The van uses 21 batteries for power—solar panels have been added for recharging the batteries—and an electric motor that delivers up to 95 hp.