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Movers & Shakers: eBay Motors Crosses the Country With Rutledge Wood to Transform a ’67 Mustang Fastback

Compiled by SEMA Editors

eBay Motors will hit the road this summer with TV host and racing analyst Rutledge Wood (center), traveling the country to overhaul a ’67 Ford Mustang Fastback with fellow automotive artist K.C. Mathieu (right) and gearhead Mike Finnegan (left).

eBay Motors Crosses the Country With Rutledge Wood to Transform a ’67 Mustang Fastback

This summer, eBay Motors hits the road with TV host and racing analyst Rutledge Wood, traveling the country to overhaul a ’67 Ford Mustang Fastback with fellow automotive artist K.C. Mathieu and gearhead Mike Finnegan, as seen on YouTube in “Roadkill” and “Finnegan’s Garage.” eBay Motors will supply the car and all the parts needed for this journey, handpicked from its selection of parts and accessories (P&A). During the “On the Road with eBay Motors” tour, Wood and his team will be at four pop-up garages across the United States with the final unveiling of the Ford Mustang Fastback in Las Vegas at the 2017 SEMA Show. Fans can also join the journey and follow the Mustang’s progress virtually on the eBay Motors blog, which includes behind-the-scenes footage, Facebook Live check-ins, and real-time updates from Wood on social media. The restoration plan for the ’67 Mustang Fastback is to build a restomod, combining the heritage and history of a muscle car with the automotive advancements of today. Along the journey, the car will get a big brake kit, modern suspension, amplified exhaust and a dynamic engine. In partnership with Ford Restoration Parts, eBay’s Mustang Fastback will be featured within the Ford exhibit at the 2017 SEMA Show.

The tour will visit the following city stops throughout the summer, and reveal the final car at the SEMA Show:

  • Carlisle Ford Nationals, Carlisle, Pennsylvania – June 2–4
  • 20th Goodguys PPG Nationals, Columbus, Ohio – July 7–9
  • Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit – August 18–19
  • Goodguys West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton, California – August 25–27
  • SEMA Show in Las Vegas – October 31–November 3

General Tire Partners With Tread Lightly!

General Tire has partnered with the outdoor recreation advocacy group Tread Lightly! The Utah-based organization, along with its partners, lead a national initiative to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten individuals’ sense of good stewardship. Tread Lightly!’s goal is to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with the need to maintain healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of fish and wildlife. The scope of their work includes both land and water, and is representative of nearly every form of outdoor recreation including but not limited to hunting, recreational shooting, fishing and boating. They also have a niche in promoting safe and responsible use of motorized and mechanized vehicles in the outdoors.

Hot Rodders of TomorrowA number of state and city dignitaries, local automotive enthusiasts, area businesses, car clubs and media attended Aeromotive’s 23rd anniversary open house at the company’s headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas.

Aeromotive Celebrates 23rd Anniversary with Open House, Car Show and Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Qualifier

Aeromotive celebrated its 23rd anniversary two weeks ago with an open house, car show, cruise-in and the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) qualifier. A number of state and city dignitaries, local automotive enthusiasts, area businesses, car clubs and media attended the event at the company’s headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas. The HROT qualifier featured 12 teams from Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. Seven teams qualified for the Dual National Championship playoffs from this event:

  • Tulsa Tech Center #1, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: 19:28
  • Eastern Oklahoma County Tech Center, Choctow, Oklahoma, Team #1: 19:51
  • Tulsa Tech Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Team #3: 25:22
  • Pontotoc Tech Center #1, Ada, Oklahoma: 29:28
  • Hereford High School #1, Hereford, Texas: 30:17
  • Hereford High School #2: 30:40
  • Tulsa Tech Center # 2, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: 32:20

Only eight teams from this year's 15 scheduled events will proceed to the Dual National Championship to participate for the title and school scholarship funds at the 2017 SEMA Show and PRI Trade Show. Currently in the playoff standings, two teams from the Aeromotive Qualifier are in the top eight.

Kahn Media Announces Staff Additions, Promotions

Kahn Media Inc. has announced expansions to its staff and several promotions. Jeff Perlman joins Kahn Media as director of media relations. A 25-year PR professional, Perlman has held corporate communications positions at J.D. Power and Robb Report, along with executive titles at automotive- and luxury-focused agencies. Justin Gagante, formerly a graphic designer and developer for Cycle Gear, has been appointed as a graphic designer, working with Kahn Media’s Lead Designer Heather Wilson and Creative Director Franco Gutierrez. Brad Speers joins Kahn Media as account executive, handling several key luxury clients. A Northern California native with a background in political communications and PR, Speers most recently handled communications for Exotics Racing in Las Vegas. Wilson has been promoted to lead designer, after two years as a graphic designer in the firm’s art department. Wilson’s work can be seen nationwide in the advertising and creative for MotoAmerica, among other projects. Russell Stacey, most recently digital marketing coordinator, has been promoted to digital marketing manager. After working in consumer marketing for a tech startup, Stacey joined Kahn Media a year ago, leading the charge developing the firm’s turnkey digital marketing department.

Left to right, Andrew Madsen, co-owner; Laif Ekberg, collision center manager; Karl Malone, co-owner; George R. Irving Jr., Toyota North America, national manager, Wholesale Parts & Collision; Ruben De Loera, Toyota senior analyst, Wholesale Parts & Collision; Jon May, general manager.

PPG Collision Centers Earn Top Toyota Honors

Two PPG collision centers—Karl Malone’s Body and Paint of Draper, Utah, and Puente Hills Auto Body of the City of Industry, California—have received the 2016 Toyota Certified Collision Center of the Year Triple Crown Award. The annual award is given to the three top-performing Toyota-certified collision centers in the country. According to Toyota representatives, collision centers are evaluated on a point system based on customer satisfaction; manager, estimator and technician certification; facility and equipment requirements and other benchmark achievements. Nearly 200 Toyota certified collision centers nationally compete for the honor.

Through EFI University in Lake Havasu, Arizona, racers, engine builders, tuning shops, and performance enthusiasts on the West Coast can receive software training and learn advanced tuning techniques.

Holley EFI Training Now Available at EFI University In Lake Havasu, Arizona

Holley is now able to offer its in-depth, informational Holley EFI training seminars for racers, engine builders, tuning shops and performance enthusiasts in the Western region of the country through EFI University in Lake Havasu, Arizona. At EFI University, courses are available at three different levels: Introduction to EFI, Advanced EFI Concepts, and High Performance Engine Tuner Certification.

Owens Named Vice President of Sales at Aisin    

Aisin Group has announced that D. Brad Owens has been promoted to vice president, sales. The announcement was made by John Clark, president, North American Sales Division, Aisin World Corp. of America. As vice president, Owens is responsible for direct OEM customer contact and interface between the Aisin sales team and North American plants in order to ensure quality, delivery and customer satisfaction standards. Owens, who had been assistant vice president of sales for all Aisin customers, joined Aisin in 2000 as manager of engine component sales. He was later promoted a number of times to his current leadership position. Previously Owens was a sales manager with UGN Inc.

Avery Dennison
Georges Gravanis, president, Avery Dennison Label and Graphic Materials; Kamran Kian, vice president, global operations and supply chain, Avery Dennison Label and Graphic Materials; Bill Podojil, senior business director, Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions; and Jeremy Letterman, director, operations, Avery Dennison Label and Graphic Materials North America.

Avery Dennison Opens Expanded Graphics Materials Production Facility

Avery Dennison has announced the expansion of its graphics materials production facility in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The investment in this manufacturing facility provides Avery Dennison with additional capacity to bring branded, premium-cast vinyl products to a wider audience. The decision to expand the graphics manufacturing facility and invest in Northeast Ohio was driven by the region’s strong workforce, expertise and access to North American customers.

Vehicles for Change and Mazda Kick Off Their Second Year of “Drive to 100” Partnership in Baltimore This June

Drive to 100’s second year kicks off this summer, with the first award scheduled for June 24 in Baltimore. The partnership between Mazda’s Northeast region and Baltimore-based nonprofit Vehicles for Change (VFC) awards refurbished cars to families in need of personal transportation to gain or maintain employment. Last year, the awards took place at Mazda dealerships from Northern Virginia to Massachusetts from April through December. Similarly, this year’s awards will take place throughout the Northeast region in Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York, Upstate New York and New Jersey. Participating Mazda dealerships are offering $500 toward the purchase of a new Mazda to anyone who donates a vehicle to VFC and brings in their donation receipt. Donations can be made directly to VFC or at the nearest participating Mazda dealership. Last year, 230 vehicles were donated by Mazda customers to Vehicles for Change, 37 vehicles were awarded to families across the East Coast and more than $46,000 was raised for VFC through test drives and donations.

Top photo: Bosch was presented with the “Supplier Partner of the Year” award. (L-R): Gary Martin, Automotive Parts Associates; Philippe Guyot, NEXUS Automotive International SA; David Prater, The Automotive Distribution Network; Enrico Manuele, Bosch; Gael Escribe, NEXUS Automotive International SA; Tim Bruin, Bosch; and Chris Baer, VIPAR Heavy Duty. Bottom photo: The “Technology Partner of the Year” was awarded to WHI Solutions, Inc. (L–R): Philippe Guyot, NEXUS Automotive International SA; David Prater, The Automotive Distribution Network; Tony Perkin, WHI Solutions; Chris Baer, VIPAR Heavy Duty; Gael Escribe, NEXUS Automotive International SA; and Gary Martin, Automotive Parts Associates.

Networking Opportunities Garner Spotlight at N! North America Connecting Days 2017

Members of NEXUS North America met in Atlanta, May 22–23, to network and exchange ideas during the organization’s N! North America Connecting Days 2017. The second annual event provided a forum for NEXUS North America founding partners, The Automotive Distribution Network, Automotive Parts Associates (APA Group) and VIPAR Heavy Duty, to meet with current and prospective global supplier partners. In March 2016, the three organizations joined NEXUS Automotive International SA (N!), a global aftermarket trade group. The new NEXUS North America entity serves as the exclusive partner for N! in North America. N! Connecting Days provided NEXUS North America members with the opportunity to hold productive one-on-one meetings with suppliers and a forum for the three groups to share ideas, knowledge and strategies and to facilitate discussions on mutual opportunities. The event also served as an ideal setting to recognize key partners crucial to the success of the organization and the aftermarket in general. This year, inaugural supplier and technology awards were announced. NEXUS North America presented the “Supplier Partner of the Year” award to Bosch and its “Technology Partner of the Year” was awarded to WHI Solutions Inc.

Mercantile Development Inc. Certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise

Mercantile Development Inc. (MDI), a specialty converter of nonwoven wiping products, has received certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). MDI is celebrating 70 years as a family-owned business. The company became women-owned when controlling interest was acquired by Lucia Furman, Calla Morgan and Jenna Fankhanel, marking the third generation of family ownership.

Ralph and Linda Miller’s candy-colored, supercharged, hemi-powered Model A Tudor sedan won the Goodguys 2017 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award at the Goodguys 11th Nashville Nationals

Hemi-Powered Model A Tudor Named Hot Rod of the Year

Built by Bobby Hilton and Tony Lombardi, Ralph and Linda Miller’s candy-colored, supercharged, hemi-powered Model A Tudor sedan won the Goodguys 2017 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award at the Goodguys 11th Nashville Nationals in Music City USA. Runner-up finalists for Goodguys 2017 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year included Ted Hubbard’s ’30 Model A, Gary Corkell’s ’32 Ford roadster, Bill Herb’s ’33 Ford coupe and Harold Chapman’s ’32 Ford 5-window.

TOPP Performance Race Parts Announces Jeff Fuller as General Manager

TOPP Performance Race Parts (TPRP) has announced the hiring of Jeff Fuller for the general manager position. Fuller comes to TPRP with more than 20 years of industry experience. Prior to joining TPRP, Fuller was national sales manager for two different high-performance racing spring companies. His industry experience includes open-wheel cars, late models and drag cars. Fuller has owned race cars for 30 years, including an asphalt sprint car. He has previously raced with the United States Auto Club (USAC), United States Speed Association (USSA), Must See Racing and the Auto Value Super Sprints (AVSS).

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